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Network Design and Administration Bachelor's Degree

For those who are interested in designing networks and maintaining them, a bachelor's degree might be just the right fit. This article shares information on typical communications and math courses in a bachelor's program, and shows you the best industries in which you can seek employment after graduation.

What Can I Expect from a Bachelor's Degree Program?

Bachelor's degree programs in network administration combine general education requirements with advanced technical training. You learn about networking theory, current networking practices, networking software and industry-standard networking equipment. This 4-year curriculum can be completed over the Internet or on a traditional college campus. Courses commonly address:

  • Information security theory
  • Programming for the Web
  • Operating systems
  • Networking hardware and software
  • Wireless communication
  • Linux administration
  • Data communication
  • Discrete mathematics
  • System administration concepts
  • Advanced routing and switching

Common CoursesWireless communication, discrete math, operating systems, data communication
PrerequisitesHigh school diploma or equivalent, transcripts, standardized test scores
Job DutiesSoftware installation, troubleshooting, training, security maintenance
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 Do I Need to Get In?

You need at least a high school diploma or its equivalent to be considered for admission. You may have to submit transcripts, standardized test scores or letters of recommendation. Some schools allow you to transfer credits from related associate's degree programs as long as you earned acceptable grades in those classes. Taking courses in computer science and mathematics could help you prepare for this program.

What Is a Network Administrator?

Network administrators design, plan, install, test and maintain computer networks for organizations. In this position, you could work with local area, wide-area or Internet-based networks. It could be your responsibility to install new software, ensure the network meets the needs of the business, troubleshoot technical issues, train new users or introduce new elements to existing networks. Network administrators are also responsible for maintaining network security; this could include installing preventive software and developing data-protection protocols to be followed in the event of a security breach.

How Much Can I Make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), network administrators earned a median annual salary of $82,050; top-paid network administrators made upward of $130,720, while the bottom ten percent brought home less than $50,990 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that network administrators earned the highest salaries in the following industries:

  • Information
  • Computer systems design
  • Finance and insurance
  • Administrative and support
  • Educational services - state, local, and private
  • Transportation equipment manufacturing