Associate Degree in Computer Networking and Network Administration
Those interested in job opportunities in one of the fastest growing technology industries should consider enrolling in a computer networking or network administration associate's degree program. The rapid growth in computer networking is a direct result of society's growing reliance on computer technology. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BSL) recently reported that about 800,000 individuals are employed as support specialists or network administrators. But more importantly is reports that many more job opportunities will open up in the near future for network administrators and computer networking specialists since job growth in these industries is projected to grow by nearly 26 percent through 2020.
To get started in a career in computer networking, students should enroll in a campus-based or online associate's degree program in the specialty they wish to pursue. While completing their associate degree, students will take courses in network design and maintenance, software and hardware maintenance, security administration, software, and database management. Upon program completion, graduates can pursue job opportunities in Internet or database management, customer support, network administration, as well as numerous other specialties.
Curriculum in associate degree programs in computer networking and computer network technology are designed to help students develop skills essential for career success or to pursue a technology related bachelor's degree at a four-year college or university. General areas of study typically include database, programming, routers, services and other areas specific to individual industries and specializations.
During 2014, the BLS reported that beginning salaries for customer and technical support specialists were between $26,250-53,750 annually. Senior support specialists were paid between $44,500-65,250 annually, and network administrators were paid between $48,250-73,500 annually. Although earning a degree will not guarantee a job or specific annual salary, those with college degrees and technical training in the latest technology will enjoy many job opportunities.
If you're planning on pursuing a bachelor's degree at a four-year college sometime down the road, you'll want to earn your associate's degree from a community college or technical school that is regionally accredited. Typically, four-year colleges and universities will only transfer credits earned from a regionally accredited community college or technical school. Before applying to an associate's degree program in computer networking, administration or other field of technology it's best to speak with an admissions counselor at the four-year college you plan on attending after graduation to ensure your credits will transfer and be applied toward the completion of your bachelor's degree.
Potential Career Options
The IT field is vast and career opportunities abound for those with the right skills, education and experience. Earning an associate degree in computer networking or computer network technology will prepare students to take advantage of several employment opportunities upon graduation. Common job titles and positions include:
- Network systems analyst
- IT Support technician
- Computer networking consultant
- Network technician
- Security specialist
- Network administrator
An associate degree in computer networking, network administration or computer network technology, combined with a strong background and work experience, is an ideal combination for those seeking the best entry-level career opportunities. While earning a bachelor's degree can be advantageous, at the end of the day employers are more interested in what you can do for their company than they are in your degree. Showing prospective employers you have the skills and knowledge they needs, whether that's through earning a degree or work experience, is really what's going to be most important to your job search and advancing your career.
Associate Degrees in Computer Networking and Network Administration
Below we've featured several colleges and higher institution that offers associate degree programs in computer networking, network administration and related technology disciplines. To learn more about school or program simply click on the "Request Info" button to learn more.