How Useful Is an Associate Degree in Network Administration?
Network administrators oversee the installation, usage and maintenance of computer networks. Read on to learn more about network administration and what you could do with an associate degree in this major.
Network Administration Defined
Network administration is the overseeing of software and hardware maintenance of computer networks. Computer networks have to be regularly monitored and configured to ensure that clients or co-workers can use them. Cyber security is a main concern in this field, and you may be required to ensure that a computer network is protected from outsiders.
Many technical schools and community colleges offer associate degree programs related to computer science and network administration. In such programs, you may take courses in operating systems, network services and infrastructures, network technologies, and programming. Graduates of these programs often go on to work as network administrators, computer security specialists or network engineers. While an associate's degree and work experience can gain you entry to these fields, you might find it easier to locate a job if you complete a bachelor's degree instead or in addition to an associate's degree.
Important Facts About These Programs
|Online Availability||Full programs are available|
|Concentrations||Cyber security, administrator, Microsoft, and Linux|
|Prerequisites||High school diploma or equivalent, transcripts, and minimum age requirement|
|Continuing Education||Certification programs for credentials such as the Certified Wireless Network Administrator are available.|
This career usually requires several years of work experience. In a network administrator role, you're in charge of creating and implementing the computer systems for an entire organization. This includes overseeing the installation of Internet and intranet systems along with local area networks and wide area networks. This can only be done after you've communicated with your employer and decided what network requirements need to be met. After setting up the system, you'll ensure that it continues to run properly and meets users' needs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts the job opportunities for network and computer systems administrators will increase by 6% between 2016 and 2026, as fast as the national average. The BLS reported the median salary for all network and computer systems administrators to be $82,050 as of May 2018.
Computer Security Specialist
As a computer security specialist or information security analyst, you'll help protect an organization's computer network by coordinating firewalls and other cyber-security tools. After you install security software, you'll perform regular maintenance and updates to keep the network protected. You'll also monitor systems to look for and resolve any suspicious cyber activity. You might also communicate with co-workers and computer users to ensure that they're following computer-safety protocols. The BLS predicts that job opportunities for information security analysts will increase by 28% between 2016 and 2026. The BLS reported the median salary for all information security analysts to be $98,350 as of May 2018.
You may need additional education, generally a bachelor's or master's degree, to enter into this role. In this position, you'll design computer networks as well as helping create and test network systems. Depending on your employer, you may work according to project requests. After identifying the goals of a project, you'll create a network model and implementation plan. You'll then create the network, which may involve setting up hardware, installing software and troubleshooting to work out any issues. The BLS predicts that, between 2016 and 2026, job opportunities will increase by 6%, which is as fast as the national average. The BLS reported the median salary for all computer network architects to be $109,020 as of May 2018.