Computer Networking Schools

Written ByRWM Editors
Table of Contents

Computers rarely work alone nowadays. Instead, they are often connected to other computers and devices. These networks of computers are created and maintained by professionals who are responsible for one or more of the following tasks:

  • Designing layouts of network plans.
  • Deciding what hardware and software is needed for a network.
  • Overseeing computer networks so they run smoothly.
  • Training workers to use a network.
  • Troubleshooting any problems with the network.

Computer Networking Specializations

There are several computer networking entry level jobs. They have similar education requirements, but each is responsible for different tasks. Here are some common computer network job titles and their specific duties.

  • Computer network architects design networks.They evaluate organization needs, make recommendations and often work as part of a team.
  • Network engineers implement network designs. Depending on the employer, a network engineer job description may include both designing and implementing the system.
  • Network and computer systems administrators oversee a network after it's been created. They may troubleshoot system bugs, monitor security and make recommendations for upgrades.
  • Computer network support specialists may perform regular maintenance on a network as well as test it for efficiency.

10 Best Computer Networking Schools

RankCollege NameLocationAvg. Net PriceSchool Website
1Georgia Northwestern Technical CollegeRome, GA$2,
2Chattahoochee Technical CollegeMarietta, GA$3,
3South Georgia Technical CollegeAmericus, GA$3,
4Atlanta Technical CollegeAtlanta, GA$1,
5Central Georgia Technical CollegeWarner Robins, GA$2,
6Ogeechee Technical CollegeStatesboro, GA$2,
7Coastal Pines Technical CollegeWaycross, GA$2,
8Georgia Piedmont Technical CollegeClarkston, GA$6,
9Albany Technical CollegeAlbany, GA$
10Moraine Valley Community CollegePalos Hills, IL$4,
Source:Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2018-19, National Center for Education Statistics,

How To Become a Computer Networking Technician

If computer networking jobs sound right for you, here's how to go about landing one:

  • Finish high school to earn a diploma or GED. Classes that can help you down the line might include math, computer science, programming and communications.
  • You'll like need a computer networking degree to work in the field. Consider postecondary training at the certificate level, or earn an associate degree, which can also help you along the way if you find a job that might be worth earning a bachelor's degree for.
  • Stay up-to-date with trends in the field, and keep in mind that you can earn different certification to highlight your expertise when applying for jobs. Learn more below.

Computer Networking Degree Programs

Computer networking degrees are available at several levels:

  • Diploma: These short-term programs provide the basic instruction in hardware, software and routing that is needed for some entry-level computer networking jobs.
  • Certificate: A certificate is another short-term option for those hoping to enter the workforce quickly, and you can earn a computer networking certificate online. These programs may include courses on network security, programming and server administration.
  • Associate degree: These degrees are typically earned in two years, but some schools have online or accelerated programs that can be completed in as little as 18 months. Many associate degrees focus on network administration.
  • Bachelor's degree: Although not required for all computer networking positions, a bachelor's degree is standard for some network engineer jobs. The curriculum for a four-year degree may cover operating systems, network implementation, software development and project management.

Computer Networking Schools

If you'd like to earn a computer networking degree online, you'll find many schools offer fully online diplomas, certificates and degrees in the field. Traditional and online computer networking schools include:

  • Technical and vocational schools
  • Community colleges
  • Private colleges and universities
  • Public colleges and universities

Diplomas are often found at technical and vocational schools while community colleges offer associate degrees and certificate programs. Private and public colleges and universities are known for their bachelor's degrees. These are general guidelines, and programs will vary by institution.

Computer Networking Certification

Getting the right computer networking degree is only part of becoming qualified for computer networking jobs. Employers may also look for workers who have a computer networking certification such as one of the following:

  • CompTIA Network+ Certification
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate Certification
  • Juniper Networks Certified Enterprise Routing and Switching Expert
  • Wireshark Certified Network Analyst

These certifications are voluntary and are used to demonstrate expertise with a specific product or networking task. Some computer networking degrees include certification preparation as part of their curriculum. You may also be able to earn a computer networking certificate online.

Career Advancement

Everyone's career looks different, but networking professionals may start as network administrators and then move on to roles as architects or engineers. Promotions may go to those with experience and certification.

However, don't overlook the importance of continuing your education. Some advanced computer networking jobs may only be open to those with a bachelor's degree or master's degree.

Skills and Qualities

Beyond the right degree and certification, there are certain skills and abilities people need to be successful as computer networking workers. These include the following:

  • Critical thinking to anticipate problems with a network's design or operation.
  • Deductive reasoning to find the root cause and solution to issues as they arise.
  • Judgement and decision making to weight various network features and select the best design for a particular project.
  • Oral expression to clearly explain network operations or provide instruction to others members of a project team.

Career Outlook and Salary Information for Computer Networking Jobs

Computer networking salary data varies depending on a person's job title, experience and industry. For instance, the average network engineer salary may be more than that of someone working in a support or administrative role. Here's a look at the range of salaries for computer networking jobs.

The following table provides details on the employment growth expected for different computer networking job titles.

Total Employment
Average Salary
Projected Job Growth
Computer Network Support Specialists185,430$68,8606.4%
Computer Network Architects152,420$115,1105.3%
*2019 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2018-28 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics,

Professional Resources for Computer Networking Workers

As you prepare for a career in computer networking, take a moment to familiarize yourself with these professional groups and resources:

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