What Training Do I Need for a Career in Computer Networking & Service Technology?

Most careers in computer networking and related services require completion of a postsecondary certificate or degree program, with employers often preferring applicants who hold bachelor's degrees in computer science or information technology. Keep reading for training information pertaining to network support specialists and network administrators. Schools offering Cisco Network Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Training for Network Support Specialists

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some computer support specialists can find employment after completing a few relevant college courses or a short-term certificate program. However, employers may prefer at least an associate degree in some computer-related field, and a minimum of a bachelor's degree in computer science or information systems may be required to obtain jobs in larger companies.

In many cases, these degree programs can prepare you for industry-standard certifications, such as the Cisco Certified Network Associate or Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate credentials. If not, such certifications may be independently obtained. Support technicians may eventually, through experience and further education, secure more advanced positions in network administration or design.

Career Description

Support specialists provide technical expertise to network users and customers. In the case of help-desk technicians, this may come in the form of long-distance diagnosis and advice. Other technicians offer hands-on solutions. They install and maintain components of the network as well as analyze and troubleshoot problems. Some of their other responsibilities include training customers and office workers or writing manuals that aid in such training.

Training for Network Administrators

Jobs in network administration typically require a bachelor's degree in computer science or computer engineering, according to the BLS, though a college-level certificate may be sufficient for some positions. These bachelor's programs often prepare students for voluntary certification through Microsoft or Cisco, and employers may favor job candidates who hold such credentials. In addition, bachelor's programs typically encourage or require students to complete internships, which gives them the hands-on experience preferred by many organizations.

Career Description

Systems administrators generally have a larger scope of duties than technicians. These professionals design, install, and support computer networks. It is their job to evaluate system requirements and coordinate the appropriate hardware and software components. In addition to monitoring performance and anticipating necessary upgrades, they may be responsible for the increasingly important area of network security.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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