A degree program in network administration is closely related to the field of computers; however, it’s much more specialized and deals specifically with computer networks. If you find that you are interested in the maintenance of software and hardware programs and how they link together in a well-run network, then this is just the degree program for you. Additionally, those majoring in network administration will find that the career opportunities available are bounteous.
Once you’ve decided that you want to pursue a degree in network administration, you will have many programs, both on- and off-line, from which to choose. In your typical network administration degree program, you’ll start by learning the basics of networking. You’ll learn how a network is deployed, configured, maintained, and monitored. Courses in a network administration major typically include classes that teach you the following network-related skills: routing, switching, operating systems, and voice/VoIP administration.
So what, exactly, would you hypothetically be doing as network administrator? As stated, the career prospects are vast, but usually network administrators work with a number of different companiesóboth directly related to computers and not, since virtually every organization is powered by a network of computersóto keep the whole system running smoothly. You will undoubtedly be given duties and tasks that include the assignment of routing protocols, configuration of authentication and authorization, which is essentially a security-related task enabling access to networks, and you may also be charged with handling individual computers and machines, like printers, making sure that everything is running as it should be.
The career outlook for network administrators, both now and in the future, is excellent. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics rates this particular career path as having a growth that is "much faster than average." According to the organization’s statistics, between the years 2008 and 2018, jobs will grow by about twenty-three percent. Moreover, in another related field that employs many of the same skills learned in network administrationóthe position of network systems and data communication analystóthe job growth is expected to increase by an astounding fifty-three percent, making it one of the fastest growing positions in the country.
Not only is the job outlook good for network administrators, but the salary is noteworthy, too. In 2008, the median salary for network administrators was almost $67,000 a year, and the highest ten percent of network administrators earned in excess of $100,000 a year. In short, if you choose to study network administration, the sky’s the limit for your future.