Computer Networking Certificate: Program Summary

Research certificate programs in computer networking. Get information on education prerequisites, courses, salary information and continuing education possibilities to make an informed decision on your education.

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Computer Networking Certificate

A computer networking certificate program teaches the basic data communication concepts and skills required to maintain and manage networks. Students should learn how to both design and maintain a local area network (LAN). Graduates are often prepared to work as network technicians and network support personnel. With additional education and training, they can advance to positions of network system administrators.

Education Prerequisites

A high school diploma or general educational development diploma are required for admission to the program. Schools may require students to complete ten hours of related work experience in the discipline. An official transcript of high school coursework must often be submitted. Incoming students may be required to take an academic placement test.

Course Topics

Programs are generally comprised of 32-40 hours of coursework. Credits earned can often be put towards an associate's degree in computer networking. Applicants should have basic computer skills before entering this program. Topics covered may include:

  • Computer information systems
  • Computer applications
  • Windows server
  • UNIX and Linux
  • Career exploration
  • Business and research on the Internet
  • Network basics
  • Voice over Internet protocol (VOIP)
  • Network hardware and software

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment for network administrators and support personnel is projected to increase by 28% in the reporting decade of 2010-2020 (www.bls.gov). The advent of mobile technologies will help drive this growth. Network administrators earned a median wage of $72,560 in May 2012. Graduates, upon gaining experience and further advanced training, can go on to open their own computer network maintenance and installation business.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates of a certificate program can find entry-level employment as a computer network technician. According to the BLS, however, many network systems administrators must have at least an associate's degree, and many have bachelor's degrees. Some degree programs are available in online format. The Cisco Networking Academy offers certificate programs in specialized areas that prepare graduates to sit for globally-recognized certifications.

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