Network administrators ensure that their company's computer networks run smoothly. They install and maintain networks, optimize system performance, and troubleshoot network problems.
Although most employers require network administrators to hold a bachelor's degree, some companies hire candidates with an associate degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), network administrators earned a median annual salary of $83,510 in 2019.
Network administration degree-holders may also qualify for related careers, such as computer systems analyst or computer and information systems manager. According to the BLS, computer and information systems managers earned a median annual salary of $146,360 in 2019.
Should I Get an Associate in Network Administration?
One advantage of an associate degree is that it only takes two years to complete.
An associate degree in network administration is the minimum credential needed to get a job as a network administrator. Most learners only need two years to earn an associate degree.
This abbreviated timeline allows professionals to enter the workforce and start earning money sooner. An associate degree usually costs significantly less than a bachelor's degree. If students decide to pursue a bachelor's degree later, they can likely transfer some or all of the credits from their associate degree toward their bachelor's degree.
The biggest downside of getting an associate degree in network administration is that many employers seek job applicants with bachelor's degrees for network administration jobs. By opting for an associate degree instead of a bachelor's degree, learners may limit their job options. Fortunately, the BLS projects jobs for network administrators to grow 4% between 2019 and 2029.Check out the Best Online Associate in Network Administration Programs
What Will I Learn in a Network Administration Associate Program?
Many schools allow network administration enrollees to choose from an associate of science (AS) and an associate of applied science (AAS).
AS programs are best for students who plan to transfer to another school to pursue a bachelor's degree, while AAS programs are better suited to learners who want to enter the workforce right after graduation.
Regardless of degree type, these programs cover topics like IT project management, database management, operating systems, and web authoring. Students learn to install, manage, and optimize computer networks.
Program curriculum may include courses such as introduction to networks; Windows server administration; Linux system administration; and switching, routing, and wireless essentials.
An associate degree in network administration may help prepare students for various CompTIA and Cisco certifications. Earning certifications can increase students' job prospects.
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What Can I Do With an Associate in Network Administration?
Companies in industries like manufacturing and healthcare hire network administrators to manage their computer networks. According to the BLS, the most common employers of network administrators include computer systems design companies, educational services, information companies, and finance and insurance companies.
In addition to working as network administrators, graduates with an associate degree in network administration can work as computer support specialists, database administrators, computer systems analysts, or information security analysts.
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How Much Money Can I Make With an Associate in Network Administration?
According to the BLS, network administrators made a median annual salary of $83,510 in 2019. However, recent graduates may begin their careers earning less. According to PayScale data from March 2021, network administrators earn an average annual salary of $60,280, with new workers earning an average annual salary of $49,550 and those with 1-4 years of experience earning $54,320 per year.
Frequently Asked Questions About Associate in Network Administration Programs
- What is network administration?
Network administration refers to the installation, optimization, and management of computer networks. Network administrators must be able to troubleshoot and solve problems that occur within the network.
- How long does it take to get an associate in network administration?
Degree-seekers typically need two years to earn an associate in network administration. Students can often complete their degree faster by taking classes during the summer.
- How much does it cost to get an associate in network administration?
The cost of a college education can vary dramatically from one school to the next, but the average cost of tuition for an associate degree is $7,140 for public schools and $29,174 for private schools.
- Is an associate in network administration worth it?
The cost of an in-person or online associate degree in network administration is quite low, especially for students who attend a public college. However, learners should consider the time spent in school and the likelihood of getting a good job following graduation when deciding whether the degree is worthwhile.
- What is the average salary for a professional with an associate in network administration?
According to PayScale data from March 2021, the average network administrator earns an average annual salary of $60,280. Entry-level administrators earn an average annual salary of $49,550. Experienced network administrators can often advance to higher-paying positions.