Computer networks used to be at most a handful of computers within a home or business. As our businesses have grown, the networks have also. Now, you may have a network that encompasses several building locations within the state or country, or a network that includes offices in other countries. It is extremely important to have someone with knowledge of all the networks is required to accomplish so that issues can be solved quickly. Problems in any area could result in a loss of work hours, and money, at the least, and the theft of delicate client information and a complete shutdown, and lawsuits, at the worst. Seeking out and completing an online associate degree in Network Administration can give you the opportunity to seek out one of these valuable positions.
What You Can Expect
The typical online associate degree in Network Administration will see you attending a program of approximately two years in length or 30-32 credits. Students will learn how to administer and troubleshoot computer and IT network systems and how to apply and monitor security systems within the network. Tasks you will be prepared for are how to maintain all computer hardware systems hardware, systems software, and applications software. A good program will help you learn to develop and implement computer system security and develop appropriate policies and procedures. Finally, you will learn how to install all hardware and make needed upgrades and repairs that will keep the network up and running smoothly.
Best 9 Schools Offering an Online Associates Degree in Network Administration
1. Central Penn College
Central Penn College offers students a chance to specialize in either application development or networking and security. This school boasts that almost 91 percent of their graduates were either employed in their chosen field or had gone onto further educational endeavors within one year. By the time a student completes this program, they will be able to work with most of the main programming languages. What’s more, students will be able to recognize the weaknesses that allow security breaches and have the knowledge to close those vulnerable spots.
- Cost: $28,830
- Student/Teacher Ratio: 10:1
2. Genesee Community College
At Genesee Community College, students will be able to gain hands-on experience with their learning. The complete program is designed to allow students to learn all the basics involved in assembling, troubleshooting, and repairing computer systems. Through electives, students further add to their skills by taking courses in cyber-security, software development, and more. Many graduates use this course as a jumping-off platform to transfer to a four-year program but this isn’t necessary as the skills you have upon graduation will enable you to work in many areas as a technician, supervisor, or specialist.
- Cost: $16,790 (resident), $17,390 (non-resident)
- Student/Teacher Ratio: 14:1
3. Dakota State University
At Dakota State University, the main focus in on security. By the time a student has completed the program, they will have the skills necessary to find, prevent, and fix any area of security in the network. All classes can also be used as transfer credit if the student decides to continue school after graduating with the Associate’s degree. Online students have the same access to the labs as those who study on campus. They also have access to a variety of clubs and organizations that are computer-focused. This gives students a chance to learn and socialize with those who have the same interests even though they are not studying on campus.
- Cost: $23,691 (resident), $26,761 (non-resident)
- Student/Teacher Ratio: 19:1
4. Seminole State College of Illinois
At Seminole State College of Illinois, the school boasts a ninety percent placement rate for graduates. Their program is designed to be a stand-alone program that can also be a stepping stone toward a Bachelor’s degree. The program allows students to specialize in one of four different areas to further help them learn at a deeper level in an area that they plan to explore. Students receive instruction in desktops, servers, virtualization, cloud computing, and security.
- Cost: $14,199 (resident), $22,524 (non-resident)
- Student/Teacher Ratio: 27:1
5. St. Petersburg College
Students who complete the program offered by St. Petersburg College are eligible for a number of certifications including: CompTIA A+, CompTIA Linux+, CompTIA Network+, Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Security, Cisco Certified Network Entry Technician (CCENT), and Microsoft Technology Associate Windows Server Administration Fundamental. This is a program that preares graduates to enter the field immediately or continue towards a Bachelor’s degree. With opportunity for internships, many graduates find a job waiting for them upon graduation although this isn’t promised.
- Cost: $19,058 (resident), $25,662 (non-resident)
- Student/Teacher Ratio: 22:1
6. Lake Superior College
Students looking to get EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certified love the program offered by Lake Superior College. This is just one of the several certifications graduates qualify to earn. The National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) both give this program the designation of National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense. The labs help students tackle real-world issues in some of the most highly secured industries including medical and military areas. With a degree from this school, students achieve both superior network administration and cyber security skills that are highly sought in today’s workplace.
- Cost: $20,784
- Student/Teacher Ratio: 20:1
7. Florida State College (Jacksonville)
At Florida State College (Jacksonville) Students at Florida State College can specialize in one of six different areas, including Digital Forensics. The program also allows for combining two or more concentrations to give yourself the best chance of meeting the needs of most networks that will be encountered. A required internship allows for gaining valuable hands-on experience before graduation. This gives students a chance to start their professional portfolios. By the time a student finishes the required 60 credits, they are ready to face the challenges of network administration.
- Cost: $14,674 (resident), $21,788 (non-resident)
- Student/Teacher Ratio: 24:1
8. University of Toledo
The University of Toledo program is designed and taught by professionals in the field of network administration. With systems changing constantly, it helps to have input from those who deal with these changes as they happen. Online students have the advantage of learning on the same type of equipment they will come into contact with on a regular basis. This is one of the programs that keep in mind the changing needs of both students and the computer industry and makes sure graduates are familiar with anything recent from the day they walk into the workplace.
- Cost: $24,448 (resident), $33,808 (non-resident)
- Student/Teacher Ratio: 20:1
9. South College
The two years spent studying at South College is meant to prepare students not only for a position as a network administrator but also as a person who can succeed in the world in general. In addition to the required courses for their major, students are required to take general classes that will increase communication skills as well as knowledge in the humanities and a heightened ability to think critically. In order to succeed at this school, a student needs to have the ability to work alone and stay focused on the task at hand. Students can’t be guaranteed that they will pass certifying exams but failure to do so won’t be from lack of opportunity to cover test material thoroughly in advance
- Cost: $36,863
- Student/Teacher Ratio: 18:1
Our Method of Ranking
We chose the above online Associate degree in Network Administration programs based on a method of ranking student to teacher ratio, the ability to use the obtained degree to go further in education later, the number of options available, and a number of other factors that indicate the degree is well-accepted by future employers. If your school offers this program, we would love to hear from you with your school’s information. We will review it and consider it for future lists of this nature.
Whether you are just starting your schooling or seeking to return to improve or change your career options, we can help you weed through the haystack of options available and narrow them down to programs that are most likely to meet your educational needs. Reach out and let us know what you are seeking and see what we can do for you.