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Online Systems and Network Administration Degrees Explained

Systems and network administrators are an important part of many workplaces in today’s tech-reliant world. Network administrators can work in a variety of organizations to oversee and manage IT network systems. If you have a background in math or computer science, this degree could be a great choice for you.

In this article, we delve into some of the best online systems and network administration degrees. We will also look at college accreditations and scholarships. Read below to decide if an online systems and network administration degree is for you.

Online Systems and Network Administration Degrees: An Overview

Systems and network administrators cover a lot of ground. Administrators manage and take responsibility for computer networks. This could include setting up, administering, and troubleshooting IT network systems.

Systems and network administrators are professionals who are interested in many facets of IT. The job’s primary requirement is to manage organizational networks and computer systems.

However, a proficient network administrator also needs good communication skills, organizational skills, and leadership abilities. We’ve gathered a few figures to give you a broader idea of what a network administrator degree and career entails.

  • You can get into network administration with a degree in computer science or cyber security.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), network and computer systems administrators earned an average of $84,810 in 2020.
  • The BLS also reports that the demand for systems and network administrators will increase by up to four percent by 2029. This is much higher than the average growth rate.

What Is an Online Systems and Network Administration Degree?

An online system and networking administration degree is an educational pathway that can help you enter an IT career. You might come across degree programs called computer networking or information technology networking. These are all valid degrees that can lead to exciting careers in network administration.

The topics you will cover in an online network administration program are similar to computer science modules. These can include programming, web development, computer security, algorithms, databases, and more. A general computer science degree will also provide knowledge to set you up for a career in network administration.

Online Systems and Network Administration Degree Curriculum

Online systems and network administration degrees have a laser-focused curriculum. There are core modules that you will need to complete. We’ve listed the three most common subjects you will find in any network administration curriculum.

Network Design

Network design modules cover the fundamentals of network concepts and management techniques. You will learn how to evaluate and utilize data to design a computer network system. You will also learn how to use network management tools to analyze network infrastructure and traffic.

Computing Ethics and Security Policy

Computer ethics and security policy modules are quite common in network administration programs. This course includes lessons on the social, legal, and ethical underpinnings of information technology. This is a very important module for learning about the laws and regulations that govern digital spaces.

Fundamentals of Operating Systems Management

Learning about operating systems is the key to becoming a proficient network administrator. You will work with a variety of operating systems throughout your career, so it’s important to understand each one. An operating systems module usually covers system structures, threads and processes, interprocess communication, and memory management.

Online Systems and Network Administration Degree Types

You can study systems and network administration at many academic levels. The most common degree type is a bachelor’s degree. However, some schools offer online Associate Degrees and Master’s Degrees in Systems and Network Administration.

Systems and Network Administration Online Associate Degree

An online associate degree lasts two years. An associate degree is an undergraduate-level program that you can pursue after completing high school. An associate degree can sometimes be seen as a shorter bachelor’s degree. Many programs will allow students to transfer credits from an associate degree to a four-year institution.

Many schools in the US offer online Associate Degrees in Systems and Network Administration. Santa Fe College, St Petersburg College, and Dakota State University offer online degrees in systems and network administration.

Systems and Network Administration Online Bachelor’s Degree

An online Bachelor’s Degree in Systems and Network Administration is highly recommended. Bachelor’s degrees offer the most concise and well-rounded curricula to set you up for a lucrative career. Most employers expect applicants to be equipped with a bachelor’s degree.

Many renowned universities in the US offer online Bachelor’s Degrees in Network Administration. You can take a look at Bellevue University, Dakota State University, and Rogers State University.

Systems and Network Administration Online Master’s Degree

If a bachelor’s degree leaves you wanting more, an online master’s degree could be for you. Master’s degrees are geared towards students who wish to specialize in a specific topic. It is a good choice if you want to move up in the field or pursue a research position.

Master’s Degrees in Network Administration are usually project-focused and require one or two concentrations. Master’s degree holders can often apply for senior positions.

How to Get Into an Online Systems and Network Administration Degree Program

Getting into an online systems and network administration program can be difficult. There are extensive applications to fill and academic requirements to meet. We’ve listed what to look out for when you start the admissions process.

1

Community College Admissions

To get into a community college, you need to have a high school diploma or an equivalent certificate.

Most colleges have a minimum GPA requirement for admission, but some are higher than others. To get into a networking administration associate program, you might be expected to have a background in math or computer science.

2

University Admissions

An undergraduate degree program in network administration usually requires a high school GPA of 2.5 or higher. Bachelor’s Degrees in Systems and Network Administration often require a background in math, science, or computer science.

To apply for a bachelor’s program, you will need to submit your educational credentials and a letter of interest. The letter needs to list your motivations and ambitions. Once the university has reviewed your application, you may be asked to attend an online interview.

3

Graduate School Admissions

To get into graduate school, you need to have completed an undergraduate degree. It is not essential to have a bachelor’s in the same subject. Network administration graduate programs accept applications from students with bachelor’s degrees in any related field. You may also need to provide a letter of recommendation and your transcripts.

Online Systems and Network Administration Degree Cost

Education in America is very expensive. Tuition fees can be off-putting at first glance. Some schools and scholarships offer funding help such as scholarships and loans. We’ve collected some information to help you look into the best funding program.

Scholarships

Many organizations offer scholarships for students wishing to get into tech. Some universities are partnered with scholarship donors, so it is always useful to check what may be available. Some scholarships are needs-based, while others are awarded for academic or athletic excellence.

For example, the Frank B. Gillespie Jr. Memorial Scholarship offers scholarships of up to $1,000. These are available to three students every year enrolled in a computer science program at Lehigh Carbon Community College.

Student Loans

If you do not qualify for a scholarship, universities often have loans available for financially struggling students. If you opt for a loan, you will be expected to pay university tuition back with interest. Make sure to speak with a university financial advisor about loan programs before signing up for one.

Online College Accreditation

The online college you choose should have an accredited program. Accreditations add weight to educational credentials and ramp up resumes. Without accreditation, you might not be able to transfer credits or pursue a higher degree.

National Accreditation

Nationally accredited programs and colleges are typically for-profit. Nationally accredited colleges offer vocational training and exclusive career advice. A lot of employers prefer applicants who attended colleges with national accreditations.

Organizations such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges or the American Academy for Liberal Education provide national accreditations.

Regional Accreditation

Regionally accredited schools and colleges have different curriculum standards. Regional accrediting organizations work to accredit schools in specific regions. Regionally accredited colleges are mostly non-profit and state-run universities.

Regional accreditation commissions include the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the New England Commission of Schools and Colleges, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Systems and Network Administration Job Prospects

The job market for systems and network administrators is expanding gradually. As most businesses and companies move online, the demand for network administrators is growing. According to PayScale, the average salary for a network administrator is approximately $60,414 per year.

The BLS has calculated that systems and network administrators earned an average of $84,810 in 2020. These are very promising figures. If you have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree, you can apply for senior positions.

Senior positions in systems and network administration can boost salary prospects. The field is fail-safe as network administrators are crucial for any online-based organization. The numbers below have been sourced from the BLS.

Systems and Network Administration Salary: $84,810
Systems and Network Administration Job Growth: 4%

Systems and Network Administration Degree Jobs

To give you a better idea of network administration job prospects, we’ve gathered some information about the top three positions.

A computer network architect’s role is to design and implement data communication networks. These typically include local area networks and wide area networks. Online systems and network administration degrees can lead you on a successful career path in computer network architecture.

Computer Network Architect Salary: $116,780
Computer Network Architect Jobs Available: 160,100

Software engineers work to design, create, and maintain software for companies and businesses. The role entails working in partnership with systems architects and analysts to test and resolve software malfunction. An online degree in systems and network administration can lead to lucrative careers in software engineering.

Software Engineer Salary: $110,140
Software Engineer Jobs Available: 1,469,200

A forensic computer analyst is expected to create security mechanisms for computer networks. They are also expected to retrieve and fix broken or encrypted files. Other tasks include using forensic tools to extract data and following digital communication links to avoid malicious individuals or groups.

Forensic Computer Analyst Salary: $60,590
Forensic Computer Analyst Jobs Available: 17,200

Top Systems and Network Administration Degree Careers

Title Median Salary Entry-Level Salary Mid-Career Salary Late-Career Salary
Application Systems Analyst $70,805 $57,627 $77,271 $88,648
Computer Programmer $64,711 $56,495 $71,032 $86,278
Data Analyst $61,593 $56,218 $69,058 $73,757
Operations Manager $66,686 $51,866 $66,543 $79,891
Systems Administrator $62,981 $51,327 $64,056 $76,084
Network Administrator $60,414 $49,545 $61,247 $72,745

Systems and Network Administration Certifications

To ramp up your credentials in systems and network administration, there are many certifications available. These can provide education in particular technologies and improve your employability.

Oracle Linux System Administrator

This certification provides valuable and specialized training. The program covers technologies like the Btrfs file system, control groups, Linux containers, and more. You will also cover dump analysis and network and security configuration.

To pass the certification, you need to complete one exam consisting of 97 questions. A 61 percent score is needed to pass. The certification exam fee is $245, and the examination is administered by Pearson VUE.

RHCE: Red Hat Certified Engineer

This is another certification that revolves around Linux technologies. Red Hat certification holders go on to work as Linux administrators, senior systems engineers, or IT analysts. The certification is valid for three years from the date of completion. You pay $400 to take the three-and-a-half-hour practical examination.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert

This certification is perfect if you would like to specialize in Microsoft servers and technologies. The certification covers business applications, cloud infrastructures, data productivity, and more. There are additional Microsoft certifications available, and each exam costs $165.

Systems and Network Administration Professional Organizations

There are many organizations and resources available for systems and network administrators. Organizations can be great tools for networking and collaborating with peers. We’ve gathered the top three organizations that you should consider joining.

NaSPA: Network and Systems Professionals Association

NaSPA is a fantastic career-focused organization that can help you find employment worldwide. The organization has been around since 1986 and has become a great resource for network administrators.

The organization publishes works and organizes conferences about IT systems, telecommunications, and more. If you are struggling to start a career in the network administration field, you should reach out to them.

LOPSA: League of Professional System Administrators

LOPSA is a non-profit organization that specializes in education and career advice. LOPSA has a great mentorship program available to any system administrator, regardless of age or experience. Members of LOPSA enjoy hefty discounts on useful hardware and software technologies. There are over 1,000 LOPSA members today.

NPA: Network Professional Association

NPA has a multitude of industry and business partners in the network administration field. The organization hosts regular conferences and networking events. The NPA also publishes numerous articles and fascinating reports on network administration. You don’t want to miss out on joining this association.

Benefits of Earning an Online Systems and Network Administration Degree

An online systems and network administration degree can provide you with the necessary skills to pursue exciting careers in IT. This degree prepares students for successful careers as a programmer, software developer, or cyber security analyst.

An online degree offers more flexibility than an in-person program. Studying online is great for busy students and working professionals. Furthermore, the nature of remote teaching can allow you to study from anywhere and at any time. An online degree in systems and network administration is the best way to advance your career in the field.

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