According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, network administrators usually need a bachelor's degree, but some entry-level jobs only require an undergraduate certificate or associate's degree. Master's degree programs allow for more advanced studies in the field.
10 Schools with PC Network Administration Programs
The following schools are among those offering programs that provide PC network administration training.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degree Level||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|University of Minnesota - Twin Cities||Minneapolis, MN||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Certificate||$13,790 (In-state), $22,210 (Out-of-state)|
|Houston Community College System||Houston, TX||2-year, Public||Associate's, Certificate||$3,360 (In-state), $3,756 (Out-of-state)|
|Texas A & M University||College Station, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$10,176 (In-state), $28,768 (Out-of-state)|
|College of Southern Nevada||Las Vegas, NV||4-year, Public||Associate's, Certificate||$2,805 (In-state), $9,450 (Out-of-state)|
|Tarrant County College District||Fort Worth, TX||2-year, Public||Associate's, Certificate||$2,064 (In-state), $4,920 (Out-of-state)|
|Riverside Community College||Riverside, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate||$1,426 (In-state), $7,366 (Out-of-state)|
|Austin Community College District||Austin, TX||2-year, Public||Associate's, Certificate||$9,210 (In-state), $11,340 (Out-of-state)|
|City College of San Francisco||San Francisco, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate||$1,598 (In-district), $7,554 (Out-of-state)|
|American River College||Sacramento, CA||2-year, Public||Associate's, Certificate||$1,104 (In-state), $7,440 (Out-of-state)|
|University of Maryland - University College||Adelphi, MD||4-year, Public||Master's, Postgraduate Certificate||$8,244 (In-state graduate tuition), $11,862 (Out-of-state graduate tuition)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
Find schools that offer these popular programs
School Selection Criteria
Individuals searching for a PC network administration program should determine their career goals before choosing a school. Consider the following also when looking for network administration schools:
- Students can choose between network administration majors and broader degree in computer science, information science or management information systems (MIS) based on their academic interests.
- It can be helpful to check out the school's computer lab facilities in order to ensure that students have access to the latest software and industry-standard networking hardware.
- Aspiring network professionals may want to look for PC network administration programs that include preparation for the certification exams offered by major industry players, such as Cisco or Microsoft.
- IT professionals who are already employed but want to advance their education through a degree or certificate program may want to look for schools that offer online or part-time training programs.
Associate's Degree Programs
Associate's degree programs in network administration introduce students to the basics of the information technology industry. Students learn to install and maintain software applications and hardware systems, and they gain experience testing and troubleshooting network devices and systems. Before graduating from one of these two-year programs, they must also fulfill general education requirements.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
For many network administrator jobs, a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree is the minimum educational requirement. There are some schools that offer majors specifically in computer network administration, while others offer the subject as a concentration within a broader computer science or technology degree. While most programs take four years to complete, some are offered as degree-completion programs for experienced IT professionals who already have an associate's degree in the field.
Master's Degree Programs
Master of Science (MS) programs that cover networking and systems administration are intended for IT workers who want to advance to leadership positions in the field or prepare for doctoral-level research. Students can choose between thesis- and non-thesis options; the non-thesis programs culminate in a capstone project. In order to accommodate the needs of working professionals, some programs are available in online or part-time formats.
Another graduate-level option for experienced IT professionals is a graduate certificate in the field, which includes advanced coursework in network design, implementation, security and management. There are also undergraduate certificate programs for students who just want to take introductory courses. Some certificate programs also prepare students for specific industry certifications.
Programs that cover network administration are available at schools and universities throughout the United States. Community colleges offer 2-year programs that prepare students for entry-level jobs, while those interested in more intense training can find bachelor's and even master's programs at 4-year universities.