Colleges with Computer Networking Degree Programs
Find out how you can locate and select a school with a computer networking degree program that fits your career goals. Read about undergraduate and graduate degree options in computer networking, and check the requirements for each program. Review voluntary certification options for network professionals.
Computer networking degree programs are commonly available in different learning formats. See which kind of program is right for you by reading through this article, which covers types of undergraduate and graduate programs, coursework, and certification info.
How Do I Find a School With Computer Networking Degree Programs?
You can locate computer networking degree programs at many postsecondary institutions. Usually, programs are offered through a university's school or department of engineering, computer science, engineering technology, information systems or electrical and computer engineering. At some schools, the program may be presented as a joint effort of two departments. Some degree programs are available entirely online, as well as on campus.
The National Center for Education Statistics offers a large, searchable database of schools offering training in areas related to networking. This includes a listing of over 500 schools with programs dealing with computer systems networking and telecommunications. In addition, you can search the list at the Data Management International website. The roster contains a large number of academic institutions that offer certificate and degree programs in data, information and knowledge management. Data Management International isn't an accrediting organization, and only presents the listing to help you locate a program that meets your needs.
What Degrees Are Available?
You can find appropriate associate degree programs at a number of community colleges and technical schools, as well as at some 4-year schools. Typical courses in a program leading to an Associate of Science in Computer Networking include network security, routers and switches, and network implementations. A prime objective of the program is to train you in the installation, configuration and maintenance of local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN) and Internet systems.
You might want to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Computer Networking and Systems or Networks Administration. A bachelor's degree program can prepare you for entry into the field. If you're already employed in the industry, a program in networks administration can be used to fulfill education or certification requirements for advancement or job retention. If you already have an appropriate associate's degree, those credits can often transfer to a bachelor's degree completion program. You also may be able to receive academic credit for work experience, depending on school policy and the nature of the experience as it relates to your concentration.
In addition to specific core courses, completion of a Master of Science in Computer Networking program usually requires you to concentrate in a specific area of networking. These areas can include network design, hardware, software or networking services. Some schools offer thesis and non-thesis master's programs. Non-thesis programs can prepare you for employment, while thesis programs may also prepare you for study at the doctoral level.
If you're in the computer industry and want to update your skills or change your career path, some schools offer a postgraduate professional certificate. Certificate programs consist of far fewer courses than a master's degree program. They can prepare you to analyze, design and maintain networking systems. In many cases, credits earned in a certificate program can transfer toward a master's degree.
Which Schools Offer Associate's Degree Programs in Computer Networking?
You can enroll in an associate's degree program in computer networking at a host of colleges, such as these below:
- California College San Diego delivers an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Technology & Networking degree program
- Northwest Arkansas Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems- Networking degree program
- St. Petersburg College hosts an Associate of Science in Computer Networking degree program
Which Schools Offer Bachelor's Degree Programs in Computer Networking?
Computer networking bachelor's degree programs can be found at many institutions. A number of them are:
- Ferris State University houses a Bachelor of Science in Computer Networks and Systems degree program
- Western Governors University has a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology- Network Administration degree program
- California College San Diego provides a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a Networking & Information Systems Security emphasis degree program
Which Schools Offer Master's Degree Programs in Computer Networking?
Many schools give students an opportunity to earn a master's degree in computer networking. Here are a couple of them:
- North Carolina State University hosts a Master of Science in Computer Networking degree program
- Wichita State University delivers a Master of Science in Computer Networking degree program
- Colorado Technical University has an online Master of Science in Information Technology with a network management specialization degree program
Which Schools Offer Graduate Certificate Programs in Computer Networking?
Graduate certificate programs in computer networking are common at various universities, including the ones below:
- Iowa State University has an online Computer Networking Graduate Certificate program
- University of Massachusetts Lowell provides a Graduate Certificate in Network Security program
- Boston University has a Computer Networks Graduate Certificate program
Am I Certified When I Earn a Degree?
Programs may provide you with the preparation you need to enroll in certification training programs. On the other hand, included in the curriculum at some schools are certification courses consisting of specialized preparation and the certification exam itself. For instance, you may be able to earn certifications in a vendor-neutral networking system such as CompTIA or vendor-based systems such as Cisco or Microsoft.
In addition to their own certifications, companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, Ricoh and Lenovo may also require you to hold CompTIA certification. You have various opportunities to obtain training and sit for certification examinations in online and on-campus formats.
At the undergraduate level, you can choose from associate and bachelor degree programs in computer networking, which will give you the experience and knowledge to work in the field or pursue graduate education. This usually takes the form of a master's degree program or graduate certificate program, both of which can help advance your career.