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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Information Technology – Networking

Majors Overview January 12, 2014

Students will be prepared for a position as a networking assistant, or something related, with an information technology (IT) degree concentrated on networking. Students will have a basic understanding of network theory, programming, the installation of software and hardware, and the use of hardware devices.

A.A. Programs in Information Technology – Networking

Students enrolled in an Associate’s Degree Programs in Information Technology focused on Networking are provided with the knowledge and skills needed in dealing with computers as well as people. They can expect to become adept at monitoring computers and performing routine maintenance on computer systems, in addition to developing the communication skills they would need to work as support specialists or network administrators.

Network infrastructure and administration are the focus of enrolled in these two-year associate programs offered at technical schools and community colleges. Admission criteria require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Coursework combines classroom lectures and laboratory work including extensive hands-on instruction that involves working on computers. Participation in cooperative education, externship and internship programs is also included in the coursework that includes topic areas such as:

•Computer diagnostic and repair
•Local area networks (LAN)
•Data structures and algorithms
•Information systems architecture
•Microeconomics
•Hardware fundamentals
•Cisco
•Server administration
•Programming

Career Choices

Networks are continually added to make businesses more efficient and productive and stay competitive on the global market as they grow bigger. Hence, graduates of IT networking programs can seek entry-level jobs in many businesses and organizations and can aspire for various career titles that include:

•Computer operator
•Computer support specialist
•Computer and information systems manager
•Cisco support technician
•Microsoft and network LAN administrator

Continuing Education Choices

While training imparted in an associate’s degree program augmented by experience would suffice the requirements of many jobs in the industry, recruiters for many positions insist on candidates holding a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). Those who graduate from an IT associate’s degree program may seek entry-level jobs immediately on completion of the program or may seek to continue their education with a bachelor’s degree in networking engineering technology and augment it further by obtaining certification to showcase their proficiency and skill in the field.

Certification is usually offered independent certifying organizations or computer product vendors. Students enrolled in many programs can also use the courses as preparation for certification examinations. For example, the CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) and the MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional), among certification options, would benefit individuals who complete the IT networking program.

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