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Factors to Consider when Selecting a Networking School

Higher Education Articles July 7, 2015

The job of a networking professional is to combine their knowledge of network security functions and protocols with computer skills training to create safe working environments and secure computer connections. There are various master’s degree programs available for graduates looking for networking professional careers. Many of these programs feature areas of specialization and numerous concentration areas.

Selecting a Networking School

Four-year universities and colleges offer master’s degree programs in networking within their technology or computer science departments. In this article, we take a look at some important factors to consider when you select a networking school:

Courses Offered and Concentration Choices

Schools offer networking programs as a Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Science and Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Networking. Both programs are devised to offer students useful experience in the management of communication infrastructure and computer networks. When they choose a program, students should prefer schools that offer upper-level coursework matching their interests. Concentrations are available in many networking degree programs in an aspect of defined technical skill, such as network design, network hardware or software, and networking services.

Project Requirements and School Infrastructure

Students must also consider programs with the coursework requirements and facilities necessary for developing these technical skills. Students are provided with hands-on, real-time networking experience through workstations within classrooms and computer laboratory hours. Graduate students are enabled through a one-on-one project or thesis with a professor to engage in explorations of the development, research, and implementation of design principles and computer networking protocols.

Master of Science (M.S.) Programs in Computer Networking

In many programs, the curricula may be offered with and without a thesis requirement, wherein students may be able to tailor programs in accordance with their educational needs. Various computer classes may have to be completed by students before they can enroll, including credit hours in computer organization, data structure, and object-oriented scripting languages. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Network management
•Wireless network architecture
•Network security
•Software engineering and development

Master of Science (M.S.) Programs in Computer Science with a Networking Emphasis

An MS in Computer Science with numerous concentration options is available through many schools. The program emphasizes network management or networking to enable a student to receive additional security expert or network administrator skills training. Students looking into a concentration in networking are often required to have prior experience in data structure, coding language, basic computer skills, and computer organization. As in the case of MS programs in Computer Networking, students are given a choice of non-thesis and thesis programs. A project may have to be completed by those who choose a non-thesis option. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Data Communications
•Optical networking technology
•Wireless and wired networks
•Protocol design

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