Computer Networking Programs

computer networking

Starting a career in computer networking offers the chance to be at the forefront of technology, ensuring that data communication systems operate smoothly and securely across global networks.

This field not only promises a wide range of opportunities in various industries but also provides the satisfaction of solving complex problems and supporting the backbone of modern digital infrastructure.

Education & Training

Trade Schools With Networking Programs

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As companies expand, the demand for reliable connectivity inside and outside of the corporation becomes an important part of continued success.

It is the job of networkers to oversee these systems. Educating hopefuls on how to plan, implement, and maintain a business’s communications is the goal of networking trade schools.

Programs employ a host of career names such as support technician, network technology, or information technology. Networking classes for each are similar, and students learn a variety of tasks.

The most vital are setting up computer networks, troubleshooting typical issues, teaching users how to utilize the system, and administering software applications.

Educational Requirements

Certification

comptia-logoPlenty of networking certificates are on offer to improve the chances of being selected for a position.

Credentials expose potentials to diverse products and software helpful while on the job and during the interview process.

Credentials that look good on a networking resume are:

  • CompTIA A+ Certification
  • CompTIA Network+ Certification
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)
  • Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT)

While networking training is important, companies also look for experience. Employers want candidates that have worked in capacities like IT systems or network administration.

Degrees

An associate degree from a networking trade school is usually sufficient to obtain an entry-level junior engineer job. Candidates may hold a bachelor’s in a related field similar to programming, or computer science as well.

A large portion of professionals have training not directly linked to networking.

Salary

Computer networking is one of the fasting growing professions. So opportunities for a well-paying trade does exist. However, there is a fair amount of competition for places within the field.

Below are some average salaries and hourly wages for each state.

State Hourly wage Annual wage
Alabama $40.14 $83,490.00
Alaska $43.08 $89,600.00
Arizona $44.18 $91,890.00
Arkansas $37.25 $77,480.00
California $53.89 $112,080.00
Colorado $48.71 $101,310.00
Connecticut $50.98 $106,030.00
Delaware $42.65 $88,700.00
District of Columbia $55.99 $116,470.00
Florida $44.05 $91,620.00
Georgia $48.71 $101,310.00
Hawaii $45.46 $94,570.00
Idaho $38.35 $79,760.00
Illinois $44.18 $91,900.00
Indiana $39.83 $82,840.00
Iowa $41.66 $86,650.00
Kansas $40.07 $83,340.00
Kentucky $37.74 $78,500.00
Louisiana $39.25 $81,640.00
Maine $39.35 $81,840.00
Maryland $51.89 $107,930.00
Massachusetts $51.13 $106,360.00
Michigan $42.81 $89,030.00
Minnesota $45.35 $94,330.00
Mississippi $38.65 $80,400.00
Missouri $41.16 $85,620.00
Montana $38.36 $79,780.00
Nebraska $42.25 $87,870.00
Nevada $54.40 $113,140.00
New Hampshire $45.06 $93,710.00
New Jersey $53.91 $112,140.00
New Mexico $42.28 $87,940.00
New York $52.00 $108,150.00
North Carolina $42.93 $89,290.00
North Dakota $40.08 $83,360.00
Ohio $46.21 $96,120.00
Oklahoma $40.88 $85,040.00
Oregon $47.26 $98,290.00
Pennsylvania $44.22 $91,980.00
Puerto Rico $25.51 $53,060.00
Rhode Island $52.42 $109,030.00
South Carolina $43.31 $90,080.00
South Dakota $35.20 $73,220.00
Tennessee $41.52 $86,350.00
Texas $44.31 $92,160.00
Utah $43.71 $90,910.00
Vermont $39.50 $82,150.00
Virgin Islands $32.89 $68,410.00
Virginia $52.60 $109,410.00
Washington $50.59 $105,240.00
West Virginia $33.78 $70,260.00
Wisconsin $42.72 $88,850.00
Wyoming $36.79 $76,510.00

Occupation: Network and Computer Systems Administrators (SOC Code151244)
source: data.bls.gov

What Is Computer Networking?

The term is very broad and encompasses a wide range of jobs, all of which are imperative to a properly functioning computer network.

Junior network engineer is a common entry-level position in the field. These workers assist higher-ups in the department.

They manage phone switches, voicemail extensions, and set up laptops for new employees. Their day may also involve creating network and email accounts for recent hires.

Network engineers oversee the day-to-day operation of a business’s network.

They organize, install, and support an organization’s computer systems. This includes local and wide area networks, network segments, intranets, and similar data communication technologies.

Some other jobs in the field are:

  • Web administrator
  • Network architect
  • Wireless network engineer
  • Network security specialist

Career Overview

Job Duties


The central goal of the workers is to design and implement network solutions to enhance the existing system’s efficiency.

Employees install and configure networking tools like routers, proxy servers, switches, accelerators, and domain name systems. On occasion, physical components need repaired. So workers are in charge of ordering new parts and then installing them.

Troubleshooting

During the normal work-day several problems may arise with so many different users accessing the network. Another urgent networking duty is to troubleshoot and monitor ongoing performance.

After fixing a particular issue, they also follow-up and investigate faults in the network to maintain optimal performance.

Protecting Data

Since companies gather user’s personal and financial data, businesses take security seriously. So, employers expect networkers to prioritize the organization’s most sensitive information.

As such, technicians spend a lot of time configuring firewalls and ensuring anti-virus and malware software are installed on all computers.

Required Skillset

Critical Thinking

As networkers treat complex issues, they have to have good critical thinking skills. A knack for analysis goes a long way, because workers are constantly tasked to solve problems.

It is significant for networkers at any level to use logic when identifying the strengths and weaknesses of certain approaches to a complication.

Learning

Comprehension skills are another characteristic of those in networking careers. These employees need to continually learn about new technologies.

Shifts in practices, software, and hardware are sudden, so it’s important for full-timers to remain a step ahead. By doing this, team members ensure networks are as current as possible.

Organization

Staying well-organized has an influence on various aspects of the job. Being methodical means workers are on top of their on-going projects.

Especially with larger companies, in which a lot of issues occur due to an abundance of users in an expansive network. So prioritizing and completing tasks in an orderly fashion is crucial.

Analysis

Decision making is a further critical networking skill. Oftentimes there are multiple solutions to one problem, except some might be better than others.

It is the job of the networker to consider the benefits and costs of a potential action and then choose the best route.

Why Do Networkers Need IT Skills?

Earning a degree is a smart way to begin a long career. However, learning a wide set of IT skills is just as crucial in becoming a successful network engineer. A great way to boost an IT foundation is to seek employment at help desks or in entry-level IT support roles. Positions like these establish vital insight that could prove useful later.

Other ways to improve these skills might be to volunteer or intern at a company. Something to do from the comfort of home is build a PC or small network project. Getting familiar with the various pieces and parts necessary to make systems run will aid in the interviewing process.

Other Useful Skills

  • Communication (verbal & written)
  • Collaborative
  • Analytical
  • Leadership
  • Mathematics
  • Customer service
  • HTML
  • Email
  • Time management
  • Mac & Windows soft- and hardware

Work Environment

While there may be many challenges, networking work can be very rewarding. But the main job of the staff is to solve technical issues on a daily basis, so the work can be stressful.

Hours

New hires can anticipate long hours filled with a range of distinct tasks. Organizations depend on their networks, so in the event of emergencies, these full-timers may need to work overtime.

Security

Those that have a networking degree should also expect to spend workdays considering a company’s security.

Poorly installed and old programs, as well as others all affect a computer’s performance possibly leading to harmful viruses.

Trained specialists are constantly diagnosing errors and restoring desktops to ensure systems run properly.

Constant Change

The pressure to stay up-to-date is another feature central to any field which revolves around technology.

Rapid changes in hardware, software, and practices force networkers to be life-long learners. Many paths exist to achieve this.

Subscribe to relevant magazines, follow internet blogs, or scour popular websites for the latest advancements. All of these are simple ways to help increase relevant knowledge.

Office Space

Professionals pass the day in an office environment. Maintaining a clean area is necessary because networking engineers always have a lot of projects going on.

Keeping a tidy space to set and sort out strategies is one way to improve performance.

Equipment

There is a long list of regular networking equipment that workers often use.

Common ones include laptops, routers, network cables, switches, and servers. As they install and replace pieces, staff members utilize instruments like:

  • Power tools
  • Screwdrivers
  • Spudgers
  • Chip Extractors

Where Do They Work?

Nearly every business utilizes communication technologies. As a result, positions related to this field are abundant and the selection of companies from which they come is even greater. Some typical ones include:

  • Networking technology
  • Telecommunications
  • Wireless services
  • Hospitals
  • Social media
  • Local government offices
  • Computer technology
  • Financial firms

Almost all corporations have a place for capable engineers. Most companies use networks to support their internet communications. So, networking education provides many job opportunities.

Can You Work Remotely?

The growing influence of cloud computing is changing the field. There is less of an emphasis on having workers positioned in a brick-and-mortar building.

As time goes by it’s becoming more common for networkers to work from the comfort of a study, living room, or favorite coffee shop.

Challenges do arise when performing tasks remotely location. Since they are not physically present, workers need to be patient while talking to users.

Companies additionally require that a hire’s internet connection is up to a certain standard of quality. This guarantees communication with off-site employees is reliable.

Other Career Options

Networking school graduates have many chances to enjoy careers in other fields.

Tech Support

One such instance is as a technical support specialist. Staff provide help and advice to clients and organizations, either supporting computer networks, or providing specialized assistance.

The essential duties include listening to a user’s problem, finding solutions, and then walking them through the fix.

Alternative careers that those with networking degrees can consider are:

  • Database administrator
  • Computer system analyst
  • Software developer

Web Development

A lot of the same skills needed to succeed in networking work transfer to a career in web development. Depending on the area of specialty, web developers have many roles, only a few of which are designing and creating websites.

They also supervise the site’s technical aspects, measuring the website’s speed and level of traffic it can handle. In short, the professionals maintain websites, keep them updated, and ensure pages perform correctly.

Career Outlook

As technology’s influence expands, the demand for networking engineers has enjoyed a steady increase. Due to technologies such as cloud computing the appeal of in-house networks is likely to decrease in the future. This decline does open the door for remote positions, though.