Computer Networking Majors: Salary and Career Facts

Find out about possible careers with a bachelor's degree in computer networking. Read on to learn about job duties, earning potential and certifications available to graduates of computer networking programs. Schools offering Cisco Network Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is Computer Networking?

Computer networking is the guts of computer careers. Networkers are involved often times from the building construction phase in determining set-up, placement of fiber optic lines, routers, servers, hardware, software, and maintaining everything all the time. Networks must be secured, add users as needed, analyze data as it comes in, interpret the information, and make alterations as necessary. Computer networkers need knowledge in CIS management, hardware engineering and computer programming.

The following chart will give you information on two common computer networking careers:

Computer System Analysts Network and Computer Systems Administrator
Key Skills Organizational skills
Ability to implement computer programs
Direct computer activities within an organization
Typing
Operation of computer systems
Systems Analysis
Problem solving
Job Growth (2014-2024) 21%* 8%*
Median Salary (2015) $85,800* $77,810*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Can I Do With a Computer Networking Degree?

As a computer network systems administrator, you would be responsible for creating, installing and maintaining computer systems in companies large and small, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). If you found employment as a computer systems analyst, you might implement a computer system tailored to a company's specific needs. The BLS notes that systems analysts may work with computer programmers to find and erase viruses or bugs in a company's system (www.bls.gov). Some analysts are responsible for creating training guides for systems administrators or other company employees.See the table below for information including skills required, job outlook, and salaries for various careers within the computer information systems field.

You can find bachelor's degrees in computer networking in a school's computer information systems department. These degrees take four years to complete and include courses in information security management, network implementation and design, server administration and organizational behavior. If a final capstone project is required, you'll explore a problematic computer networking scenario, construct a set of solutions and present your results. Most schools require completion of 120 credit hours to earn a bachelor's degree.

How Much Can I Earn?

According to O*Net Online, network systems administrators earned an average of $37.41 an hour in 2016 (www.online.onecetcenter.org). Payscale.com reports that popular industries for network administrators include information technology services, education and manufacturing. In these industries, a network administrator earned between $40,104 and $83,299 in 2016.

Computer systems analysts reported base salaries between $43,478 and $91,335 in 2016, according to Payscale.com. O*Net Online notes that a computer systems analyst could expect to earn an average of $41.25 per hour in 2016 (www.online.onetcenter.org).

What Certifications are Available?

Individuals who pursue computer networking certifications often find more opportunities for career advancement. Some bachelor's degree programs include certification through Cisco. The Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) offers a range of professional certifications, including Network+, A+ and Linux+ (www.comptia.org). Individuals submit documentation of experience and education, then complete an exam before receiving certification.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Alternative careers, like becoming an actuary, data administrator, software developer, computer network architects, and computer programmers, require bachelor's degrees. These technology careers require analysis, original programming, coding, and report production. All of this work needs you to be proficient in computer research and design, proficiency in LAN and WAN, and networking systems. One alternate profession could be in computer hardware engineering, where you would be working in research, development and the testing of such equipment as motherboards, handheld technological devices, microprocessors and routers. Computer engineering requires a doctorate.

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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