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Pursuing an online bachelor's in network administration can result in very rewarding careers. This specialized training provides graduates with in-demand skills that make them competitive in the lucrative information technology field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the addition of more than 530,000 computer jobs between 2019 and 2029.
A bachelor's in network administration may seem straightforward, but the degree offers flexibility in training and career potential. To help learners find the best pathway, this page delves into program details and career opportunities for graduates, along with a ranking of the best online programs in the field.
Check out our bachelor's in network administration program guide for more information.
What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Network Administration Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|1||Bellevue University||Bellevue, NE|
|2||Western Governors University||Salt Lake City, UT|
|3||Dakota State University||Madison, SD|
|4||California Baptist University||Riverside, CA|
|5||Champlain College||Burlington, VT|
|6||Fort Hays State University||Hays, KS|
|7||Southern New Hampshire University||Manchester, NH|
|8||Southern Nazarene University||Bethany, OK|
|9||Florida State College at Jacksonville||Jacksonville, FL|
|10||Excelsior College||Albany, NY|
- How We Rank Schools
At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students.
Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Network Administration Programs
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|Bellevue, NE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 0%||
BU is an open-access university that serves about 50,000 students annually. The school offers over 80 academic programs, including an online bachelor of science in management information systems. Students may complete this program fully online or through a hybrid format.
This program covers topics like business communication and research, managing innovations in information systems, and strategic management. Students learn how to make financial and budget decisions with regards to net present value and return on investment. Learners may use the curriculum's 51 elective credits to personalize their experience.
This degree completion program requires applicants to hold a relevant associate degree or at least 60 transferable credits. Prospective students also need three years of IT work experience.
Western Governors University
|Salt Lake City, UT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 29%||
Western Governors University provides a comprehensive array of online certificates and degrees. WGU's distance learning programs include a bachelor of science in business administration in information technology management.
This program includes classes like accounting principles, data management, and quantitative analysis for business. Students also delve into IT management tools and issue tracking systems that support business continuity. Learners round out the program by completing a capstone project and creating a professional portfolio.
WGU does not require a minimum GPA or ACT/SAT scores. The university uses a competency-based learning model that enables students to demonstrate content mastery through course completion and/or relevant work experience. WGU's business programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Dakota State University
|Madison, SD||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 47%||
Dakota State University powers distance education with the Desire2Learn platform, and students at DSU can pursue an online bachelor of science in network and security administration. By completing this 120-credit program, graduates are prepared to work as cybersecurity analysts, IT project managers, and vulnerability assessors.
Coursework includes web application programming and operating environments. Students also take advanced classes in database management systems, offensive/defensive network security, and Linux/Unix administration. Participants gain hands-on experience by completing an internship with a local company.
DSU accepts applications year round. The university offers financial aid opportunities, including scholarships for first-year and transfer students. DSU also offers a dual-degree track that allows students to earn their online bachelor's degree in network administration and a master of cyberdefense in five years.
California Baptist University
|Riverside, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 55%||
Based in Riverside, California Baptist University enrolls about 11,000 students in more than 160 academic programs. Degree options include a fully online bachelor of science in network administration and management that prepares graduates for careers as solutions architects, web developers, and network engineers.
The curriculum of this bachelor's in network administration includes 48 major-related credits and covers topics like database design and processing, computer and operating systems architecture, and Voice over Internet Protocol. Students also develop advanced business networking skills, learning to evaluate the IT needs of diverse organizations and implement appropriate solutions. The program culminates in an integrative capstone course.
Applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA. CBU prefers candidates with 24 or more transferable credits. The university delivers online coursework asynchronously through Blackboard Learn.
|Burlington, VT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 64%||
Champlain College focuses on providing accessible education to working professionals and other adult learners. Champlain's academic catalog includes an online bachelor of science in management information systems that offers accelerated, seven-week classes. Throughout a flexible curriculum, students learn seven key technical competencies and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills that can be used in cross-sector business environments.
Course topics include enterprise database systems, information systems analysis and design, and introduction to Python. Students also learn about usability in website and software design. They can pursue one of two concentrations, earning a specialized certificate in computer networking or software development.
To enroll in this bachelor's program, applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA. They must also submit a professional resume and write 3-4 essays.
Fort Hays State University
|Hays, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
Fort Hays State University offers over 200 online degrees and certificates. For example, distance learners can earn a bachelor of business administration in management information systems. This program boasts small class sizes and one-on-one faculty engagement. Students access asynchronous classes through Blackboard, with 16-week fall and spring terms and accelerated, eight-week offerings over the summer.
This program includes coursework in business law, marketing principles, and production and operations management. Students also examine business intelligence strategies and technological innovations in entrepreneurial leadership.
Incoming first-year students need a minimum 2.0 GPA if they reside in Kansas and a minimum 2.5 GPA if they live out of state. Applicants must also score at least 21 on the ACT or 980 on the SAT.
Southern New Hampshire University
|Manchester, NH||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
Southern New Hampshire University serves more than 100,000 students through on-campus and online programs. SNHU's comprehensive catalog includes a fully online bachelor of science in management information systems. With access to accelerated, eight-week classes and the ability to apply up to 90 transfer credits toward the degree, students can complete this program largely at their own pace.
This degree track requires coursework in computer platform technologies, IT service management, and Structured Query Language. Students learn to mine, compile, and analyze data with respect to the flow and structure of data within different client systems. They round out the program with a capstone seminar.
SNHU uses a holistic evaluation process that does not require minimum GPA or ACT/SAT scores. The university accepts applications on a rolling basis.
Southern Nazarene University
|Bethany, OK||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
Southern Nazarene University delivers 11 fully online undergraduate and graduate programs, including a bachelor's in network management program that serves as a degree completion pathway. Designed as a hybrid program, distance learners need to take some evening classes at SNU's campus in Bethany, Oklahoma.
Students in the program complete classes like Windows networking, routers and switches, and personal and professional ethics. They learn to assess formal and informal IT challenges to implement effective organizational change strategies. Learners also delve into network security, studying topics like intrusion detection and next-generation firewalls.
Applicants need at least 48 transferable credits. They must also pass a university entrance exam. SNU offers scholarships, loans, grants, and assistantships to its students.
Florida State College at Jacksonville
|Jacksonville, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 38%||
Florida State College at Jacksonville serves over 24,000 students annually, many of whom enroll in online courses through Canvas. FSCJ's online programs include a bachelor of applied science in information technology management that emphasizes practical skill development. Students take accelerated, asynchronous classes.
Required courses include computer networks and telecommunications, object-oriented programming with Java, and hardware and software configuration. As part of their upper-division requirements, students investigate systems analysis and design, as well as electronic commerce systems and strategies. They complete the program with a capstone seminar that covers the entire IT project cycle.
FSCJ requires applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores. The college provides financial aid opportunities and career development services.
|Albany, NY||Graduation Rate: 0%||
Based in Albany, New York, Excelsior College powers distance education with Canvas. Excelsior's distance learners can enroll in a fully online bachelor of professional studies in technology management program. Since Excelsior accepts up to 113 transfer credits, experienced students can complete the program in one semester.
Foundational coursework includes business leadership, project management, and financial accounting. Excelsior requires students to take major classes like integrated technology assessment and economic analysis for technologists. Students personalize their curriculum by choosing one of four concentrations, including options in information technology and renewable energy technology.
Excelsior does not require test scores or a minimum GPA for admission. Distance learners can apply for institutional scholarships based on their academic merit, major, and military affiliation.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Network Administration Program?
Online bachelor's in network administration programs are often offered as a specialization within another degree, such as computer science or information technology.
While some schools offer different types of bachelor's degrees in network administration, the vast majority award a BS degree. These programs typically require 120 credits and take students about four years to complete. However, accelerated options and more flexible scheduling may be available.
In general, network administration degrees focus on the tools and methodologies that network administrators use in the field. Additional program components may include a technical writing project, training in specific technologies and networks, and an internship. Some schools host networking labs so that students can gain experience in the field.
Online bachelor's in network administration programs are often offered as a specialization within another degree, such as computer science or information technology. In some cases, network administration programs feature concentrations of their own, including cybersecurity, software development, and data analytics. Specializations can help make graduates stronger candidates when job-seeking after completing the program.
Network administration professionals often work with computer hardware, but they also rely on software, programming, and leadership skills. Students with a specific career in mind might find a focused network administration degree more valuable, but many others find a broad and diverse curriculum better suited to their interests.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Network Administration Program?
The courses in a bachelor's in network administration vary depending on the program and school, but most programs offer similar core courses. The following section highlights common coursework at this level.
Students learn various network security concepts in this course, including cryptography, how to spot malicious software, and working with access controls. They also examine government regulations and laws regarding cybersecurity. Learners explore how to secure networks, how attacks take place, and where cybersecurity is headed.
- Database Operations
Database operations courses teach learners how modern organizations use data and how efficient databases can improve business operations. Students learn to work with database models, manipulate information, and design and manage databases. Courses may also delve into database security, programming, and their history.
- Network Architecture
In network architecture courses, students learn to design and implement secure networks for organizations. Learners examine methods for analyzing organizational needs, such as traffic and performance goals. Additional topics include security measures, budgetary considerations, and scalability.
- Wireless Networks
In this course, students learn about wireless network architecture and its different possibilities for organizations. Additional topics include the development of wireless communications and basic wireless network standards, such as 3G-5G systems and LAN standards. Many courses also explore cloud-based networks.
- Project Management
In project management courses, students learn how to approach a large-scale networking project. Learners examine the tools and methods needed to meet project requirements and satisfy time and cost budgets. Additional topics may include project design, risk management, quality assurance, and leadership tactics.
Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree
- Scholarships for Computer Science Majors
- Your Guide to College Grants and Scholarships
- Your Guide to Evaluating Financial Aid Offers
What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Network Administration Degree?
A bachelor's in network administration can lead to many careers in information technology. The BLS projects 4% job growth for network and computer systems administrators and 11% job growth for all computer occupations between 2019 and 2029.
In addition to enjoying some of the best job prospects, graduates with a bachelor's in network administration can access some of the most lucrative positions in the field. According to the BLS, computer professionals earned a median annual salary of $88,240 in 2019, which is more than double the median annual salary across all occupations.
Figure out where you can go with a bachelor's in network administration by learning more about computer science careers.
- Network Administrators
Network administrators oversee networks and computer systems for organizations. They maintain, secure, and upgrade networks, as well as train new network users and troubleshoot network issues.
- Computer and Information Systems Managers
Computer and information systems managers oversee most of an organization's computer-related activities. They help these businesses use technology to improve processes and operations and meet their future goals.
- Computer Network Architects
Computer network architects design and improve networks for organizations. They assess the organization's needs and then research and build technological systems to help them meet those needs.
- Computer Systems Analysts
Computer systems analysts seek ways that technology can improve an organization's profits and operations. They assess process and operations performance, evaluate needs and budgets, and research new technologies that might fit the organization.
- Information Security Analysts
Information security analysts safeguard organizations from cyberthreats by monitoring systems, installing protections, and developing security policies and operating standards. Analysts also look for vulnerabilities and help organizations back up and restore data in the event of an attack.
Network Administration Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Network Administration Programs
- Is a bachelor's in network administration worth it?
A bachelor's in network administration can bring significant value to graduates. The training can lead to various computer occupations, which make up one of the fastest growing and lucrative major occupational groups.
- What does a network administrator do?
Network administrators manage computer networks for organizations, including performing regular maintenance, supervision, upgrades, and security. They help organizations meet their technological goals and needs through assessment and research. Administrators also train staff and troubleshoot issues for clients.
- Is network administration a good career?
Current and prospective network administrators enjoy plenty of career benefits, including positive projected job growth and high wages. The BLS projects 4% job growth for these professionals between 2019 and 2029, about equal to the projected growth for all occupations. Network administrators earned a median annual salary of $83,510 in 2019, which more than doubles the median annual salary for all occupations.
- Is network administration a stressful job?
A career in network administration can be stressful, especially when an organization experiences network problems. When troubleshooting major issues or upgrading systems, these professionals may need to put in extra hours and face difficult deadlines. Nevertheless, the job typically features standard work hours and offers a dynamic day-to-day work life.
- What are the highest paying jobs with a bachelor's in network administration?
Computer and information systems managers make the most money among careers available to network administration graduates. According to the BLS, these professionals earn a median annual salary of $146,360, more than $100,000 higher than the median annual salary for all occupations.