Network management is the branch of information systems technology that deals with computer network systems. Designing, installing, configuring and maintaining these systems is the task of network managers. Computer networks such as local area networks (LAN) and wide area networks (WAN) are what makes computers keep on ticking. Skilled people are needed to understand these networks and be able to fix any problems that may arise. Students interested in this career path can find many online degree options available to them. Associate, Bachelor and Master’s degrees are offered and each equips graduates with the skills needed for a variety of career options.
Network Management Associate Degree
An Associate in Applied Science degree in Network Management familiarizes students with local area and wide area networks. Some concepts introduced to students are:
- Industry protocols and standards
- Networking terminology
- Network architecture
- Wireless networks
- Network security procedures
Students can finish this degree with two years of full-time study and can apply for admission with a high school diploma or GED. A computer with internet access, webcam, word processing software and additional specialized software will be needed to complete assignments and interact with students and professors.
Network Management Associate Degree Courses
Students in online programs complete virtual classroom assignments to reinforce material learned in lectures. Networking systems are designed, implemented, troubleshot and maintained. Typical courses taken are:
- Networking infrastructure
- Script programming
- Linux and Microsoft operating systems
- Network design
- Networking hardware
- Active Directories
Network Management Bachelor’s Degree
A Bachelor of Science degree in Network Management focuses on network hardware, architecture and protocols. Students are shown how to install servers, monitor system performance, troubleshoot hardware and introduce backup procedures. Network security is stressed in this program with such topics as computer forensics, asset identification and data security at the forefront of a students’s lessons. A high school diploma or GED is needed for admission along with a knowledge of keyboarding and algebra.
Network Management Bachelor’s Degree Courses
In addition to general education courses students take many specialized computer courses on network management. Some of these include:
- Wireless communications
- Internet server administration
- Linux operating systems
- Network security
- Addressing and routing
A Bachelor’s degree can be completed in four years of full-time study or longer if the student is part-time.
Network Management Master’s degree
A Master of Science degree in Network Management involves advanced study of network security including encryption, firewalls, configuration and application development. Two years is needed to gain this degree. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as information systems technology and be skilled in computer architecture and programming.
Network Management Master’s degree courses
Students learn valuable skills in network software and applications through virtual labs and online group assignments. Courses taken at this level include:
- Data administration
- Wireless communications
- High-speed networks
- Performance evaluations
Network Management Careers
A variety of career opportunities exist within this field. From Associate to Master’s degrees jobs will be plentiful over the next five years. Some typical jobs in network management include:
- Network administrator
- Network analyst
- Network engineer
- PC support specialist
- Network security specialist
- Systems administrator
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports network and computer systems administrator jobs will grow 23% per year through 2018. Salaries in this challenging field are outstanding with systems and network administrators averaging almost $68,000 per year.