The Best Online Bachelor’s in Network Administration
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A bachelor's in network administration prepares students to work with various computer systems and structures. A degree in this field can open doors to lucrative and exciting technology careers.
Students enrolled in the best network administration degree programs learn to diagnose and repair computer issues, maintain systems, and find solutions for organizations and users. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an 11% growth in computer occupations from 2019-2029 — nearly three times the average projected growth rate for all occupations.
Mechanic schools feature two- and four-year programs, including associate and bachelor's degrees. Some programs offer a certificate or minor degree concentration in automotive technology or management. Learners with a background in automotive technology move on to exciting careers such as industrial production managers, mechanical engineers, auto mechanics, diesel service technicians, and auto body shop managers.
While cloud computing could slow career growth in traditional network administration, the best online colleges equip graduates with skills and training for this evolving industry. This guide explores the network administration degree and possible careers it could lead to. This page also provides rankings of the best network administration degree programs.
Featured Online Programs
The Best Online Bachelor's in Network Administration
Online Bachelor's in Network Administration Degree Program Ranking Guidelines
We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.
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What Is an Online Bachelor's in Network Administration Degree?
The best network administration degrees teach students how to set up and maintain communication networks. They also prepare graduates to manage organizations' servers, storage, and applications.
A bachelor's in network administration equips students with the skills to handle local area networks, wide area networks, and virtual private networks. Enrollees also receive training in troubleshooting common issues, installing hardware and software, and maintaining infrastructure. In addition to technical skills, students also develop their people skills, such as communication, teamwork, and attention to detail.
Choosing an Online Program
When choosing an online college, prospective students need to consider school and program accreditation, program cost, and curriculum requirements. Online learners should also research access to in-state tuition rates, residency requirements, and synchronous vs. asynchronous delivery methods.
What to Expect in a Network Administration Major
While each network administration program delivers a unique curriculum, most degrees share some core components. Enrollees typically study project management, cybersecurity, database management, and mobile and cloud systems and applications. These degree-seekers need analytical and multitasking skills to thrive. They should also have an interest in computers and basic technical skills.
Many assignments feature practical work, such as handling servers and control devices and building test networks. Students often work independently in their school's network administration labs, though most programs also require group work. Capstone projects typically require enrollees to create functioning network applications.
Network Administration Concentrations
Cybersecurity concentrations teach students how to establish security measures in different networks and systems. Learners also explore methods to identify and test network inefficiencies and security vulnerabilities. They may learn strategies for threat detection, handling attacks, and mitigating their damage.
This course provides information about different sectors' distinct networking needs. Learners can also develop general leadership and project management skills in this course of study.
Concentrations in project management provide students with leadership and communication strategies. The training focuses on overseeing projects from conception to implementation, including scheduling, risk management, and quality management. In a network administration program, this concentration may explore large-scale network installation and user and administrator training.
Network Administration Curriculum
- Computers and Information Systems: These courses examine the different types of computer and information systems, including networks, software, and the various components. Students learn how different organizations implement systems.
- Database Operations: Database operations courses teach students how databases can help organizations improve processes and decision-making. Learners gain skills in table design, data entry, and rule creation.
- Wireless Network: These classes explore the design and deployment of wireless and mobile networks. Students consider the architecture and components of these networks and their many applications.
- Network Architecture: Network architecture courses teach students to plan, build, and set up various networks. Coursework may also include security and maintenance processes for network administrators.
- Programming for Network Administration: In this course, students learn to apply programming skills to networks. The training may cover programming of design, diagnostic, and performance analysis tools.
Network Administration Careers
Most graduates with doctoral degrees in addiction and recovery work as counselors or clinical psychologists specializing in addiction and substance abuse counseling. However, this degree provides a strong footing for other jobs in academia, research, and non-clinical psychology, some which require additional study or credentialing. For instance, psychiatrists need to complete medical school to become board certified.
While most graduates pursue careers as network administrators, they also have access to other computer and information technology careers. The versatile training applies to hardware, software, and management roles.
Available careers vary by location and employer, but the following information highlights some common and best-paying careers for bachelor's graduates. The table also lists the median annual salaries for each position.
|Career||Median Annual Wage (2020)|
|Computer Network Architects||$116,780|
|Computer Systems Analysts||$93,730|
Certifications for Network Administration
In addition to network administration degrees, students can pursue industry and vendor certifications to enhance their resumes and improve their career prospects. While there are no industry-wide mandatory certifications, some employers may require candidates to possess credentials from specific vendors for employment.
Some popular certifications include CompTIA network+, Microsoft certified professional, and Network5 certification. Candidates typically need to pass an exam to receive the certification, though requirements may vary.
Network Administration Organizations
Professional organizations offer extensive support to network administration and computer science students and professionals. These organizations typically offer access to industry news, certifications, and networking events. They also provide professional development opportunities.
Some of these organizations host national or international members. Others maintain more regional member bases. Some popular network administration organizations include:
Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's Degrees in Network Administration
The best courses in network administration depend on the student's interests and goals. Graduates who complete coursework in operating systems, cybersecurity, and architecture can thrive among the competition in the job market.
Network administrator careers offer plenty of benefits, including competitive salaries and a positive job outlook. The BLS projects a 4% employment growth rate for network administrators from 2019-2029, keeping pace with the average for all occupations. These professionals make a median annual salary of $84,810 as of May 2020.
Most network administrators possess bachelor's degrees at minimum, according to the BLS. Some employers may hire candidates with associate degrees or industry certifications.
Header Image Credit: | Getty Images
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