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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) Degree in Network Administration

Majors Overview January 7, 2014

Get information on an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree in network administration and its coursework, career choices, and continuing education and certification choices.

A.A. Programs in Network Administration

Students enrolled in an associate degree program for network administration are taught about creating and maintaining computer systems for business. They are also taught how to install software and hardware, in addition to knowledge about network organizations, data administration, and workstations and network servers.

Graduates can also expect to become adept at troubleshooting problems and to provide technical support to computer users. These programs that take two years to complete are offered at technical schools and community colleges. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Coursework in a network administration program includes computer courses augmented by core curriculum classes in social studies, English and math. Students enrolled in some programs are required to choose a particular operating system – such as Linux or Windows – as an area of study. Students enrolled in other programs are allowed to opt for an area of focus such as web page development. Coursework may include subject areas such as:

•Network security
•Database management systems
•Routing protocols
•Hardware installation
•Systems analysis
•Windows server OS
•Java

Career Courses

Individuals who complete an associate degree in network administration can seek entry-level work in almost any work setting that employs computer networking. Graduates of this program may choose from various positions such as:

•Assistant network administrator
•Network technician
•Computer support specialist

Continuing Education and Certification Choices

Graduates of an associate’s degree program in network administration may qualify to sit certification examinations offered by product and software vendors. Such professional certifications will help showcase their skills and knowledge before potential employers and clients. Common certification options include those offered by Linux, Microsoft, and Cisco.

These professionals can enhance their job opportunities by continuing their education in a bachelor’s degree program in network administration. A bachelor of information or computer science is among the most commonly sought (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). They would be well-served by earning a degree in electrical or computer engineering as the job involves working with computer hardware. Network administrators have to keep abreast of advances in a field that is extremely dynamic (BLS).

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