What Will I Learn in a Computer Networking Degree Program?

At some universities, computer networking is an emphasis or concentration in an information or computer science program. At others, computer networking is a degree program unto itself, usually within a computer science or IT department. Schools offering Cisco Network Systems degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Computer Networking

Computer networking professionals engineer the configuration of the network and use specialized hardware and software to ensure network security and reliability and security. Computer networks are created through hardware devices and communication software between two or more computers. They may be connected at the same place in a local-area network (LAN) or by radio waves or telephone wires at a greater distance in a wide-area network (WAN), or they may be limited for the use of a college campus or designed to meet the Internet connection needs of an entire city.

Important Facts About Degree Programs in Computer Networking

Common Courses Network management, network configuration support, LAN and WAN design, routing; microcomputer applications, project management, computer and server operating systems, computer maintenance; accounting, economics, business ethics, management
Degrees/Certificates Bachelor degrees; certifications as a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) or a Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA)
Prerequisites Associate degree; bachelor's degree in management information systems, information technology or computer science; computer networking degree
Concentrations Network security, networking design
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)

Networking Courses

A well-rounded curriculum covers network design, installation, troubleshooting, analysis and security. Some courses may focus on a specific technology, such as Cisco, Unix or Microsoft. A networking internship may be available for credit, and a senior project may be required. Some core technical courses in networking may include:

  • Server administration
  • Mail servers
  • Web technologies
  • Mobile computing

Other Technical Courses

Programs usually include additional core technical courses that give you a background of information system development and management. If the program has a concentration, you might also take several technical courses in the chosen area. Some topics you might study include the following:

  • Systems design and analysis
  • Information security
  • Database management
  • Programming

Business Courses

Most networking bachelor's programs include some required business courses. It's particularly common for management information systems programs to have a stronger business focus than more technical programs. As a result, such programs can include several business courses. Some business topics you might learn about include:

  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Business law
  • Organizational behavior


Employers want to be assured that you possess the problem-solving and trouble-shooting abilities required to get the job done. Many, therefore, prefer or demand to hire professionally certified applicants. Professional certifications for computer networking specialists are numerous because they tend to be linked to specific products. Many computer networking instructors conform their curricula to prepare you to pass the exams to earn industry-standard credentials.

Career Opportunities

Most of your career options on graduation are linked to positions in network design, administration and security; however, with general information and computer science skills, additional options may be available, as well. Once you gain experience and earn professional credentials, you may attain professional titles that include:

  • Network scanner
  • Security administrator
  • Network manager
  • Information security consultant
  • Network auditor
  • Systems analyst
  • Project manager

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next »