Masters in Networking: Degree Program Overviews

Networking master's degree programs equip students with the skills necessary to build and maintain networks. Learn about courses found in these programs and career options for graduates.

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Essential Information

In networking master's degree programs, students learn how to handle the challenges of building and maintaining networks in a corporate setting. They also learn the fundamentals of local area networks and Internet networks, including knowledge and implementation of firewalls, internal systems configuration, software compatibility, Internet protocols and various security models.

Master's degrees in networking can be found in a variety of forms, including programs that combine networking with communications, system administration or engineering. Many programs focus on network design, network maintenance, network security or network administration. Whatever the area of emphasis, most networking master's degrees have at least some focus on network security, which is a skill in increasing demand in an environment where electronic theft can pose major problems for organizations. Networking master's programs take 1-3 years to complete and typically include a comprehensive exam and a research project or thesis.

Educational Prerequisites

Those wishing to apply to these programs must at least hold a bachelor's degree. They should also expect to submit college transcripts, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation and a personal statement. Some programs only admit students with a bachelor's degree in computer science. The strongest applicants will have demonstrable work experience in a related field, like computer science, system administration or engineering.

Program Coursework

Classes in these programs are often conducive to distance learning and are therefore often offered online; however, if a student takes a course online, he or she may be required to purchase necessary networking software, which can be expensive. Here are some classes that might appear in the curriculum:

  • Databases
  • Internet protocols
  • Internet crimes and security
  • System administration
  • Network design and evaluation

Popular Career Options

Graduates of master's degree in networking often accept leadership positions in teams of network technicians and engineers. Here are some examples of job titles available to those who hold this degree:

  • System administrator
  • Network engineer
  • Senior network technicians
  • Network analyst
  • Networking consultant
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