This college rankings article focuses on online degrees in computer networking and related topics, at the bachelor’s level. All the bachelor’s degrees referenced here collectively prepare undergraduate students for professional certification exams for a wide range of networking brands and platforms: Cisco, CompTIA, Microsoft, Linux, Oracle, Amazon and several others. This information is provided in each college ranking entry when available. (Note: All trademarks mentioned here are the property of their respective owners.) Be sure to also check our earlier affordability ranking of bachelors-level computer networking degrees, if you are seeking a mix of on-campus and online programs.
Careers in Computer Networking
The list below shows some of the jobs and organizations/ industries where career opportunities lie, for graduates of bachelors degrees in networking and closely-related topics. The information is compiled from the Web pages of the 20 colleges ranked in this article.
- colleges/ universities
- communications firms
- computer and information systems manager
- computer network architect
- computer network support specialist
- computer programmer
- computer security specialist
- computer support specialist
- computer systems administrator
- computer systems analyst
- corporate security manager
- cyber security specialist
- data communications analyst
- database administrator
- disaster recovery analyst
- educational institutions
- government agencies
- healthcare facilities/ organizations
- help desk associate
- information security analyst
- information technology project manager
- information technology solutions provider
- information technology specialist
- insurance companies
- IT director
- LAN administrator
- manufacturing firms
- network administrator
- network administrator manager
- network analyst
- network and communications manager
- network and computer system administrator
- network and telecommunications manager
- network application developer
- network applications manager
- network applications supervisor
- network architect
- network engineer
- network implementation specialist
- network maintenance specialist
- network manager
- network security administrator
- network security analyst
- network security engineer
- network security specialist
- network specialist
- network system analyst
- network systems administrator
- network systems analyst
- network systems engineer
- nonprofit organizations
- penetration tester
- research facilities
- security firms
- security system manager
- start-up companies
- system administrator
- system specialist
- systems administrator
- systems analyst
- systems engineer
- technical consultant
- technical support specialist
- technology companies
- test engineer
Rankings: Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Computer Networking
Robert Frost Hall, Southern New Hampshire University (source)
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution established in 1932 and located in Manchester, New Hampshire, about 53 miles roughly north-northwest of Boston, MA. Original name: New Hampshire School of Accounting and Secretarial Science.
SNHU has one online Computer Networking degree — its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Information Technologies with a Concentration in Network and Telecommunications. This BS requires at least 120 credits, with about 69 for the major and concentration courses. This degree prepares students for CompTIA, Oracle, and TestOut certification exams — conversely, students who already have certifications from these providers can potentially receive credit toward the BS. This program will provide students with experience and knowledge in business principles and digital business, cyber security, internet and intranet systems, LANs and WANs, Linux and Unix operating systems, and network segments. This will prepare them for careers focused on improving the networks and IT systems of businesses, corporations, government agencies, or nonprofit organizations.
Sample courses: Advanced Information Systems Design; Advanced Information Systems Implementation; Cybersecurity and Information Assurance; Information Technology Communications; Information Technology Portfolio Planning; IT Service Management; Introduction to Unix/ Linux Operating System; Network and Telecommunications Management; Network Security; Network Planning and Maintenance
Argosy University (source)
Argosy University is a private, for-profit university established in 2001 and headquartered in Orange, California. Its Online Division is based out of the campus in Phoenix, Arizona. However, online programs are offered through all campuses. See Web site or contact school for program availability.
Argosy offers one online Computer Networking degree — its Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT) with a Concentration in Computer and Network Security (CNS). The BSIT requires a minimum of 120 credit hours, with 48 for the IT core, 15 for concentration requirements, and 12 for IT electives. This program is broadly based and helps students develop general skills in cloud computing, database operations, mobile computing, network and system administration, operating systems, and virtualization, as well as specialized skills in computer and network security. Students who have completed the BSIT with the CNS concentration will be able to obtain entry-level careers “working with computers, networks, and emerging technologies,” which can include designing and implementing computer networks and/ or pursuing careers as security analysts or security managers.
Sample courses: Application Security; Cloud Computing; Computer Penetration Security; Digital Forensics; Information Technology Capstone; Mobile Computing; Networking Fundamentals; Switches and Routers; Virtualization; Wireless Networks
Historic River Walk in San Antonio, Texas (source)
Career Point College (CPC) is a private, for-profit college that was established in 1921. CPC currently has four campuses, including its main campus and nearby satellite campus in San Antonio, Texas, some 200 miles west and slightly south of Houston, TX. Original name: Dickinson Business School.
CPC offers one online Computer Networking degree: its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Information Technology (IT) — Network Administration. This BS is a degree completion program that requires at least 190 quarter credit-hours in total, with a minimum of 94 from an associate’s degree and 96 for the BS portion of study (incl. 44 for network administration and network security courses). To qualify for admission to the BS, students must have completed a suitable associate’s degree, including CPC’s own Academic Associate of Science (AAS) in Network Support Specialist. This BS prepares students for IT and network administration and management roles: assessing an organization’s computer/ IT needs; managing and planning IT upgrades; overseeing and maintaining information system security; and supervising other IT personnel. The program provides students with a foundation in Windows servers, but prepares them for three CompTIA certifications.
Sample courses: Advanced Topics in Networking; A+; Business Continuity; Configuring and Troubleshooting a Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Domain Setup; Configuring and Troubleshooting a Windows 2008 Network Infrastructure; Configuring, Managing, and Maintaining Windows Server 2008 Servers; Data Privacy and Security; Implementing and Supporting Windows XP; Network+; Security+; Wireless LAN Administration
American Business and Technology University (source)
American Business and Technology University (ABTU) is a private, for-profit, online university that was established in 2001. ABTU is based in St Joseph, Missouri, about 55 miles north and somewhat west of Kansas City, MO, and around 135 miles southeast of Omaha, Nebraska.
ABTU has one online Computer Networking related degree: its Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Information Systems Engineering — Networking and Security. This 2+2 degree completion program requires a minimum of 120 semester credit-hours, with 60 from an associate’s degree and 60 for the BAS course of study (incl. 45 for upper-division core courses). To gain admission, students must have already completed an associate’s degree in a similar field of study, preferably ABTU’s Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Network Administration and Information Security. With the BAS, students will be able to not only design, implement, maintain, and secure a LAN, MAN, WAN, or WLAN to meet a company’s needs, but they’ll also be able to ensure a disaster recovery plan to allow for continued operations should there be a security concern. Students with this BAS will be prepared for three CompTIA certifications (as well as Linux+ and CCNA).
Sample courses: Database Security; Disaster Recovery; IT Networking; IT Security; Network Defense; Operating Systems; Systems Analysis and Design I and II; Systems Architecture; Telecommunications; Wireless Networking
DeVry University, Columbus, Ohio, campus (source)
DeVry University is a private, for-profit university established in 1931. The headquarters of its parent company (DeVry Education Group) is in Downers Grove, Illinois. While several DeVry campuses offer affordable online Computer Networking degrees, the Columbus, Ohio, campus of DeVry University is the most cost-effective by net price. The Columbus campus is around 110 miles northeast of Cincinnati, OH, and about 145 miles southwest of Cleveland, OH. Original name: DeForest Training School.
DeVry has one online Computer Networking Bachelor’s degree — its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Network and Communications Management. This BS requires 124 credit-hours, with 50 for the major: 31 for Network Operating Systems and Technologies courses, 4 for a senior project, and 15 for the choice of one of two tracks: Cisco Networking Fundamentals or Networking Fundamentals. The Cisco track prepares students for the CCNA and CCENT exams — and students can take DeVry’s certification prep course for free and also possibly be reimbursed for completing the CCNA exam. The BS helps students develop the ability to assess the communication, entertainment, and information needs of an organization and then develop, integrate, and manage a secure solution that utilizes current and next-generation network components and technologies.
Sample courses: Advanced Topics in Networking; Cisco Networking Academy – Advanced Network Security with Lab; Converged Networks with Lab; Enterprise Network Design with Lab; Enterprise Network Management with Lab; Introduction to WAN Technologies with Lab; Network Operating Systems – UNIX, with Lab; Network Operating Systems – Windows, with Lab; Senior Project with Lab; Wireless Technologies and Services with Lab
City Hall, Colorado Springs, Colorado (source)
Colorado Technical University (CTU) is a private, for-profit university established in 1965 and located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, about 70 miles roughly south of Denver. It was originally established as Colorado Technical College. Online programs are typically offered through the online division, CTU Online. Please see their Web site or contact CTU for program availability for various campuses.
CTU has one online Computer Networking program — its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Information Technology (IT) with a Specialization in Network Management. This BS requires 184 credit-hours, with 54 for core courses and 64 for the specialization. The curriculum for this program is designed to CompTIA standards and prepares students for the Network+ certification exam. This means students will be able to configure, install, maintain, manage, and troubleshoot a basic network infrastructure. While the program is designed to be completed in the traditional four years, CTU’s Fast Track option allows students to accelerate their program timeline by testing existing knowledge and experience. For this BS, that means students can save up to 17% on their tuition costs and timeline.
Sample courses: Computer Networks and Communications; Disaster Recovery; Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Network Infrastructure; IT Capstone I and II; IT Support Systems; Introduction to Cloud Computing; Network Infrastructure Administration; Network Infrastructure Design; Principles of Network Security; UNIX Systems Programming
14: ECPI University
ECPI University (source)
ECPI (East Coast Polytechnic Institute) University is a private, for-profit, university established in 1966. ECPI’s main campus is in Virginia Beach, Virginia, about seven miles east of Norfolk, VA, and around 95 miles southeast of Richmond, VA. Online program availability differs by campus. Check the Web site or contact the school for details.
ECPI’s online Computer Networking-Related degree is its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer and Information Science (CIS) with a Concentration in Cyber and Network Security. This BS requires 121 semester credit hours, with 24 for the core CIS curriculum and 24 for the cyber and network security concentration. Students will learn how to build and maintain networks utilizing Cisco, Windows, and UNIX products, and how to create and implement security plans to protect those networks. The program will prepare students for a range of certifications, including Cisco, CompTIA, Microsoft, and/ or Oracle. (Certification exams can be taken at reduced costs by using the vouchers ECPI provides.) ECPI’s 5-week class schedules and year-round offerings allow students to complete this degree in as little as 2.5 years.
Sample courses: Ethical Hacking; Intermediate Routing and Switching; Introduction to Routing and Switching; Networking I and II; Network Security Capstone; Network Scripting; Principles of Cybersecurity; Security Systems Administration; UNIX Administration; Windows Client and Server
American National University (source)
American National University (ANU) is a private, for-profit, multi-campus university that was established in 1886 (some campuses are currently still known as National College). ANU’s flagship campus is located in Salem Virginia, just 5 miles northwest of Roanoke, VA, and about 170 miles west and slightly south of Richmond, VA.
ANU offers one online Computer Networking degree — its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Network Administration. This BS is a degree completion program that requires 180 credit hours in total, with 104 for the program core. To qualify for admission, students must have a suitable associate’s degree, ideally ANU’s own Associate’s degree in Network Support, with a minimum 2.5 GPA. The program is primarily designed around administering and designing networks (from LANs to WANs) based on Microsoft Windows Server 2012, but it will provide students with the foundation to pursue Cisco, CompTIA, and/ or Microsoft certifications. Students will also gain knowledge in such topics as advanced server configuration, cloud technologies, Linux server administration, network security, virtualization, and wireless networks.
Sample courses: Cisco I and II; Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure; Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure; Linux Operations; Network I and II; Network Server Advanced Services; Network Server Core Services; Network Server Installation and Configuration; Project Management for Information Technology Professionals; Windows Server Administration
Aerial view of Hodges University, Naples campus (source)
Hodges University is a private, nonprofit university that was established in 1990. Hodges’ main/ original campus is in Naples, Florida, some 130 miles northwest of Miami, FL, and about 155 miles southeast of Tampa, FL. Original name: International College.
Hodges’ online Computer Networking-related degree is its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Information Technology (CIT) with a Networking Track (which builds on Hodges’ Associate of Science/ AS in CIT). The BS-CIT requires 120 semester hours in total, with 22 for the CIT core, 12 for the advanced CIT core, 8 for the networking track, and 24 for the CIT selected studies area (which can include additional advanced networking courses). This broadly based program combines liberal arts and business with a diversity of technology courses. (Note: Hodges also used to offer an online BS in Computer Networking, but that will now be a concentration under this BS-CIT. Check with the university for updated details.) To maximize affordability, Hodges has its UPower self-paced learning option: students can receive maximum credit for prior learning/ experience and take as many courses as they’d like over each six (6) month term for a flat fee.
Sample courses: Advanced System and Security Administration; Fundamentals of IP Networking; Fundamentals of System and Network Security; Internetwork Routing and Switching; Linux System and Security Administration; Local Area Network Routing and Switching; Network Operating Environments; Project Management; System and Security Administration; Systems Analysis and Solutions Architecture (Capstone)
Rasmussen College-Minnesota (source)
Rasmussen College (RC) is a private, for-profit college established in 1900, and based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, some 66 miles northwest of Minneapolis, MN. RC is also one of a small handful of private institutions which are categorized as PBCs (Private Benefit Corporations). Distance degrees are offered through the online division, though the main campus in St. Cloud is ranked here. Check the Web site or contact Rasmussen for availability of online degrees through other campuses. Original name: Rasmussen Practical School of Business.
RC offers two specializations related to networks: Network Administration and Network Security. Either of these can be taken with the blended (online and in-person) degrees Bachelor’s in IT Management (BS-ITM) or Bachelor’s in Information Security (BS-IS). Industry certifications that can be earned with either degree are: CompTIA – Network+; Cisco – CCENT. The BS ITM requires 18 credits, with 66cr of that going towards Upper Level and Core courses. The BS-IS requires 182 credits, with 67cr for Upper Level and Core courses. Both programs may require students to complete specific Foundation Courses. Typical program timelines are 18 months for either BS degree, provided students hold a suitable Associate’s degree (21 months). Both BS degrees have RC’s Flex-Choice option for fast-tracking the programs and saving on costs. Note: both Network specializations are available to Associate’s degree students as well. Contact school for details.
Sample courses: Cisco Network Routing and Switching; Fundamentals of Ethical Hacking; Linux Administration; Managing Information Security; Mobile and Mac OS Security; SQL Server Administration; Windows Active Directory; Windows Scripting
Birmingham, AL, skyline (source)
Virginia College-Birmingham (VC) is the main campus within a group of 20+ campuses, including an Online division, that make up Virginia College, established in 1992 (with roots to 1983). It is located in Birmingham, Alabama, some 85 miles northwest of Montgomery, AL, and about 145 miles west and somewhat south of Atlanta, Georgia.
VC offers one online Computer Networking program — its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Network Management. This BS requires 180 credit-hours, with 56 for required lower-level area of concentration courses and another 60 for lower and upper-level area of concentration electives in computer networking, network management, or network security. These electives allow students to customize their studies to suit personal interests or market requirements. Overall, this BS provides students with knowledge and experience in Cisco, Linux, and Microsoft solutions, preparing them for positions in computer service, network administration, network engineering, network management, or network security for a variety of organizational types.
Sample courses: Cisco Network Associate; Cisco Network Security Management; Linux Professional Plus; Linux Operating System Essentials; Microsoft Network Engineering; Microsoft Windows Server Infrastructure; Network and TCP/ IP Fundamentals; Network Security Specialist; Operating System Diagnostics; Unix System Administration
Capella University and parent company headquarters (source)
Capella University is a private, for-profit institution established in 1993 and based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Original name: The Graduate School of America.
Capella has two online Computer Networking degrees. The Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT) can be taken with one of two integrated minors: a Minor in Network Technology: Cisco or a Minor in Network Technology: Microsoft. The BSIT requires 180 quarter credits, with 54 for core IT courses, 6 for a capstone course, and 24 for 8 senior courses in the chosen minor. Students will be able to configure, design, plan, and troubleshoot Cisco or Microsoft networks that range in size from small, local ones, to integrated, enterprise-wide set-ups. Depending on the integrated minor chosen, students will be prepared for a variety of Cisco, CompTIA, or Microsoft certifications — and Capella provides vouchers to allow students to take the exams for free.
Sample courses: Advanced Linux Operating Systems; Advanced Network Infrastructures Administration; Enterprise Administration; Enterprise Server Infrastructure 1 and 2; Information Security Concepts for the Information Technology Professional; Internetwork Analysis and Design; Internetwork System Assurance and Security; Network Architecture; Systems Administration; Web Systems and Technologies
The University of Phoenix (UOPX) is a private, for-profit university system established in 1976 and based in Phoenix, Arizona. It has over 100 locations in the U.S., including its main campus in Tempe, AZ, about 10 miles southeast of Phoenix. Several other UOPX campuses also offer cost-effective online Computer Networking programs, but the main campus has the lowest net price.
UOPX offers one online Computer Networking degree — its Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT) with an Advanced Networking (AN) Certificate. The BSIT requires 120 credits, with 51 for the major and at least 18 for the certificate. With the BSIT/ AN, students will learn how to configure, install, plan, support, and test a network. By combining the AN certificate with the BSIT, students can gain networking expertise sooner, allowing them to begin working in the industry even before graduating with their degree. The BSIT-AN also allows students to earn up to two certifications (Amazon, Cisco, CompTIA, or Microsoft) within the program structure and tuition (no additional time or cost).
Sample courses: Administering Windows Server; Cloud Technologies; Data Center Virtualization Design; Fundamentals of Networking; Global Network Architecture and Design; Intro to Information Assurance and Security; Network Web Services; Network Design Associate; UNIX Networking; Windows Server Configuration
Dakota State University arch (source)
Dakota State University (DSU) is a public university that was established in 1881 as a normal school (teacher education). DSU is located in Madison, South Dakota, about 50 miles northwest of Sioux Falls, SD, and some 240 miles southwest of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
DSU has one online Computer Networking degree — its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Network and Security Administration. The BS requires a minimum of 120 credits, with 68 for the major. This degree provides students with a solid understanding of computer networking theory, as well as detailed knowledge of Microsoft Windows-based networks and UNIX/ Linux network operating systems. Students will also learn about business and how to communicate effectively, allowing them to be able to successfully manage, secure, and support the IT infrastructure of any business today. (DSU also has a 20-credit Minor in Networking Security Administration that may be available for online study; check with the school for details). In regards to affordability, about 75% of DSU students receive financial aid (averaging over $10,000 per student in 2014-15). As to career value, the university has an overall 94% job placement rate for its programs.
Sample courses: Advanced Routing and Switching; Computer Forensics Fundamentals; Defensive Network Security; Internship; Networking I and II; Offensive Network Security; Scripting for Network Administration; Undergraduate Research/ Scholarship; UNIX/ Linux Administration; Windows Administration
American InterContinental University (Atlanta campus) (source)
American InterContinental University (AIU) is a private, for-profit university established in 1970 and based in Schaumburg, Illinois, about 30 miles roughly northwest of Chicago, IL. The original university was founded in Switzerland by Americans. There are several branch campuses, in the U.S. and abroad, plus the Online division.
AIU has one online Computer Networking degree — its Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT) with a Specialization in Network Administration. The BSIT requires 180 credits, with 37.5 for the lower-division core, 22.5 upper-division core, and 45-49.5 for the specialization. This degree combines key IT knowledge with a detailed study of network administration to provide students with the ability to analyze an organization’s communication and information needs, and then build and maintain computer networks to address those needs. This degree is designed to be completed in 36 months, but students can transfer in up to 75% of the required credits for the program, cutting that timeline to as little as 9 months (and saving a substantial amount of tuition in the process). Those transfer credits can come from prior study or credits earned for military, work, or other experiences. (About half of AIU students receive credit for prior experience/ studies.)
Sample courses: Advanced Routing and Switching; Data Structures and Implementation; Enterprise Networking; Network Infrastructure Basics; Network Security Management; Program Capstone for IT; Routing and Switching; Special Topics in Network Administration; Specialized Network Administration; System Architecture and Integration
Taylor Library, Rogers State University (source)
Rogers State University (RSU) is a public university that was established in 1909 (then closed in 1917 and restarted in 1919). RSU’s main campus is in Claremore, Oklahoma, some 30 miles northeast of Tulsa, OK, and about 135 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, OK. Original name: Eastern University Preparatory School (1909); Oklahoma Military Academy (1919).
RSU offers one online Computer Networking-related degree — its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Information Technology with an Option in Computer Network Administration (CNA). This BS requires 124 credit-hours, with 32 for the computer science and IT program core, 24 for business support courses, and 15 for the CNA option. This degree combines business, computer science, IT, and network knowledge to ensure students develop effective communication skills; an understanding of business needs; and a strong foundation in configuring network components and network operating systems, ensuring network security, and understanding emerging technologies. RSU has a strong commitment to helping students fund their education. For low-income freshman receiving funds from OKPromise, RSU’s Hillcat Promise provides additional supplementary aid for fees and expenses.
Sample courses: Advanced TCP/ IP Administration; Computer Architecture; Emerging Technologies; Information Assurance and Security Management; Information Assurance Regulations and Ethics; Network Operating Systems I and II; Network Routing; Network Security; Practicum and Capstone
The University of Maryland-University College (UMUC) is a public university established in 1947 as the College of Special and Continuation Studies. UMUC is part of the University System of Maryland and has multiple locations, including its headquarters in Adelphi, Maryland, which is about 10 miles northeast of Washington, DC, and some 30 miles southwest of Baltimore, MD.
UMUC has one online Computer Networking degree — its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Networks and Security. This BS requires 120 credits, with 30 for the major, including a 12-credit focus area in one of four options: Cisco, Digital Forensics, Microsoft, or Network Security. The degree provides students with the knowledge and skills to be able to administer, design, implement, secure, and troubleshoot networks for a variety of businesses. Depending on the focus option chosen, students will be prepared of a variety of certification exams, including Cisco, CompTIA, computer examiner, ethical hacking, or Microsoft. UMUC has achieved designation from the NSA (National Security Agency) and DHS (Department of Homeland Security) as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense Education.
Sample courses: Advanced Information Systems Security; Configuring Advanced Windows Server Services; Current Trends and Projects in Computer Networks and Security; Designing Cisco Networks; Fundamentals of Computer Troubleshooting; Fundamentals of Networking; Installing and Configuring Windows Server; Interconnecting Cisco Devices; Linux System Administration; Network Forensics
Bellevue University (source)
Bellevue University has the third most inexpensive online Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Networking in the United States. Bellevue is a private, non-profit university that was established in 1966 as Bellevue College. Its main campus is in Bellevue, Nebraska, some 10 miles southeast of Omaha, NE, and about 140 miles southwest of Des Moines, Iowa.
Bellevue has four online Computer Networking degrees. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Systems and Network Administration Program (SNAP) is an accelerated cohort, degree completion program that requires 127 credits in total, with 36 for the major. Students must have an associate’s degree or 60 credits for admission. The program suits those who are already working in the industry but want to advance their careers, including obtaining Cisco and Linux certifications. Bellevue’s 127-credit BS in Information Technology is strongly focused on networks and servers and allows for Cisco, CompTIA, and Microsoft certifications. Finally, Bellevue also has a 127-credit BS and 124-credit BAS (Bachelor of Applied Science) in Computer Information Systems with an Emphasis in Networking that allows for Cisco and CompTIA certifications.
Sample courses: Administration of Messaging Systems; Advanced Web Server Administration; Cisco Networking; Linux 1 and 2; Implementing and Maintaining Active Directory Structures; Implementing and Managing Network Infrastructures; Information Security; Management and Design of Database Systems; Operating Systems Administration; Virtualization of Computing Resources
Western Governors University Administration Building (source)
Second on our list of the lowest-cost online Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Networking is an offering from Western Governors University (WGU). This private, nonprofit university was established in 1997 and is based in Salt Lake City, Utah. WGU gets its name from the fact that it was founded by 19 governors of Western U.S. states. All of its programs can be taken online.
WGU’s online Computer Networking-related degree is its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Information Technology (IT) – Network Administration. This BS requires 123 competency units (equivalent to credit hours), with about 77 to 81 for IT and network administration courses. The program is primarily intended for two types of students: (1) those who are already network administrators but need certifications and a bachelor’s degree to advance their careers; or (2) transfer or adult students who have some post-secondary and/ or work experience and want to start or transition into a computer networking career. This degree not only prepares students for several IT certifications (incl. MCSA: Windows Server 2012), but the costs of these certifications are actually included in WGU’s tuition. Conversely, those students who already have certain IT certifications can get credit for them and also save time and cost.
Sample courses: Business of IT – Project Management; Data Management – Applications; IT Capstone Written Project; Network and Security – Applications; Network and Security – Foundations; Network Policies and Services Management; Network Reliability and Fault Tolerance; Operating Systems I and II; Scripting and Programming – Applications; Server Administration
Aerial view of Ellsworth AFB (source)
National American University-Ellsworth AFB Extension (NAU-AFB, est. 1974) offers the most affordable online Bachelor’s degree in Computer Networking in the U.S. NAU-AFB is a campus of National American University, a private, for-profit university established in 1941 in Rapid City, South Dakota. This campus is located in Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, some 10 miles northeast of Rapid City, and about 395 miles northeast of Denver, Colorado. (Several other NAU campuses also offer economical online Computer Networking Bachelor’s degrees; check the NAU website for program availability at locations in your state of residence).
NAU-AFB’s online Computer Networking degree is its Bachelor of Science (BS) in Information Technology (IT) with an Emphasis in Network Management, Microsoft. This BS requires 180 credits, with 51 for the IT major and 31.5 for the Network Management/ Microsoft Emphasis. It provides an in-depth understanding of network design and operation and prepares students for careers that include managing computer networks or providing technical support for networks, as well as getting them ready for key Microsoft certification exams. To help with affordability and allow students to graduate sooner, NAU-AFB provides options to gain credit for: prior education; experience (life, military, work); and training.
Sample courses: Administering Windows Server 2012; Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services; Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure; Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure; Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012; Integrative Systems Project; Introduction to Computer Security; Risk Assessment and Analysis; Systems Analysis and Design; Windows Operating Systems and Server Administration Fundamentals
- In terms of topic categories searched in the NCES.ed.gov database, we queried for programs in three categories: (1) System, Networking, and LAN/WAN Management/Manager; (2) Network and System Administration/Administrator; (3) Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications. However, interdisciplinary programs might be mentioned in a school’s ranking, if available.
- For online degree rankings, if a college does not report graduation rate, it is shown as 0% for that institution, for the purposes of charting and statistical summaries.
- A college’s tuition for online programs may differ than that quoted for the on-campus program. This could be due to either or both of technology fees and out-of-state-portion waivers. Check with a college if you’re unsure. We have listed the tuition and net price values recorded in the NCES.ed.gov database.
- As accreditation can change or only be valid regionally, please verify accreditation of any college to which you are planning to apply.
- NCES data is subject to change and some of these “affordable degrees” guides may use more recent data than described in the Methodology.
- For the full list of programs covered to date, please check our School Rankings page.
- Online programs are strongly self-directed and recommended only for students who are self-driven when it comes to studying and researching.
- Some online program selection tips:
- Spend the time to carefully read the degree requirements.
- Browse the course curriculum and make notes of the courses that interest you most.
- Consider creating a spreadsheet to compare summaries of course/ programs across the schools referenced here. If you are looking for a minimum set of courses, make a list of those courses, one per column. Then list ranked schools vertically in the spreadsheet, one per row. Color code or make an annotation for each course offered by a given school.
- Add other columns to record information about tuition, net price, #credits/ courses required, etc., and color code their cells as suitable.
- This visual approach to online program selection can be quite effective compared to staring at bare numbers.
- The methodology for this series on online bachelor’s degrees is essentially the same as for our 15-school college rankings list. For example, see the “Methodology” section of the ranking list article 15 of the Most Affordable Bachelor’s Degrees in Marketing for an explanation of the process we use to rank colleges in each topical bachelor’s list.