Top 25 Best Affordable Network Administration Programs

Best Affordable Network Administration Programs

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Are you considering earning a degree in network administration? This career field tends to be a good fit for individuals who are interested in and skilled with computers. As technology becomes more prominent in the workplace, companies and organizations in every industry depend heavily upon professionals in this field. Ideal candidates often possess strong analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to communicate and multitask efficiently. If you feel this describes your abilities and you enjoy the prospect of overseeing network operations, it’s time to find an affordable and accredited network administration degree program.

Degrees in network administration can lead to a wide variety of career opportunities. Students are instructed in numerous areas such as information technology project management, database management, operating systems, and web authoring. Those enrolled should also expect to explore other technology-related topics, including Windows server administration and Linux system administration. Graduates should possess the knowledge and skills necessary to install, manage, and optimize computer networks.

This degree frequently leads to a career as a network administrator. These professionals are generally responsible for the day-to-day operation of computer networks for the companies or organizations they work for. Responsibilities include organizing, installing, and supporting a wide variety of systems, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), network segments, intranets, and other data communication methods.

It’s important to note that the field is highly technical, which means that some level of formal education is necessary to qualify for professional employment. At a minimum, you will need an associate degree, although a bachelor’s degree will likely lead to more promising career opportunities. In either case, enrolling at a college or university can be expensive. While finances should never be the sole driving factor, it’s important to keep affordability in mind as you establish your academic and career goals.


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Best Affordable Network Administration College Rankings


Published school rankings can assist in your search for an affordable network administration program. These reports provide valuable, data-based insight into the options available. Utilizing rankings can help you find the perfect solution to help you achieve your academic and career goals.

We focus our school rankings data collection solely on colleges and universities that offer affordable network administration programs. The resulting information provided is highly relevant, functional, and easy to understand. Prospective students from across the nation depend on us for information that is pertinent and applicable.

While we consider a range of data types, some of the most prominent areas of interest include cost of tuition, online programs offered, and graduating salary.

Obviously, determining the cost of tuition is an important step prior to applying for any degree. Cost can be a huge determining factor during the decision-making process. Prices often vary significantly between schools and rankings can help you determine which solution offers the best value for your money.

Knowing whether or not an institution offers an online program can make or break your decision to apply. As online learning becomes more and more popular, remote learning is becoming more popular. Schools that provide remote instruction often offer more flexible scheduling opportunities.

Not all colleges and universities maintain records regarding the salaries of graduates, but some do. As this data can be extremely useful, we do our best to provide it whenever possible. This information can make it much easier to project your potential return on investment.

1

Florida State College at Jacksonville

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $2,878
    • Out-of-state: $9,992
  • Net Price: $3,306
  • Retention Rate: 48%
  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Total Enrollment: 22,344
  • Undergrad Students: 22,344
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Florida State College at Jacksonville
2

Utah Valley University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $5,906
    • Out-of-state: $16,806
  • Net Price: $8,184
  • Retention Rate: 67%
  • Graduation Rate: 32%
  • Total Enrollment: 40,936
  • Undergrad Students: 40,311
  • Graduate Students: 625
  • Utah Valley University
3

Purdue University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,992
    • Out-of-state: $28,794
  • Net Price: $12,294
  • Retention Rate: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 83%
  • Total Enrollment: 46,655
  • Undergrad Students: 35,706
  • Graduate Students: 10,949
  • Purdue University
4

American InterContinental University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,646
    • Out-of-state: $11,646
  • Net Price: $13,278
  • Retention Rate: 28%
  • Graduation Rate: 17%
  • Total Enrollment: 15,415
  • Undergrad Students: 12,830
  • Graduate Students: 2,585
  • American InterContinental University
5

Southern Utah University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,770
    • Out-of-state: $20,586
  • Net Price: $13,432
  • Retention Rate: 72%
  • Graduation Rate: 46%
  • Total Enrollment: 12,582
  • Undergrad Students: 11,249
  • Graduate Students: 1,333
  • Southern Utah University
6

Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $42,240
    • Out-of-state: $42,240
  • Net Price: $13,941
  • Retention Rate: 75%
  • Graduation Rate: 53%
  • Total Enrollment: 7,479
  • Undergrad Students: 5,734
  • Graduate Students: 1,745
  • Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan
7

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,544
    • Out-of-state: $15,062
  • Net Price: $14,170
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Graduation Rate: 43%
  • Total Enrollment: 4,319
  • Undergrad Students: 3,146
  • Graduate Students: 1,173
  • Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
8

Montana Technological University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,390
    • Out-of-state: $22,540
  • Net Price: $14,618
  • Retention Rate: 79%
  • Graduation Rate: 57%
  • Total Enrollment: 1,714
  • Undergrad Students: 1,493
  • Graduate Students: 221
  • Montana Technological University
9

Stony Brook University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,455
    • Out-of-state: $28,375
  • Net Price: $15,605
  • Retention Rate: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 76%
  • Total Enrollment: 26,814
  • Undergrad Students: 17,909
  • Graduate Students: 8,905
  • Stony Brook University
10

Bellevue University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $7,851
    • Out-of-state: $7,851
  • Net Price: $15,629
  • Retention Rate: 51%
  • Graduation Rate: 23%
  • Total Enrollment: 13,059
  • Undergrad Students: 9,665
  • Graduate Students: 3,394
  • Bellevue University
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Why a Degree from an Affordable Network Administration Program?


Many students choose to pursue network administration degrees because they are interested in and proficient with computers. Information technology professionals are highly valued in today’s technology-dependent world. Overall, this career path is dynamic and rewarding, offering opportunities to work in a variety of industries.

Depending on the level of education attained, graduates often enjoy employment opportunities in the following positions:

  • Network Administrator
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Systems Operator
  • Information Systems Manager
  • Information Technology Analyst
  • Software Developer
  • Web Researcher
  • Network Architect

Other benefits of pursuing a degree in network administration include earning an above-average salary and enjoying relatively consistent job security. Additionally, graduates gain fundamental tools in computer diagnostics, repair, and upgrade, which can be useful in almost any industry.

Deciding to earn a degree of any kind can be daunting, especially due to the accompanying expenses. Prospective students who lack the financial resources necessary to afford tuition may find it difficult to enroll and/or remain in college. As a result, finding an affordable academic program should be a top priority.

Fortunately, there are many forms of financial aid available to most students. Scholarships and grants are ideal, as the funds awarded do not need to be paid pack after graduation. This type of aid ranges in amount and can relate to general studies or specific majors. Unfortunately, few scholarship and grants cover all the expenses related to earning a degree. Prospective students can rely on loans for additional assistance, but these funds must be paid back and interest rates can inflate debt quickly.

While financial aid often supplements higher education expenses, the best solution is to find an affordable network administration program. This is particularly important for students who demonstrate significant financial need. Regardless of your academic goals, opting for a less expensive program can be extremely beneficial.

Choosing an Affordable Network Administration College


There are several factors you should consider when looking for an affordable network administration program. No two institutions are exactly alike, so it is essential that you take time to compare and contrast the ones of greatest interest. Some of the most important features to assess include cost, location, accreditation, program structure, and graduation requirements. Reviewing these details prior to enrollment can help you identify the college or university that fits your unique needs best.

  • Cost
    While the cost of earning a network administration degree should never completely dictate your selection, it’s important to keep your financial situation in mind. Some institutions are more expensive to attend than others. These price differences often stem from school type, location, and reputation. Public schools, for example, tend to have lower tuition rates than private ones, and highly reputable schools frequently charge more than lesser-known institutions.
  • Location
    Where you choose to enroll can have a huge impact on your future and your budget. The location of your college or university often has an impact on tuition and fee rates. Areas with high cost of living may be particularly expensive, especially for students from out-of-state. Public institutions regularly charge non-residents more, and room charges can be prohibitive. Additionally, it’s generally recommended for students to attend schools near to where they plan to work. Local institutions usually maintain programs that cover topics most important to employers in the area.
  • Accreditation

    It’s also important to consider the accreditation status of the college or university where your program is offered. While academic institutions are not required to pursue specific accreditation, it demonstrates that the degrees offered meet certain educational standards as set by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

    CHEA recognizes the following regional accrediting agencies:

    • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
    • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
    • North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCACS)
    • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
    • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC)
    • Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Schools (WASC ACS
  • Program Structure
    Network administration programs differ in structure and curriculum. Reading through the details provided on college websites can help you determine whether or not your goals align well with what is offered. Pay particular attention to average class sizes and course requirements, as well as the instructional methods commonly utilized by professors. If additional information is necessary, consider contacting program directors with questions and/or concerns.
  • Graduation Requirements
    Graduation requirements tend to be relatively standard among colleges and universities, but each institution sets their own guidelines. As a result, you should review expectations prior to enrolling. In most cases, students must complete a specified number of courses, pass certain keystone classes, adhere to various conduct regulations, and maintain a minimum grade point average in order to graduate.

Online Options


Deciding to pursue an online degree in network administration can lead to a very rewarding career in the field. Programs tend to be extremely flexible, allowing first-time and returning students the ability to complete coursework from literally anywhere in the world where internet is available. This is especially helpful for prospective students who are unable to attend classes in person. Remote instruction can often accommodate the needs of current professionals juggling work responsibilities, as well as people with personal obligations that make on-campus learning difficult.

It is also common for colleges and universities to offer accelerated online programs. These often condense the content delivered down into shorter periods. While instruction is often more intense and demanding, courses can be completed in less time. Some accelerated bachelor’s degrees, for example, can be completed in two to three years instead of four.

Prospective online learners should also be aware of the potential drawbacks often associated with online degrees. Programs typically require students to be highly self-motivated, and some resources normally available on campuses may not be accessible. Online degrees also offer significantly fewer opportunities to network with peers and professionals in the field. Hybrid programs attempt to bridge these gaps by requiring short residencies on campus between extended periods of online learning. Online student and career development services can also be confirmed ahead of time.

Are Network Administration Programs in High Demand?


Many colleges and universities offer network administration as a specialization within another degree, such as computer science or information technology. There are, however, some more focused options available.

Overall, the outlook for professionals in this field working in the United States is average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for network and computer systems administrators is projected to grow by 4% from 2019 to 2029. This is about as fast as the national average for all occupations, making this profession a viable solution for individuals seeking stable employment. An increase of this size is expected to add about 16,00 new jobs to the market.

Demand for qualified information technology professionals is still high and is expected to continue rising as more and more businesses invest in newer, faster technology and mobile networks. Cloud computing, on the other hand, is likely the greatest factor slowing employment growth in this sector. Regardless, job opportunities should be favorable. Job candidates with a bachelor’s degree who are up to date on the latest technology will have the best prospects.

What Can You Do with a Degree in Network Administration?


There are a few different career paths available after earning a degree in network administration. However, the prospects available to you will depend greatly upon the level of education achieved. As previously mentioned, the most prominent positions require, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree. Identifying your employment goals now can help you determine which degree type is ultimately necessary. Some common career paths include network security, database management, and information technology.

  • Network Administrators
    Network administrators ensure networks are running efficiently for the businesses and organizations they work for. These professionals handle all day-to-day operations and address issues as they arise.
  • Software Developers
    Software developers are programmers who design and develop software functions. They utilize user feedback to create product proposals. These professionals also maintain overall software functionality.
  • System Architects
    System architects determine the performance level of a company or organization by assessing network operations. They use the information gathered to develop strategies and programs to help systems run more efficiently.
  • Information Security Analysts
    Information security analysts are responsible for helping to keep systems storing sensitive information safe. These professionals work to prevent cyber-attacks and provide additional security after data breaches.
  • Database Administrators

    Database administrators organize and maintain efficient information storage databases. They are responsible for keeping data secure, as well as easily accessible to people who need it.

    Network administration graduates often work for computer systems businesses, educational entities, finance and insurance companies, and management enterprises. In 2019, the largest employer for network and computer systems administrators was computer systems design and services companies.

Network Administration Graduates Earn More After College


The earning potential for network and computer systems administrators trends well above average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for this was $84,800 in 2020, which is well above the median annual wage of $41,950 as reported for all occupations. While professionals in the lowest 10% made a median salary of less than $52,830 in 2020, those in the highest 10% earned more than $134,970.

Education level often has a significant impact on pay. More education generally translates to more money. According to PayScale, those with associate of science (AS) degrees in network administration earn an average salary of $58,000, whereas those with bachelor’s degrees in network administration earn an average salary of $73,000.

FAQs


  • What are the admission requirements for network administration students?

    Admission requirements vary from institution to institution, with some colleges and universities maintaining very strict standards. To improve your chances of acceptance, research each school thoroughly before submitting applications.

    Some of the most common expectations for incoming freshmen include:

    • Official High School Transcripts or College Transcripts
    • Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA)
    • Application and Fees
    • Letters of Recommendation
    • Personal Statement or Supplemental Essay
    • Academic Work Samples
    • Scores from College Entrance Exams (SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT etc.)

    Few community colleges require SAT and/or ACT test scores for students applying to associate-level degree programs. These standardized exams are utilized most by schools offering bachelor’s degree. Those seeking masters’ degrees or doctorates may need to provide GRE scores.

  • How long will it take to complete a network administration degree?

    The length of time necessary to complete a network administration degree program will depend most on the type of degree sought. An associate degree, for example, consists of about 60 credit hours and will take full-time students approximately two years to complete. Bachelor’s degree programs are made up of 120 credit hours and require about four years to complete. Choosing to attend school part-time, however, can increase graduation timeframes by one to three years.

    As previously mentioned, some colleges and universities do offer accelerated programs that can be completed faster. Additionally, in some cases, prior work experience may be converted into course hours that can count towards graduation requirements. Credit hours from advanced placement classes or previous degrees can also be applied.

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