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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
We use datasets from sources like the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools.
#1 Best Online Network Administration Degrees
Dakota State University
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Dakota State University, a public college in Madison, South Dakota, offers 28 bachelor's degrees, including 13 online bachelor's programs. One option includes the bachelor's in network and security administration.
Students benefit from a rigorous curriculum that enables flexible study. Learners seeking to modify their studies can work with their academic advisor. Enrollees can choose electives, minors, and other modifications to individualize their studies.
Degree-seekers can expect to pay $10,611 in tuition. At the accredited institution, students can access external and internal funding opportunities, such as scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid. Enrollees receive an average of $4,729 in financial aid.
Dakota State University at a Glance:
Online Enrollment: 2,206
Total Online Programs: 37
Online Bachelor's Programs: 13
Admission Rate: 77%
Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available
#2 Best Online Network Administration Degrees
Old Dominion University
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Degree-seekers looking for competitive online learning opportunities should consider Old Dominion University. Students interested in distance learning will find the school's 20 fully online bachelor's degrees appealing. The online bachelor's in information systems and technology prepares remote learners for the demands of the field.
Degree candidates can maximize flexibility through modified coursework and the option to pursue part-time study. Enrollees can modify their coursework in consultation with their academic advisor. Students can also choose a minor and select electives as part of their curriculum.
Undergraduate enrollees can expect to pay $26,664 in tuition. Distance learners can pursue financial aid opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships, to offset educational expenses. The school averages financial aid award packages of $8,021 per student.
Old Dominion University at a Glance:
Online Enrollment: 12,854
Total Online Programs: 62
Online Bachelor's Programs: 20
Admission Rate: 89%
Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available
#3 Best Online Network Administration Degrees
Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale, FL
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale provides flexible study opportunities to distance learners across 65 programs. Online undergraduate students can benefit from one of the school's 24 online bachelor's degrees. One option includes a bachelor of science in network systems and data communications. The program offers flexible study options, where students can pursue full or part time study while modifying classes as they see fit.
Enrollees complete both foundational and advanced coursework, granting them the knowledge and skills needed to advance in the field. These classes equip students with field-specific and broad knowledge and skills. Degree-seekers can choose electives, minors, and concentrations.
Graduates greatly benefit from their education, gaining access to more job opportunities and a higher earning potential. Bachelor's degree-holders earn an average median salary of $31,200 after six years. To learn more about funding opportunities and eligibility requirements, students should contact the financial aid office.
Keiser University-Ft. Lauderdale at a Glance:
Online Enrollment: 9,207
Total Online Programs: 65
Online Bachelor's Programs: 24
Admission Rate: Data not available
Transfer Credits Accepted: Data not available
Online Bachelor's in Network Administration Degree Program Ranking Guidelines
We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.
Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.
Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.
While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.
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Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology
About Our Ranking Factors
Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.
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Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%
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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.
|Median Annual Wage (2020)
|Computer Network Architects
|Computer Systems Analysts
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
Which Courses Are Best for Network Administrators?
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.
Is Network Administrator a Good Career?
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.
How Do I Become a Network Administrator?
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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