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Overview of PC and Networking Technology Associate Degree Program

Majors Overview January 22, 2014

PC and networking technology degree programs are commonly found as an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), but can also be an Associate of Science (A.S.), as well. Students will be taught the skills needed to become successful networking and personal computer (PC) technicians.

A.A. Programs in PC and Networking Technology

Students enrolled in an associate’s degree in networking or PC technology program are trained to seek entry-level jobs in the networking, computer and information technology (IT) career fields that community colleges and technical schools offer. Those who successfully complete the program can opt to enter the workforce immediately or transfer to a four-year bachelor’s degree program at a university or college. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Coursework

Coursework combines classroom lectures and hands-on lab training and is devised to develop the networking skills of participants and impart knowledge about troubleshooting and repair of PCs. Coursework, which is augmented with cooperative education and internship programs, includes topic areas such as:

•Microcomputer applications
•UNIX, Linux servers
•Network security
•CISCO network
•Operating systems
•PC maintenance and management

Career Choices

A job growth rate of 17% has been projected for computer support specialists during the period from 2008 and 2018; (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). A corresponding growth rate of 23% has been projected for computer and network systems administrators, during the same period. The optimistic estimate is owed to the increasing need for Internet security along with the burgeoning use of the web.

Given the various fields of study offered on account of networking and PC technology, graduates can choose from many career choices such as:

•Technical support specialists
•Database administrators
•Computer support specialists
•Network engineers

Continuing Education Choices

Apart from formal training, on-the-job training is also typically received by graduates after they are hired. Keeping abreast with certifications, technology and trainings, graduates can enhance their chances of advancements in the field. Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA), Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional (MCITP), and Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional (MCITP), Security+ and Comptia Network+ are some certification exams graduates may sit. Certification programs are offered by many computer product and software vendors to users of their products. These vendors expect their computer support specialists to acquire product certifications.

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