How to Get an Online Associate’s Degree in Computer Networking

If you are tech-savvy and want to get paid for your hobby and natural skills, then earning your associate’s degree in computer networking may lead to a lucrative career. Professionals in this industry are high in demand and get paid really well for what they do.

Computers are used by everyone at work and at home, which is why computer networking professionals are in such high demand. Think about it. Some people out there have no idea how to set up their computers, how to use and maintain them, and how to diagnose any issues when they arise. That’s when computer networking professionals come to save the day. Many companies have an in-house tech staff, and it’s because everyone uses a computer to work in the business world. When their machines are attacked by a virus, the IT staff is able to run at full speed to fix the issue.

An associate’s degree in computer networking generally takes around two years to complete. It can be obtained at most accredited community colleges, but if you have other important responsibilities in life and require a flexible schedule for school, a distance learning program from an accredited college is a promising option to consider.

Online learning is a great alternative to traditional classroom learning because it can allow students to complete classes quicker, while taking advantage of many of the same resources as traditional classes, like tutoring or faculty assistance when needed. It does, however, requires potential students to be dedicated independent learners needing little to no hand-holding; after all, the material will be taught entirely online. With that said, you would be expected to keep track of class schedule and complete assignments on your own time. An advantage to studying online is that you can work comfortably in your pajamas, at whatever time and place is most convenient for you. Online learners must have reliable internet access, but from there, there’s plenty of freedom and flexibility. Earning an online degree can be a productive way to balance school with other obligations, such as employment.

Common Associate’s in Computer Networking Curriculum

If you love working with computers, getting an associate’s degree in computer networking can be really rewarding. You will get to learn a variety of things that will come in handy even if you choose not to pursue this route further after completing the degree. Everyone can use basic computer and technology skills in any workplace.

Some topics you can expect to learn in the associate’s degree program include but are not limited to:

  • UNIX
  • Database applications
  • Troubleshooting
  • Communication skills
  • Computer network design
  • Computer maintenance

After finishing the degree, students will be able to design, develop, and maintain computer networks for small, medium, and large corporations.

In addition to computer networking-related courses, students will also have general education requirements and electives to complete, which will vary from college to college. These classes are usually not directly computer networking related. They are designed to give students the opportunity to explore other fields while getting a well-rounded foundation of knowledge that will be useful in helping them understand real-life situations and succeed in whatever career they choose to be in. For example, students may have an introductory course in math, science, history, language, and fine arts, to name a few.

Associate’s in Computer Networking Careers

Computer networking professionals are very much needed in any company. As a member of an IT team, you’ll be responsible for fixing computers and networks that have any issues prohibiting others from getting work done. Without these professionals, work stops.

With technology on the rise and people relying more and more on computers, this industry shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, it is one of the fastest growing out there, and also one of the highest paid. With just an associate’s degree in computer networking, you could be making an average of $58,000 a year. Because all companies need computer networking professionals, they are willing to pay a premium to keep you around.

Those with an associate’s degree in computer networking may take on entry-level roles like hardware support specialists or computer repair and installation technicians. If you want to really advance in your career, then pursuing a higher degree may be a smart choice. Those with a bachelor’s degree or higher have much better job prospects in a competitive economy. With more education, you can look into becoming a computer hardware engineer. These professionals make a median salary of $110,000 a year.

In addition to computer networking, employers also love to see other critical assets in a potential employee. Some other classes to look into taking include management and supervision, and business administration. The key to advancement in this field is more experience and versatility.