Bachelor’s degree programs in computer network management may be offered as network technologies, network management, or telecommunications management. Students in these programs will be prepared for networking certification examinations and careers in network administration.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Computer Network Management
Students enrolled in these bachelor’s programs are offered a practical education in designing, implementing, and managing connected systems of integrated software, peripherals, and computers aimed at maximizing productivity and efficiency.
They not only get a grasp of networking principles, but also become adept at creating, configuring, installing, and maintaining enterprise-wide networks. They become skillful in the analysis of network performance, management of computer security, utilization of Web technologies, and creation of computer programs.
Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.
Coursework educates students about advanced wireless and wired networking concepts and includes classes on various networking operating systems, including UNIX and Windows. Concepts that students explore include database design, network security, organizational behavior, and telecommunications planning.
Students of some programs may be offered access to internship opportunities, wherein they can get hands-on work experience in business or research organizations. Coursework may include the following topic areas:
•Network performance analysis
•Local area network management
•Routers and switches
A sound grasp of computer networking software and hardware will enable graduates to choose from several career options in systems analysis, telecommunications, and network administration. Additional training and vendor certifications may be required for some positions. Graduates may choose from different job titles, such as:
•Network systems engineer
Job and Wage Outlook
A faster-than-average job growth rate of 28% has been predicted for network and computer systems administrators over the 2010 – 2020 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Over the same period, corresponding job growth rates of 18% and 22% have been projected for computer support specialists (including network support specialists) and the occupational category that includes computer network architects, web developers, and information security analysts respectively.
In May 2012, network and computer systems administrators banked an average annual wage of $76,320 (BLS), while computer network support specialists took home $62,960 and network architects took home $91,000.
Certification and Continuing Education Choices
Cisco, Microsoft, and CompTIA offer networking certifications that graduates of the bachelor’s program would benefit from obtaining. Introductory concepts are covered by the CompTIA Network+ certification, wherein the focus is on troubleshooting, configuration, and network installation. Advanced networking certifications, including the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification, are offered by Cisco that would help individuals that wish to work to install, manage, and troubleshoot Cisco products.
Microsoft offers the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certification, which has an emphasis on administrating Windows server products. Bachelor’s degree program graduates may also pursue master’s and doctoral programs specializing in computer networking.