Study Computer Networking: Bachelor, Associate & Online Degree Info

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What will you learn in a computer networking degree program? Read about degree requirements, the pros and cons of an associate's and bachelor's degree in the field and potential careers.
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Study Computer Networking: Degrees at a Glance

Students of computer networking degree programs learn how to install, organize, maintain and repair all aspects of an organization's computer network, including its hardware and software programs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that job opportunities for computer, database and network administrators will increase 28% during the 2010 to 2020 decade. The agency attributes this increase to companies implementing newer and faster technologies into their workplaces.

Associate's Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? Individuals who wish to work in entry-level positions or transfer to a 4-year programThose who wish for entry-level or higher positions in computer networking
Common career paths (with approx. median salary)* Many entry-level positions in information technology require a bachelor's degree.
- Computer, ATM and office machine repairers ($38,000)*
- Customer support specialists ($33,000)*
- Computer systems analyst ($82,000)*
- Database administrators ($77,000)*
- Network and computer systems administrators ($74,000)*
- Computer and information systems mangers ($126,000)*
- Information security analysts, Web developers and computer network architects ($82,000)*
Time to completion2 years, full time 4 years, full time
Common graduation requirements - Liberal arts classes
- Courses in hardware and Internet technology
- Liberal arts classes
- Business courses
- Major courses
- Capstone project or internship
Prerequisites - High school diploma or GED- High school diploma, GED or associate's degree
Online availability Yes Yes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2011 figures).

Associate's Degree in Computer Networking

An associate's degree in computer networking prepares you for entry-level positions in computer repair and support. In this program, you learn the basics of computer networking, usually as it pertains to current operating systems and hardware.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The field of information technology is growing and is expected to have excellent job prospects
  • Provides a broad education in fields other than computer networking that can take you in many different directions
  • Coursework may prepare you for some professional certifications

Cons

  • Many entry-level positions require a bachelor's degree
  • Employers of computer support specialists or repairers may not require that applicants have an associate's degree
  • Work experience or certification may not be included in the program curriculum, even though it might be required by some employers

Courses and Requirements

In a computer networking degree program you will complete general education courses alongside classes in the major. Computer networking courses cover topics such as computer integration and fundamental networking issues. Your course load may include classes like:

  • Internet systems management
  • Computer concepts and diagnostics
  • Open source software
  • Routing concepts
  • Network communications
  • Electronic communications management
  • Advanced Linux operating system use

Online Degree Options

Online associate's degree programs in computer networking are available. Online programs are generally formatted the same as on-campus programs and have the same courses and requirements. Additionally, like many on-campus programs, credits earned in an online program may be transferable to a four-year degree program.

Stand out with this Degree

To stand out when seeking a career in computer repair, you may want to seek certification. Many programs prepare you for certification from companies such as Microsoft, CompTIA and Cisco. Having one or more of these certifications may make you more attractive to employers.

Additionally, it is important, particularly for a career in information technology, to keep abreast of recent developments in information technology. Therefore, make sure that your courses teach you how to use the most recently released versions of operating systems and program software.

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Networking

A bachelor's degree in computer networking focuses on teaching students how to handle a multitude of computer problems on a regular basis. Coursework in this program commonly covers topics like recognizing and stopping computer hackers, setting up network security protocols, creating a sound computer network system and trouble-shooting and fixing network problems.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Typically the minimum requirement for an entry-level information technology position
  • May allow you to concentrate on a networking specialty
  • Internships can help you get your foot in the door and gain valuable hands-on work experience

Cons

  • Additional certification or training that is not included in program curriculum may be required by employers
  • A master's degree may be required by some employers for advancement in the field
  • Some colleges and universities may require work experience in a related field prior to enrollment

Courses and Requirements

Students in this program take general education, business and computer networking courses. Business courses teach topics like professional ethics and management foundations. Typical computer networking courses in these programs include:

  • PC operating systems
  • Cisco networking LAN design
  • MS client and server OS
  • Wireless networking and security
  • Advanced server administration
  • Programming fundamentals

Online Degree Options

Online bachelor's degree programs in computer networking are available. Online programs have the same curriculum and other requirements as their in-person counterparts.

Stand out with this Degree

As employers increase the use of technology in their workplaces, data and information security is becoming more important. A concentration on security or electives taken in a comparable subject may help you stand out against your competition. Being knowledgeable about how to protect a company's computerized information may make your resume stand out against your competitors.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security - Computer Systems Security
      • BS - IT - Network Management
      • BS - Business Administration - IT
      • BS - IT - Security
      • Bachelor: Information Technology
      • BS - Management - Cybersecurity Management
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BSIT: Network Admin
      • BSIT - Information Management
      • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
      • BS in Cybersecurity
      • BS in Information Technology/Information Security and Assurance
  • Online Programs Available
    3. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: IT - Network Admin
      • Bachelor of Technology: Information Assurance and Security
      • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Network Management Concentration
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Security Technology Concentration
      • B.S. - Information Technology Admin and Management With No Declared Minor or Concentration
  • Online Programs Available
    5. ECPI University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor's - Network Security
      • Bachelor's - Cloud Computing
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Indiana Wesleyan University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. General Studies - Computer Information Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. in Information Technology
      • B.S. in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cyber Security
      • B.S. in Computer Programming
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science - Cyber Forensics/Information Security
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Utica College

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS in Cybersecurity - Network Forensics and Intrusion Investigation
      • BS in Cybersecurity - Cyber Operations
      • BS in Cybersecurity - Information Assurance
      • Online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Southern New Hampshire University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS Computer Science
      • BS Business Studies in Computer Information Technology
      • Bachelor of Science Information Technologies - Des
      • BS in Accounting - Forensic Accounting & Fraud Examination
      • BS Management Information Systems - IT Mgmt
      • BS Management Information Systems - Project Mgmt

Featured Schools

Colorado Technical University

  • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security - Computer Systems Security
  • BS - IT - Network Management
  • BS - Business Administration - IT

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Kaplan University

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

Which subject are you interested in?

American InterContinental University

  • Bachelor: IT - Network Admin
  • Bachelor of Technology: Information Assurance and Security
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology

Are you a US citizen?

Herzing University

  • B.S. - Information Technology: Network Management Concentration
  • B.S. - Information Technology: Security Technology Concentration
  • B.S. - Information Technology Admin and Management With No Declared Minor or Concentration

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ECPI University

  • Bachelor's - Network Security
  • Bachelor's - Cloud Computing

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Indiana Wesleyan University

  • B.S. General Studies - Computer Information Technology

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Grand Canyon University

  • B.S. in Information Technology
  • B.S. in Information Technology with an Emphasis in Cyber Security
  • B.S. in Computer Programming

What is your highest level of education?

Keiser University

  • Bachelor of Science - Cyber Forensics/Information Security

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