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Associate Degree Programs to Become Systems Administrator

Majors Overview June 19, 2013

System administrators are responsible for troubleshooting and maintaining computer servers, networks, and systems. Those who love technology and are detail-oriented might want to consider pursuing a systems administration associate degree program.

Associate of Science (A.S.) in Systems Administration

Degree candidates will learn the fundamentals of computer software and hardware, operating programs and systems. Coursework explores both the practical knowledge needed to maintain complex computer systems, as well as the theoretical concepts behind systems administration. Extensive computer lab instruction is complemented classroom instruction. Typically, these associate degree programs can be completed by students within two years, if they are enrolled full-time.

Education Requirements

To gain admission to these programs, students are required to submit high school transcripts or equivalent, relevant test scores. Most associate degree programs ask students to complete English and math placement tests before enrollment. The submission of letters of recommendation or standardized test scores might be asked, but it is rare.

Program Course Topics

While the associate degree programs usually feature a topical curriculum, there are generally elective course requirements including English, social science, and public speaking. Below are some sample course topics:

•Switches and routers
•Network security and maintenance
•Advanced programming
•Database applications
•Operating system design
•Firewall security
•Router configuration

Career Options

Employers who want to fill systems administrator positions usually require candidates to have an undergraduate degree or equivalent work experience. Individuals who have earned their associate degree can obtain the following positions:

•Computer technology salesperson
•Network assistant
•Computer support technician

Information on Continuing Education

Associate degree program graduates who want to further their education should consider pursuing a four-year bachelor degree program in various information technology fields. Programs are also available at the master degree level. The League of Professional Systems Administrators (LOPSA – www.lopsa.org), a trade organization, will provide more information on employment and educational opportunities for individuals with varying educational backgrounds in this field.

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