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Computer Networking Administration Associate Degree

Network administrators ensure that businesses and campuses maintain their online status. In this article, you can look at typical networking administration associate degree programs, including the kinds of networking classes you will take and certification options for graduates.

What Is an Associate's Degree in Networking Administration?

While associate degree programs specifically in network administration do exist, network administration is often an area of emphasis within a computer science or information systems associate degree program. This is a 2-year course of study that trains you to manage network technologies for businesses. You can earn this degree on a traditional college campus or through a distance learning program. Online classes may be administered through virtual classroom software, which could include discussion forums, video lectures and Internet-based exams.

Program LengthTwo years
Course OfferedProgramming logic, operating systems, fiber optic repair, SQL support and maintenance, information technology security
Job ResponsibilitiesDesigning physical layouts for computer networks, training users, selecting hardware and software, developing security protocols
Median Salary (2018)  $82,050 (for all network and computer systems administrators)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 6% growth (for all network and computer systems administrators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Classes Can I Take?

Associate degree programs in network administration combine general education courses with training in industry-standard networking techniques and equipment. You could learn about different types of networks, information security, network analysis and user efficiency. Additionally, you may be able to study related technical areas, such as computer programming or computer architecture. The following are examples of courses you might find in the curriculum:

  • Cisco networks
  • Information technology security
  • Unix administration
  • Fiber optic repair
  • SQL server support and maintenance
  • Operating systems
  • Programming logic
  • Personal computing

What Does a Network Administrator Do?

Network administrators are responsible for the design, implementation and maintenance of computer networks for organizations. This could include designing the physical layout of the network, deciding which hardware and software should be used, overseeing user training and developing security protocols. You might meet with senior managers and executives to determine an organization's networking needs and then with other technical professionals to ensure the network runs efficiently.

What Is the Job Market Like?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported an expected employment growth rate of 6% for network and computer systems administrators from 2016 to 2026. Additionally, the BLS reported a median annual salary of $82,050 for these professionals as of May 2018. However, the BLS also noted that many employers prefer applicants with a bachelor's degree, and you might increase your chances of employment by pursuing a bachelor's degree in the field or by earning professional certifications, such as the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) or CompTIA A+ credentials.