PhD in Network Engineering

Learn about doctoral degree programs that can prepare you for a network engineering career. Find out about the requirements for these programs, and get salary and employment information. Schools offering Cisco Network Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn a Ph.D. in Network Engineering?

Yes and no. A doctoral program in computer science will allow you to conduct independent research in network engineering, but there are no Ph.D. programs devoted specifically to network engineering. If you're seeking a dedicated network engineering degree program at the graduate level, you'll find many schools offering master's degree programs in the field. A master's program, which will take you about two years to complete, offers both theoretical and applied training in all aspects of designing and maintaining communication networks.

Degree Options Doctoral programs in computer science allow for independent research in network engineering
Master's programs in network engineering specifically available, offering theoretical and applied training in design and maintenance of communication networks
Common Courses Master's: Java programming, communication systems, local area networks, network security, multimedia networks
Ph.D.: Based on independent research in specific area of interest
Online Programs Online master's programs available
Ph.D. programs not available online, but involve little classroom time
Career Prospects (2018) Network and computer systems administrator jobs available
Median annual salary $82,050
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 6% growth (for all network and computer systems administrators

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Kind of Courses Will I Take?

The first year of a master's degree program is typically spent taking prerequisite courses. Network engineering programs will require you to take courses in Java programming, communication systems and local area networks. Once you've completed these classes, you'll move on to more advanced courses like computer networks and data systems, network security and multimedia networks. Ph.D. programs in computer science are focused on independent research. If you decide to enroll in a Ph.D. program, you'll spend less time in a classroom than you would with a master's program, and you'll work with a dissertation adviser to concentrate your research in a specific area of interest.

Can I Complete These Programs Online?

Yes, there are some schools that offer master's programs in network engineering online. You'll complete all coursework over the Internet, as well as interacting with instructors and fellow classmates online. All you'll need to get started is a broadband Internet connection and a reliable browser. To view media, you may need additional software, such as Windows Media Viewer or Adobe Acrobat. Ph.D. programs, though not available entirely online, will give you the opportunity to conduct much of your research on your own time and spend less time in the classroom environment.

How Much Can I Make as a Network Engineer?

Completing a graduate degree in network engineering will qualify you for several professions in the information technology field. Many graduates find positions as network and computer systems administrators. Although your salary and professional opportunities will depend on what industry you're interested in, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) reported that network and computer systems administrators earned a median annual salary of $82,050 in 2018.

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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