By earning an online Bachelor’s in Computer Networking, students gain the knowledge and skills they need to manage computer systems and networks across a broad spectrum of industries. While students develop their abilities in terms of network administration, they also gain specific knowledge regarding computers that allow them to seek a number of opportunities in many fields. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer and information technology occupations is expected to grow 13 percent between 2016 and 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.
To ensure students are getting as much out of their undergraduate degree in computer networking as they can, some might consider supplementing their education with classes in design, security, and programming. These courses provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to easily transition into other computer-related roles such as information security, information systems management, and computer programming. Within the field of network administration, professionals may also seek certifications from certain vendors in order to gain a competitive edge in the job market. In addition to improving students’ abilities and skills, voluntary certifications may lead to more job opportunities and responsibilities and, ultimately, higher salaries. To learn more about online bachelor’s degrees in computer networking and to find the most affordable programs in this field, check out our list below.
Regardless of whether you wish to enter the field for the first time or you are looking to advance in your current role, there are hundreds of online computer networking degrees to choose from. When making your decision, however, keep in mind certain critical factors such as the school’s student-to-faculty ratios and tuition rates as well as the quality and offerings of the program itself. We know the process of narrowing down potential schools can be time-consuming and confusing, which is why we conducted a search for the term “online Bachelor’s in Computer Networking degree” using the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator tool. We then narrowed down the initial search results of 50 colleges and universities into the top 20 based on the following methodology. We also cross-referenced our data with information on each school’s website to ensure our list and program requirements were as accurate as possible.
Average Cost of Attendance
Before you begin to dig into the specifics of each online computer networking program, you might find yourself looking for tuition information and rates first. Although there is nothing wrong with this as tuition rates are one of the most important things to think about when selecting a program and school, keep in mind that cost is not indicative of quality, and you should also consider whether the schools in which you are interested offer concentrations, specializations, internships, or other must-haves for your undergraduate experience. For the purpose of the following list, we ranked tuition based on the cost of one year of study for in-state students with a 15-hour course load each semester. We also provided out-of-state tuition rates for your reference only.
Under $7,500: 3 points
$7,500 to $15,000: 2 points
$15,001 and above: 1 point
When considering the size of a school, we look at student-to-faculty ratios. As you begin to narrow down potential colleges and universities, size plays a critical role in your academic experience. Consider your personal preferences in terms of accountability, intimate relationships and experiences, level of individual attention, and the availability of athletics, job fairs, and student-run organizations and clubs. Although there are many pros to attending a large state university, smaller private colleges are more likely to enroll fewer students and, as a result, offer smaller classes and more opportunities for individualized learning. For this reason, we awarded the maximum number of points to schools with student-to-faculty ratios of 10 or fewer students to every one faculty member.
10:1 or less: 3 points
11:1 to 15:1: 2 points
Greater than 15:1: 1 point
Ranking Top 20 Undergraduate Degree Programs in Computer Networking
20. California Baptist University
The low-cost online BS in Network Administration and Management at California Baptist University is comprised of 48 units within the major that can be completed within 16 months. The online curriculum is designed to help students develop the necessary IT skills to successfully manage and administer enterprise-level computer networks in large-, medium-, and small-scale organizations. Specific areas of study include leadership theory, ethics, computer programming, operating systems, wireless networks, Voice-Over-IP, network security, network engineering, and both advanced and business computer networks. Graduates are prepared for careers as information technology project managers, information technology managers, web developers, solutions architects, systems administrators, and network engineers.
Bachelor of Science in Network Administration and Management
In-State Tuition: $17,670
Out-of-State Tuition: $17,670
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
19. Southern Nazarene University
Southern Nazarene University’s inexpensive online network management degree completion program is designed for working adults with some college credit who are looking to earn a bachelor’s degree in this ever-changing field. Available completely online, this cheap bachelor’s degree program is comprised of coursework taught by fully-certified professors and delivered in small groups to enable in-depth, quick learning. Areas of study include network security, professional and personal values and ethics, Windows networking, routers and switches, organizational behavior, professional and personal development, and biblical perspectives in Western culture. Graduates are prepared with the problem-solving skills, analytical talent, and technical expertise they need to become qualified, accountable managers.
In-State Tuition: $18,000
Out-of-State Tuition: $18,000
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
18. Bellevue University
The affordable online BS in Systems and Network Administration at Bellevue University prepares students for multiple certification exams as well as careers as network administrators. The online curriculum focuses on the installation and administration of file, messaging, and database servers as well as the installation and administration of server, client, and standalone operating systems. Students also learn how to design, manage install, and upgrade network infrastructures and computer systems. This cheap online degree program is comprised of 36 credit hours within the major, 55 elective credits, and 36 general education credits for a total of 127 credits of study.
Bachelor of Science in Systems and Network Administration
In-State Tuition: $12,750
Out-of-State Tuition: $12,750
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 31:1
17. Kent State University
Kent State University’s low-cost BS in Information Technology prepares students for a number of careers, including database administrator, project manager, LAN manager, help desk manager, technical support specialist, and network technician. Students may choose from six concentrations, including a networking concentration that focuses on maintaining and configuring local area networks in different network operating systems. The curriculum emphasizes cloud technology, computer assembly and configuration, maintenance, installation, troubleshooting, desktops, and entry-level network administration such as network services and managing active directories. The 120-credit-hour cheap online degree program is comprised of 18 to 19 credits in the concentration, major requirements, and general education coursework.
Information Technology – B.S.I.T.
In-State Tuition: $10,756
Out-of-State Tuition: $19,458
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
16. Dakota State University
Madison, South Dakota
The affordable online BS in Network and Security Administration at Dakota State University exposes students to the basics, including forensics, virtualization, cybersecurity, business management, and networking. In addition to completing general education coursework, students take classes in database management systems, routing and switching, network administration, Windows administration, networking, and defensive network security. Classes are kept small, and students benefit from various clubs and activities such as Gaming Club, Computer Club, LAN parties, programming contests, and research opportunities. This cheap bachelor’s degree program is offered completely online, and graduates are prepared for careers as network systems engineers and systems administrators.
Network and Security Administration (BS)
In-State Tuition: $10,537
Out-of-State Tuition: $10,537
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
15. Colorado State University-Global
Greenwood Village, Colorado
The inexpensive online BS in Information Technology at Colorado State University-Global is designed to prepare students for careers in information technology as well as for professional certification examinations. The online curriculum is comprised of 120 credits organized into the following areas: 31 credits in general education classes, 30 credits in core degree classes, 38 credits in elective courses, and 15 credits within a degree specialization. Areas of study include database management, information systems and security, computer-based systems, networking, and network enterprise solutions. Students may choose from concentrations in virtualization and cloud computing, cybersecurity, or computer programming to further focus the program on their professional goals. An information technology practicum experience is required for graduation.
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology
In-State Tuition: $10,500
Out-of-State Tuition: $10,500
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 31:1
14. University of Maryland University College
The affordable online BS in Computer Networks and Cybersecurity at the University of Maryland University College teaches students the operational procedures and technologies to troubleshoot, secure, administer, implement, and design corporate networks. The online curriculum is designed to combine hands-on training in state-of-the-art computer technology with the benefits of a traditional college experience. Students complete 33 credits of coursework in the major in areas such as Linux system administration, ethical hacking, network security, networking, computer troubleshooting, and current projects and trends in cybersecurity and computer networks. Students may also choose from one of four groups of classes with a focus on digital forensics, network security, Cisco, or Microsoft, or they may mix and match based on their individual interests and goals. Graduates are prepared for careers in network security, systems administration, or network management.
Bachelor of Science in Computer Networks and Cybersecurity
In-State Tuition: $8,820
Out-of-State Tuition: $8,820
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
13. Western Governors University
Salt Lake City, Utah
Western Governors University confers a cheap online BS in Cloud and Systems Administration not only helps students to develop their core information technology skills, but it also focuses on server administration, emerging technologies, scripting, networking, security, and cloud technologies. This affordable online degree program also incorporates certifications with no additional cost or time, including several CompTIA certifications and the Amazon AWS SysOps Administration Associate certification. The program is individually paced, meaning that students can set their own speed of progress without waiting for a new semester to start or for their peers to catch up. Graduates are prepared for careers as computer systems analysts, computer network architects, computer and information systems managers, and cloud services administrators.
Bachelor of Science in Cloud and Systems Administration
In-State Tuition: $6,450
Out-of-State Tuition: $6,450
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: N/A
12. Point University
West Point, Georgia
The low-cost online BS in Information Technology in Network Administration at Point University offers students a broad foundation in network administration, project and data management, and web development. The cheap 120-credit-hour online degree program can be completed in four years, and it is designed to equip students with the abilities and knowledge they need to manage web servers, write scripts, and understand organizations’ technology needs. The online curriculum is taught by faculty with real-world experience and prepares students for seven professional certifications administered by Microsoft and by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). Graduates develop a working knowledge of security, troubleshooting, information technology support, operating systems, networks, and computer devices and systems.
Online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology in Network Administration
In-State Tuition: $11,850
Out-of-State Tuition: $11,850
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
11. Southern New Hampshire University
Manchester, New Hampshire
The inexpensive online BS in Information Technologies with a concentration in network and telecommunications at Southern New Hampshire University allows students to participate in interactive, practical coursework in which they gain the technical and analytical skills they need to grow and maintain the interaction between communications and computer systems. The online curriculum is comprised of a variety of computer networking essentials such as managing network segments, WANs, LANs, and intranet and Internet systems as well as digital business, cybersecurity, and Linux and Unix operating systems. The cheap online degree program consists of 120 hours of coursework in both general education and degree-specific components, and graduates are prepared for careers as network and computer systems administrators.
Bachelor of Science in Information Technologies With a Concentration in Network and Telecommunications
In-State Tuition: $9,600
Out-of-State Tuition: $9,600
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
10. Champlain College
Champlain College’s affordable online BS in Computer and Information Systems program is designed for working adults and helps them develop the strong collaboration, communication, and interpersonal skills employees are seeking in CIS professionals. This cheap bachelor’s degree program is available completely online, and most courses are delivered in a convenient, accelerated seven-week format. Students complete general education courses, professional courses, and CIS courses, and students may earn a certificate in a number of areas of specialization within CIS, including web programming, web design and development, Visual C++, system administration, software development, PHP programming, Linux administration, Java programming, computer networking, computer forensics, and C++ programming.
BS in Computer & Information Systems (CIS)
In-State Tuition: $9,540
Out-of-State Tuition: $9,540
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
9. King University
King University’s inexpensive online BS in Information Technology is comprised of 48 semester hours within the major and designed for professionals looking to pursue IT-related management and administrative careers. Students may earn their degree within 16 months, and they have the opportunity to choose from tracks in information systems, cybersecurity, and network management. In addition to completing online coursework, students are also required to create a portfolio for future employers that focuses on critical managerial topics such as IT plan development, technology research methods, policy consultation, problem-solving, and project management. A total of 124 semester hours are required to graduate from this cheap online degree program.
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
In-State Tuition: $9,150
Out-of-State Tuition: $9,150
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
8. Rogers State University
The low-cost online BS in Business Information Technology at Rogers State University is designed to prepare future information technology specialists who have the skills and knowledge to anticipate business needs and communicate effectively. Students may choose from three options: game development, software development and multimedia, and computer network administration. Specifically, the networking concentration includes the study of emerging technologies, information assurance regulations and ethics, network routing and the configuration of network components, network security, and network operating systems. The cheap 124-credit-hour degree program is available completely online, and graduates are prepared for careers as network specialists, system specialists, and system network administrators.
B.S. in Business Information Technology
In-State Tuition: $7,330
Out-of-State Tuition: $16,090
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
7. Indian River State College
Fort Pierce, Florida
Indian River State College confers an inexpensive online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology Management and Cyber Security designed to prepare students with advanced skills for troubleshooting issues as well as managing people, data, and technology in small or large IT departments and operations. The 2+2 program is available completely online with at least one proctored assessment for each online class. Areas of study include management information systems, security essentials, database design and administration, information security, network technologies, web application development, network security and cryptography, and information security policy administration. A capstone in information technology management is also required for graduation.
Information Technology Management and Cyber Security B.S.
In-State Tuition: $7,026
Out-of-State Tuition: $16,081
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 23:1
6. Central Washington University
The College of Education and Professional Studies at Central Washington University offers an affordable online BS in Information Technology and Administrative Management with a specialization in network administration and management. Students following this pathway must complete 51 to 65 credits of core courses as well as 24 credits of classes within the specialization in areas such as network security, open source server management, computer network management, workstation administration, advanced computer network management, and wireless communications. Graduates are prepared for positions as data communication analysts, PC support specialists, and network specialists, analysts, managers, and technicians.
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and Administrative Management
In-State Tuition: $6,881
Out-of-State Tuition: $21,151
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19:1
5. Fort Hays State University
Fort Hays State University offers both an affordable Bachelor of Arts and a low-cost online Bachelor of Science in Information Networking and Telecommunications with a concentration in computer networking and telecommunications. These cheap 124-credit-hour online degree programs prepare students to sit for the CompTIA Security+ certification as well as for four Cisco Certified certifications: Network Professional (CCNP), Network Associate (CCNA), and Entry Networking Technician (CCENT). The B.S. is comprised of more free electives, while the B.A. requires students to complete 10 hours in a foreign language and fewer electives. Areas of study within the concentration include network architecture and data communications as well as internetworking. Graduates are prepared to work in regulatory, consulting, sales, managerial, support, design, and engineering positions.
Bachelor of Science in Information Networking and Telecommunications, Concentration: Computer Networking and Telecommunications
Bachelor of Arts in Information Networking and Telecommunications, Concentration: Computer Networking and Telecommunications
In-State Tuition: $6,560
Out-of-State Tuition: $6,560
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
4. Middle Georgia State University
The School of Information Technology at Middle Georgia State University confers a low-cost online BS in Information Technology that consists of several online and on-campus concentrations, including a 21-credit-hour concentration in networking technologies and administration. Students complete online coursework in network security, virtual computing, data communications, Linux systems administration, and Windows systems administration as well as two electives in areas such as wireless technologies, database administration, web server administration, hardware and systems software, or special topics in information technology. Students learn how to anticipate and analyze the needs of a company, communicate those needs to their clients, and then design, develop, and build networks and systems to meet those needs. Graduates are prepared for positions in systems administration or networking.
In-State Tuition: $4,492
Out-of-State Tuition: $4,492
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
3. North Carolina A&T State University
Greensboro, North Carolina
North Carolina A&T State University confers an online inexpensive BS in Information Technology that provides students with the opportunity to learn the foundations of cloud environments, mainframe/enterprise systems, storage, servers, and networks. The cheap online degree program’s primary focus is on mainframe education, mainly due to the high demand for talent in this niche area, the rarity of these programs in the U.S., and the department’s acquisition of an IBM System z9. In addition to completing core and required coursework in information technology, students may choose from specializations in computer networking, computer forensic investigator, IT consultant, cloud architect, high-performance computing, and mobile application development.
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
In-State Tuition: $3,750
Out-of-State Tuition: $17,130
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
2. Florida State College at Jacksonville
The affordable online Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications at Florida State College at Jacksonville equips students with the management and technical skills they need to become successful network professionals. The online curriculum is ideal for students interested in the areas of information security, network troubleshooting and configuring, network flow optimization, network control and management, and systems analysis and design. Students must complete 120 credits to graduate from this cheap online degree program, and FSCJ offers an accelerated pathway in which students may earn their degree in as few as 20 months. Graduates are prepared to work in computer systems networking and telecommunications as well as in specialized areas such as security and network virtualization.
Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications
In-State Tuition: $3,146
Out-of-State Tuition: $6,556
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 21:1
1. University of Maine-Augusta
The University of Maine-Augusta confers a low-cost BS in Computer Information Systems that is comprised of 31 credit hours of general education requirements, three hours of electives, and 87 hours of major requirements. Required areas of study include networking concepts, operating systems, programming fundamentals, web applications and development, organizational behavior, and database design. Students may choose to complete a straight BS in CIS degree, or they have the opportunity to pursue a concentration in data science, networking, information systems security, web development, or software development. The cheap online degree program culminates in an internship experience in which students maintain a reflective journal that identifies problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication skills the students have applied during their experience. A written report and presentation about the internship are also required.
Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems
In-State Tuition: $6,990
Out-of-State Tuition: $8,730
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Career Options for a Bachelor’s in Computer Networking Degree?
Students who earn a bachelor’s online in computer networking are prepared for many entry-level roles as well as managerial positions typically reserved for graduates who have received a postsecondary education. Four common careers for recipients of a computer networking bachelor’s degree include:
- Information Security Analysts: These professionals are responsible for monitoring their organization’s or company’s networks and computing systems. They may specialize in recognizing and reducing threats such as cybercriminal or hackers as well as other potential complications, including malfunctioning software or hardware, network outages, or computer viruses.
- Computer Systems Analysts: These professionals are responsible for creating networks and computing systems based on the capabilities and needs of specific organizations and companies. In order to design and build systems that are secure, cost-effective, efficient, and applicable, they must know how to assess each client’s day-to-day operations.
- Network Architects: These professionals are responsible for designing, developing, and building different networks such as customized systems, WANs, and LANs. To do so, they must consider a number of factors, including efficiency, accessibility, information security, and coverage.
- Network and Computer Systems Administrators: These professionals are responsible for handling the day-to-day management of network activity and operations. They also add new users, run security checks, upgrade components, and install new networks.
How Much Can You Earn in This Field?
Since online networking bachelor’s degree programs cover such a broad spectrum of computer skills, graduates are prepared for careers in many different information technology settings. Some of these careers may be contract-based or freelance, allowing for more flexibility and diversity, while others involve employment within a specific, single organization. The title and position you hold will affect the salary earnings you can expect as well as other factors such as level of experience in the field, type and level of degree earned, any specializations or concentration areas in which you focused, and the location in which you intend to work.
According to the BLS, the median annual wage for all computer and information technology occupations was $86,320 in May 2018, which was higher than the average yearly earnings for all occupations of $38,640. However, we can break this category down even further into the following high-paying occupations: computer network architects, information security analysts, computer systems analysts, and network and computer systems administrators.
Computer network architects earned $109,020 per year as of May 2018, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $164,280 and the lowest 10 percent earning less than $60, 310. The top-paying industries for this occupation include:
- Management of enterprises and companies: $113,150
- Telecommunications: $112,730
- Computer systems design and related services: $111,300
- Insurance carriers and related activities: $111,250
- Private, local, and state educational services: $73,170
Next, information security analysts earned $98,350 per year, with the top 10 percent reporting a yearly salary of more than $156,580 and the bottom 10 percent reporting a median annual wage of less than $56,750. For this occupation, the highest-paying industries are:
- Computer systems design and related sevices: $102,620
- Insurance and finance: $101,130
- Information: $96,580
- Management of enterprises and companies: $94,180
- Support and administrative services: $94,120
Computer systems analysts reported a median annual wage of $88,740 per year in May 2018. According to the BLS, the highest 10 percent brought home more than $142,220, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $54,360. Students considering this career path should keep the following high-paying industries in mind:
- Computer systems design and related services: $91,520
- Management of enterprises and companies: $91,220
- Information: $90,740
- Insurance and finance: $90,700
- Government: $80,320
Finally, network and computer systems administrators earned $82,050 per year as of May 2018, according to the BLS. The top 10 percent of workers in this occupation earned more than $130,720, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $50,990. The top-paying industries for network and computer systems administrators include:
- Information: $88,440
- Insurance and finance: $87,950
- Management of enterprises and companies: $86,230
- Computer systems design and related services: $85,880
- Private, local, and state educational services: $71,990
What Courses Will You Take in an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Networking?
When it comes to bachelor’s degrees in computer networking and systems, students may have the opportunity to earn one or more technical certifications before they graduate with their degree. Depending on the program, some computer networking degrees build these certifications directly into the curriculum and prepare students to sit for various examinations. Some possible credentials that one can earn in a bachelor’s in computer networking degree online include CIW site development associate, Microsoft certified solutions credentials, and CompTIA certifications. In addition, students can expect to take classes that allow them to develop critical skills in areas such as programming and scripting, operating systems, network design, and network security. Other common courses include:
- Operating System Administration
- Business of Information Technology
- Database Administration
- Information Security
Also, keep in mind that some schools offer specializations or areas of concentration within their online bachelor’s in computer networking programs. Students may further tailor their degree through studies in cybersecurity, data management, communications, web design and development, healthcare information systems, computer programming, telecommunications, software and/or hardware engineering, information technology, cloud computing, or computer science, to name a few.
The amount of time you can expect to spend on your coursework will depend on several factors. Although most bachelor’s degrees in computer networking are comprised of 120 credits of study to be completed in four years, the number of transfer credits, length of the term, course load, and course delivery method all impact the time to completion. Students looking to earn their degree as quickly as possible should consider an accelerated option that they can complete at their own pace rather than worry about scheduling restrictions.
Are There Any Professional Organizations for Graduates With a Bachelor’s in Computer Networking Degree?
Regardless of the level a network administrator is at in his or her career, joining a professional organization or association can offer a number of benefits. For instance, for current students and new graduates, professional organizations often provide mentoring and career preparation services. Both experienced professionals and recent graduates can benefit from opportunities for professional development as well as networking events, seminars, and presentations. The following list is several of the most popular professional associations for those in the field of computer networking.
- Information Systems Security Association International (ISSA)
- Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
- CompTIA Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP)
- Network and Systems Professionals Association (NASPA)
- Network Professional Association (NPA)
With a better-than-average job outlook, demand for information technology workers and computer networking administrators is high and should continue to grow as organizations and companies invest in faster, newer mobile networks and technology. If you are considering a career in this rewarding, dynamic field, check out the above top 20 affordable online bachelor’s degrees in computer networking to get started today.
This concludes our ranking of the top 20 affordable online bachelor’s degrees in computer networking for 2019.
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