Students who are interested in careers in computer networking but are unable to attend college on campus often ask if they can earn a degree in computer networking online. Aspiring computer networkers have the option to attend college in a brick-and-mortar college or through an online program. More and more students are choosing online computer networking programs because of the flexibility they offer. Here is some information on earning the degree in computer networking online, including what it entails and what type of career graduates may anticipate.
What a Computer Networker Does
Computer networkers design and build communication networks, including Intranets, wide area networks (WANs), and local area networks (LANs).These may be small networks simply connecting two offices or may include a large infrastructure system the connects multiple clients and buildings.
Using their knowledge of information security, they also install security software. They create the plans for the network, present their plans to management and research the latest technologies to determine what will best serve the organization. Computer networkers also upgrade software and hardware.
What an Online Computer Networking Program Entails
Despite the number of programs now being offered online, not all degrees are designed to be online programs. Healthcare programs, for example, require quite a bit of practicum education that requires students to attend classes on campus or in a medical facility. Technology-related fields like computer networking are different in that regard. While some of the training may be learned in a computer administrative setting, most of the courses are completed online.
Students log in to the school’s website to do their assignments, projects and even tests on the computer. Learning materials include DVDs, messaging services, online streaming and YouTube videos. They can also communicate with instructors and other students through Blackboard, Skype, Adobe Connect, chat rooms and even email.
Benefits of Earning a Degree in Computer Networking Online
There are various benefits to earning a degree in computer networking online:
- Time-efficient and convenient – Online programs require students to complete online courses, but many of them can be at the student’s convenience, allowing time to do other things.
- Ability to meet family or work obligations – Online programs allow the student to earn the degree at their own pace while continuing to work and meet other family obligations.
- Save money – Online students save money because students don’t have the expense of commuting, lodging and eating out. Tuition may even be cheaper for online students at some schools.
- Gain work experience – Students have the option of working while earning the degree, which allows them to obtain work experience.
Outlook for Computer Networking Graduates
Graduates of computer networking programs have the skills and knowledge to work in several occupations, including computer networking architects, network and computer systems administrators, and computer network support specialists, among others. Each of these positions offers positive employment growth and good wages. Here are the potential job growth from 2016-2026 for each of these professionals along with the average annual wage as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2018:
- Computer networking architects – 6 percent job growth – $107,870
- Network and computer systems administrators – 6 percent job growth – $86,340
- Computer network support specialists – 11 percent job growth – $67,510
Related Resource: 20 Best Affordable Online Colleges for Computer Networking Degree
With the large part computers and the Internet play in our personal and professional lives, it comes as no secret that computer networking professionals would be very much in demand. An individual interested in earning a degree in computer networking online has the bonus of being able to work in a computer networking environment and gain experience while earning the degree.