With a bachelor of science in network administration, you’ll learn how to build, secure, maintain, troubleshoot, and install the infrastructures used in modern networking setups. You’ll learn how to work with networks that use Microsoft and Linux operating systems, how to troubleshoot and repair server issues, and how to identify, minimize, and quarantine network and system security threats.
What is a Degree in Network Administration?
If you have some knowledge about computers and networking systems and are interested in a career in systems or network administration, you should enjoy the subject matter of a network administration degree. Students in network administration programs learn how to install, maintain, and secure networking systems and data centers, how to repair malfunctioning servers, and how to prevent and quarantine security risks. This provides students with the knowledge needed to succeed as network administrators.
While a bachelor’s degree in network administration may not be required for all jobs—many employers simply look for talent in the field—it’s a great way to learn about the field if you’re not already a network administrator, as well as an excellent way for existing network administrators to build their credentials in order to qualify for promotions and higher-paying roles. Graduates find work in all types of roles, administering networks and systems for small development companies as well as major IT players like Google.
What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Network Administration?
- Virtualization of Computing Resources
- Operating Systems Administration
- Database System Design
- Managing Network Infrastructures
- Implementing Active Directory Structures
- Web Server Administration
- Administration of Messaging Systems
- Business Telecommunications
What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in Network Administration?
Systems and network setup and administration are crucial components of modern business, so network administrators are always in high demand to keep businesses running and communications happening. The fastest-growing verticals within network administration are expected to be healthcare, mobile, and cloud services, so taking coursework while in college to better understand these industries and their challenges could lead graduates to a greater number of career opportunities after graduation.
How Long does it take?
A bachelors in Network Administration will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at OnlineDegree.com that could transfer to universities in the US.
Online Network Administration Degree
Bachelor degree programs in network administration are among the popular online programs. Students are required to complete 120 – 130 credit hours which normally take 4 years for full-time students. During their study, they get solid knowledge in computer and information systems. The program also provides the foundation of engineering practices related to computers and networks. Alternatively, you may choose to study an online master’s degree if you have a bachelor degree in a related field.
*All salary and growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at BLS.gov for a Network Security Analyst
What Can You Do With a Network Administration Degree?
Networks have become an essential part of businesses including small and medium-sized businesses. However, networks of large companies or institutes can be massive connecting hundreds or thousands of employees. Additionally, companies are transferring their data and work to cloud based systems rather than local storage. The growth in the size and functions of networks increased the importance of hiring people for managing of the networks.
The main job of a network administrator is to maintain the computer infrastructure in an organization with more emphases on networking. The job includes installing and maintaining on-site servers, or contracting cloud services. The administrator is also responsible for maintaining the resilience, integrity, and security of the network. He/She may also be responsible for buying licenses for common software that is used across the organization network. Advanced network management requires proactive action plan that predicts the needs of the users and the network. This may include monitoring and testing the network to detect weak spots. Additionally, the administrator need to regularly install updates and security programs to the network.
What does a network administration student learn?
Students of network administration degree programs study the hardware and software aspects of building and maintaining networks. They participate in general classes related to their intended jobs in addition to learning theoretical computing and mathematical courses.
- General courses: English composition, mathematics and social studies.
- Networking principals: this course introduces the idea of building a network, types and sizes of networks and distributing resources.
- Cybersecurity: this is a major concern for all organizations to secure their internal data and the data of their clients.
- Database systems and administrating SQL databases: this is one of the core courses of the program. Databases are essential part of any network storing the data of the users in an organized way allowing its efficient use. A simple example for network databases is the usernames and passwords along with their assigned duties or authorization.
- Programming languages as visual basic, Python, or C++
- Operating systems as Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Novell NetWare and BSD
Now I have the network administration degree…where can I work after graduating?
Medium sized businesses normally hire one or more network administrators who are usually responsible for the whole aspects of the network. Larger business can have dedicated network administration department with specialized employees for various aspects of the network. You may also choose at some point of your career to specialize in a certain job as a freelancer or consultant but this choice needs building your successful portfolio and proven experience.
- Network Engineer: the responsibility of the engineer is to design and install the network as well as initial testing of the network performance.
- Network/Systems Analysts: their responsibility is to analyze problems in the network including data processing, bugs or security issues. Afterwards, they set the best method to solve detected problems.
- Network Security: they are responsible for detection of security issues in the network, installing antivirus programs, firewalls and cyber-attacks detection programs.
- Technical Support: they are responsible for satisfying the needs and solving the problems of the network users. They can provide technical assistance through phone calls, emails or remotely through team working programs.
- Sales and marketing: network administrator may work in technical sales and marketing career by promoting products related to the network. Their knowledge and experience is needed to be able to deliver an accurate image about the products promoted.
- Research and development: network administrators are actively participating in the development of new networking systems with improved capabilities. Networks are not limited to organizations or companies but can exist in the future between things as cars or airplanes.
Should I choose a network administration degree?
Networks can get quite complicated when considering large organization that have thousands of employees. The network may also extend to various locations. Monitoring the performance and integrity of such networks is challenging and requires a set of different skills:
- Patience: sometimes it gets very challenging to solve a bug in the network which may be a code of few lines. It may take you days or even weeks to solve the problems with the network which needs much patience.
- Problem solving skills: you must have an organized and clear approach towards solving the problems.
- Attention to details: a tiny piece in the network or a program downloaded by one user can cause much mess which needs to be handled carefully.
- IT and technical skills: this is the core of your job and your main role in your organization.
- Teamworking skills: large organizations have dedicated departments for network administration and you must have the skills to work efficiently within a team.
- Initiative: network administrators must be proactive for implementing and updating the network hardware, security programs and handling processing issues before problems escalate.
Best Jobs for Network Administration Degrees
Network administration graduates can find systems administrator and network administrator positions with small and big companies alike, working with locally-owned web development companies that have their own servers or for companies like Google and Facebook. Because of their expertise with computer systems, graduates may also find work in programming, engineering, and IT support and repair roles.
How to save time and money
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Get a Certificate in Network Administration First
Not all employers require a bachelor’s degree for network administrator positions. By earning a certificate in network administration first, you may be able to find work with one of the employers with less strict prerequisites, gaining professional experience and earning an income sooner. Then, you can earn your bachelor’s degree to qualify for higher-paying or more prestigious positions, and the credits from your certificate program may even transfer to reduce the overall course load you’ll have to take.