What Can I Do with a Computer Network Technology Degree?

A degree in computer network technology can prepare you for a variety of careers, such as computer and information systems management, computer systems analysis, network and computer systems administration and computer network architecture. Read on to learn about the education needed for each of these careers and find out what the economic outlook is like. Schools offering Cisco Network Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Computer Network Technology Defined

Computer network technology is associated with the computers, equipment and devices that connect to send and receive communication signals. It is the driving force behind local area networks and wide area networks. The purpose of computer network technology is to provide a secure method of preserving data, sharing information and communicating. Degree programs are available at all levels, and the higher level of education you obtain, the better your job prospects.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Professional Certification Certification might be required by some employers as a network and computer systems administrator
Key Skills Analytical skills, communication, decision-making, and leadership skills; problem-solving skills, organizational skills
Work Environment IT departments; increasingly from home as the industry transitions to telecommuting.
Similar Occupations Computer and information research scientists, computer hardware engineers; actuaries; computer programmers; computer support specialists

Computer and Information Systems Managers

The administration and implementation of information technology in the work place is the responsibility of the computer and information systems manager. In addition to experience, you'll likely need a bachelor's or master's degree in computer network technology for this position, since this career involves overseeing every technical aspect of an organization ranging from Internet operations to network security.

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer and information systems managers had a mean yearly income of $136,280 per year in May 2014. If you're interested in the field with the highest level of employment, then you'll want to get involved in computer systems design. The BLS states that these managers will experience an employment increase of 15% from 2012 to 2022.

Computer Systems Analyst

With a computer network technology degree, you can help make sure the proper software and hardware is selected by your employer to complete the company's computer science needs. Once the materials are chosen, you'll implement the necessary components and run suitable tests to ensure everything is running properly. To become a computer systems analyst, you'll probably need a computer-related bachelor's degree or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

Salary and Job Outlook

The mean annual income for computer systems analysts was $87,320, according to the BLS in May 2014. Career opportunities in this field will grow 25% from 2012 to 2022. The field with the highest level of employment was computer systems design and related services.

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

In this career, you can use your computer network technology degree to help with an organization's computer systems. You're responsible for the Internet systems, local area networks and wide area networks of your employer. You'll perform regular monitoring and observation on the networks to make sure they're available for use and running efficiently. A bachelor's degree will most likely be required for this position, although a postsecondary certificate can suffice. A master's degree is sometimes required.

Salary and Job Outlook

As noted by the BLS, network and computer systems administrators had a mean annual income of $79,770 in May 2014. The top 10% of workers in this career made upwards of $120,000 or more annually. The field with the highest level of employment for this vocation was computer systems design and related services. Overall, 12% growth is expected from 2012-2022. This is about as fast as average when compared to other careers, making job prospects favorable.

Computer Network Architects

As a computer network architect, you'd design both small and large networks. Considering your company's requirements and needs, you'd plan the network's layout, including the cables and networking hardware used. You'd also build the network and work to ensure that it's secure. To become a computer network architect, you'll likely need a combination of networking work experience and a bachelor's degree. You might also earn an information systems MBA degree to stand out to employers.

Job Outlook and Salary

The BLS notes that computer network architects made $100,710 on average in May 2014. The computer systems design industry was the top employer at that time. This career will experience faster-than-average job growth of 15% over the 2012-2022 decade, with favorable prospects expected for those with the right experience and skills.

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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