LAN Certification and Certificate Program Overviews

This article discusses LAN certificate programs and certification options. Read about educational prerequisites, program coursework and employment outlook statistics here.

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Essential Information

Individuals looking for a career in information technology and computer science should consider local area network (LAN) training. A LAN certificate program can be completed at a 2-year community college or technical school. Once completed, graduates are prepared for careers in database design, network administration and information technology (IT). They are also prepared to sit for professional LAN certification exams.

LAN certificate programs teach basic concepts relating to computer hardware and software, networks and computer repair. Students also learn about server installation, Internet protocols, network administration and computer communications. A LAN certificate program can be completed in less than one year, at which time graduates may choose to pursue professional certification from a private programming or networking service. Such certification lends credibility to prospects seeking employment.

Educational Prerequisites

Before enrolling in a LAN certificate program, students are required to demonstrate sufficient academic proficiency in math and computer science. Applications usually require a processing fee. Some programs require potential students have a high school diploma or pass the GED.

Program Coursework

Students in LAN certificate programs take classes in the following areas:

  • Server administration
  • Network installation
  • Information technology
  • Wireless security
  • Traffic patterns
  • Network utilities
  • Threat analysis
  • Protocol filters
  • Network design
  • Federal and state computer laws

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there is a positive employment outlook for computer systems support specialists such as network administrators, security consultants and IT repair technicians. In May 2012, the BLS found the median annual salary for computer support specialists to be $44,300.

Professional Certification and Continuing Education Information

Professional LAN certification is available through private companies such as CISCO. Certification requires students take technical courses and pass a standardized competency exam. LAN certification is valid for three years, at which point professionals must pass a re-qualification exam. Those looking for advanced careers in computers and information technology might consider a bachelor's or graduate degree in computer science, electrical engineering or a related field.

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