Bachelor's Degree in Network Engineering: Program Overviews
Bachelor of Science in Network Engineering programs teach students about different server types, network architecture and theories behind data transfer. In this article, we'll explore these programs, learning about education prerequisites and curriculum as well as continuing education options and professional certifications.
Students earning a bachelor's degree in network engineering learn to manage local and wide area networks. Additionally, they explore the basics of server configuration and information security. Since the field of network engineering is closely related to computer hardware engineering, these programs also include study of computer hardware. They typically require four years to complete, but some programs can be finished in three. Programs that offer students the option to complete multiple concentrations can take up to five years.
Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Science in Network Engineering program usually must demonstrate advanced networking knowledge through a capstone project or experience. Graduates can work as network administrators, information technology (IT) analysts and security specialists, designing, planning and troubleshooting computer network infrastructure.
Bachelor of Science in Network Engineering students learn the basics of file transfer protocol (FTP), hypertext markup language (HTML), e-mail and network configuration. Coursework also provides an overview of network modeling, design and troubleshooting.
Aside from this instruction, most network engineering requirements are comprised of a technology core and a general education core, and not all programs require electives. Those pursuing a concentration or second major in programming might take courses in Java or C++. Required courses generally include:
- Advanced networking
- Network administration
- Server configuration
- Communications data
- Internet protocol (IP) technologies
- IT security
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for network and computer systems administrators is expected to increase by 28% between 2010 and 2020 (www.bls.gov). Demand for computer network architects, information security analysts and Web developers are forecast to rise by 22% during the same 2010-2020 decade.
The BLS reported that, in May 2012, network and computer systems administrators earned median annual wages of $72,560. Computer network architects earned $91,000 as a median annual salary in 2012.
Continuing Education Information
Network engineering graduates can earn Microsoft and CompTIA security certifications. While not required, these certifications can improve a network engineer's employment prospects.
Graduates also might choose to enroll in a Master of Science in Networking and Systems Administration program. Those who hold a master's degree in the field often can find work in network engineering management positions. Additionally, many supervisory positions require a Master of Business Administration (MBA) focused on information technology.
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