What Education and Training Is Required for a Network Systems Career?

The installation and maintenance of computer network systems requires a trained, experienced and flexible workforce. Some careers in this area require only an associate's degree, while others require more advanced qualifications. Read on for more information on the education and training required for a career in network systems. Schools offering Cisco Network Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Network Systems Education and Training

Network systems involve the selection and configuration of network hardware including servers, routers, switches, cables and wireless adapters. This process involves researching, installing and evaluating a wide variety of software. It will also require the continual maintenance and updating of all of these components. Because the field of network systems is so broad, there are a number of educational options. However, the field changes rapidly and, whatever the initial level of education, a career in network systems will require continuous training.

Important Facts About This Degree

Online Availability Associate's, bachelor's and master's programs available online
Prerequisites High school diploma needed for associate's and bachelor's programs; Bachelor's degree needed for master's programs
Degree Fields Computer science, computer engineering, network engineering, information systems, network management and administration
Continuing Education Beneficial to keep up with newest innovations in computer and network technology
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)

Undergraduate Degrees

A 2-year degree is sometimes sufficient for entry-level positions such as network administrators, but a bachelor's degree usually signals a broader knowledge base and better analytic ability and can therefore be helpful for securing higher level jobs. Bachelor's degrees are typically required for positions as computer network architects and engineers and information security analysts. Another academic avenue for careers in network systems includes completing a bachelor's degree in business focusing on or specializing in the management of information or network systems.

Graduate Options

Master's degree can enhance your chances of being hired as a network architect or information security analyst. Additionally, for academic, research, or high-level administrative positions such as director or vice president of networking operations, an advanced degree is almost always required. Doctoral degrees are generally required in order to teach in a college or university. Doctoral degrees may also be helpful for those who are interested in working with highly specialized emerging technologies.

Specialized Network System Jobs

Technically proficient workers are needed at every level. Their education and training may be as varied as the jobs they do. Careers in network systems may also be specialized by the sectors of the economy being served. These can include the following:

  • Business and commerce
  • Medical information
  • Foodservice
  • Military
  • Information security

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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