Internetworking Technology: Bachelor, Associate & Online Degree Info

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What kind of job can you get with a degree in internetworking technology? Find out program requirements, online options and info on courses and internetworking technology degree programs.
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Studying Internetworking Technology: Degrees at a Glance

Internetworking professionals apply their skills to create complex networks. Internetworking requires that specialists create local area networks (LANs) to wide area networks (WANs) as well as develop larger WANs by connecting existing networks. Working in this field calls for strong knowledge of networking technologies and different types of networking hardware. Employers seek candidates who understand firewalls, switches, security solutions and gateways.

The associate degree program can prepare you for entry-level positions in the networking field, while a bachelor's program might lead to a career in network administration or computer systems management. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted slower-than-average through faster-than-average job growth for positions in the industry. For example, network and computer systems administrators should see 28% growth in employment from 2010-2020, according to the BLS.

Associate Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? People seeking entry-level technical support positions in the tech industry People who want to pursue a career in network administration or computer systems management
Common Career Paths (with approximate median annual salary) - Computer network support specialist ($48,000)*
- Network control technician ($50,000)**
- Network and computer systems administrator ($71,000)*
- Computer hardware engineer ($99,000)*
Time to Completion Two years, full-time Four years, full-time
Common Graduation Requirements Roughly 60 credits Roughly 120 credits
Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalent High school diploma or equivalent
Online Availability Limited (other fields of study available) Limited (other fields of study available)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures), **Salary.com (November 2012 figure).

Associate in Internetworking Technology

Associate degree programs in this field can offer a well-rounded education that emphasizes computer hardware and software. You will gain an understanding of networking technologies through courses focused on router/switch fundamentals, wireless technologies and common computer and server operating systems. Schools usually offer programs that have a strong practical component; students gain hands-on experience with networking protocols in a laboratory environment. Many programs deliver the preparation required to pursue industry certifications from multiple vendors and demonstrate your knowledge of connecting networks across vendor platforms and protocols.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A variety of internetworking technology degree programs are available at this level
  • Programs offer a broad range of training in current technologies, which can lead to positions in a number of fields
  • Many associate degree programs transfer to bachelor's degree programs, should you wish to continue your education

Cons

  • Positions may require a bachelor's degree and/or experience
  • Pursuing relevant certification requires additional financial resources and time commitments
  • Online associate degree programs in internetworking technology may not be as common as certificate programs

Courses and Requirements

The associate degree program provides a strong foundation that will prepare you to manage data/voice cable installation, computer troubleshooting techniques, LAN and WAN devices and network addressing, to name a few. Some schools offer a concentration that allows students to deepen their knowledge of a specific area, such as client/server technologies. In addition, some programs offer electives in areas that include telecommunications, Microsoft networking or computer forensics.

The following are some common courses offered by the programs:

  • Routing protocols and concepts
  • Wireless and switching fundamentals
  • A+ software
  • Information systems
  • Information technology (IT) project management
  • Network servers and clients
  • Information assurance

Online Degree Info

Locating an online program specifically dedicated to internetworking technology might prove difficult. Some schools offer online IT network specialist programs, which might offer courses in internetworking technology. In addition, you may find programs that offer an online certificate option. The certificate program can also prepare students to take relevant certification examinations. You might consider combining an online associate degree program with a certificate option if locating internetworking courses proves difficult.

Stand Out with This Degree

The technology industry changes rapidly and job candidates might benefit from gaining certification in current technologies. Consider pursuing industry-standard certifications offered by CompTIA and Cisco. CompTIA offers the Network+ certification, which validates a candidate's skill in the installation, management and security of computer networks. CompTIA recommends at least nine months of experience in a networking environment. Consequently, participating in a college's internship program can provide access to hands-on opportunities in the field.


Bachelor's in Internetworking Technology

The bachelor's degree program prepares students for a career in network design, maintenance and system administration. Programs deliver the essential education required for entry-level positions and many schools recommend a strong background in mathematics and science. Keep in mind that some programs focus on IT in general and offer supporting coursework in internetworking technologies. You will learn to evaluate business requirements and select the appropriate networking technologies as well as implement hardware and software solutions and manage security concerns.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Computer hardware engineers earned a competitive median annual salary of $99,000*
  • Bachelor's degree program deliver a broader education and offer advanced coursework and electives to focus your studies
  • The BLS notes that candidates with a bachelor's degree should enjoy better job prospects for network and computer systems administrator positions*

Cons

  • Computer hardware engineers might experience slower-than-average job growth of nine percent from 2010-2020*
  • Competition against master's degree holders might present a challenge
  • The field requires an ongoing financial commitment to maintaining certifications

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Courses and Requirements

The bachelor's degree program combines a range of courses in programming, networking and computer systems. Some schools offer bachelor's degree completion programs that require an associate degree in a discipline related to internetworking technology. Advanced internetworking topics broaden a student's understanding of virtual private networks, subnetting, networking metrics and protocols. You can expect to take courses in systems programming, network administration, C/C++, UNIX/Linux, network installation and maintenance, signal processing and computer architecture. Students also take calculus, linear algebra and discrete mathematics courses.

Online Degree Info

Similar to the associate degree program, you might find bachelor's degree programs in information technology that offer internetworking technology courses. You can also find related online degree programs in areas like network administration. These online programs also emphasize mathematics and sciences. You might find that online programs deliver elective courses in software engineering, operating systems architecture and IT security, to name a few.

Stand Out with This Degree

Pursuing industry-standard certification might improve your job prospects. In many situations, employers prefer candidates with vendor-specific certifications, which validate a candidate's skills and knowledge of specific hardware and software programs. The Cisco Certified Network Associate validates a candidate's skills in the installation, operation and configuration of medium sized networks. In addition, gaining experience through internships, cooperative education programs and senior projects delivers first-hand exposure to designing and installing networks.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BSIT: Network Admin
      • BS in IT - IT Management
      • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
      • BS in Cybersecurity
      • BS in Information Technology/Information Security and Assurance
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Saint Leo University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS: Computer Information Systems
      • BS: Computer Science
      • BS: Computer Science - Information Assurance
      • BS: Cybersecurity
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Colorado Christian University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Computer Information Technology, B.S.
      • Computer Information Technology, B.S. - Emphasis in Database Management
      • Computer Information Technology, B.S. - Emphasis in Networking
      • Information Systems Mgmt., B.S.
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Regent University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Information Technology
      • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
      • Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Technology
      • Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Technology - General
      • Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Technology - Information Security
      • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Information Systems Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Post University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. in Computer Information Systems / Computer Networking
      • B.S. in Computer Information Systems
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Trident University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Computer Sciences (BSCS)
      • Information Technology Management (BSITM)
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Argosy University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Information Technology (BS)
  • Rochester, NY

    Rochester Institute of Technology

  • Charleston, WV

    University of Charleston

  • Delhi, NY

    SUNY College of Technology at Delhi

Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • BSIT: Network Admin
  • BS in IT - IT Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology

Which subject are you interested in?

Saint Leo University

  • BS: Computer Information Systems
  • BS: Computer Science
  • BS: Computer Science - Information Assurance

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Colorado Christian University

  • Computer Information Technology, B.S.
  • Computer Information Technology, B.S. - Emphasis in Database Management
  • Computer Information Technology, B.S. - Emphasis in Networking

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Regent University

  • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies - Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Technology

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Post University

  • B.S. in Computer Information Systems / Computer Networking
  • B.S. in Computer Information Systems

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Trident University

  • Computer Sciences (BSCS)
  • Information Technology Management (BSITM)

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Argosy University

  • Information Technology (BS)

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