Master’s in Network Administration Degrees & Schools Guide

Master's Degree in Network Administration Career Options & Salary

Why Earn a Master’s in Network Administration?


If you are planning on earning your master’s degree in network administration, it may open the door for you to develop and design new ways of using computing technology. You will be responsible for finding new uses for existing technology and you can be a leader in discovering new pathways to innovation. Even if you’re not interested in creating new technologies, you will likely need a master’s if you want to enter the field in a more managerial position. With this degree, you can step right into management, without taking years to earn the otherwise necessary experience.

Computer Science Degrees & Career Paths


PROS

If you would like to go straight from your bachelor’s program into a master’s, you may be able to find bridge courses. These require you to have strong backgrounds in networking and systems administration, as well as other areas. In the bridge courses, you would take courses that help you correct any deficiencies in your undergraduate program.

Earning a master’s degree allows you to set yourself apart from the crowd of people who have earned bachelor’s degrees in this field. Future employers will know that you have the qualifications they want.

You should already know what you want to gain from a master’s degree. Having this information allows you to be more selective in choosing your master’s program.

You may see your salary increase once you’ve earned your master’s degree. That degree means you may earn a premium beyond what other network administrators earn.

CONS

While earning a master’s degree may be a tempting consideration, think about gaining job experience first. If you decide to go into a graduate program in network administration without gaining the necessary experience and knowledge, you’re running the risk of being declined for jobs.

You may dread the thought of returning to school to work on a new degree. You’ll lose time at work, as well as pay.

The time required of a master’s in network administration means you’re going to be studying for long hours every week. If you have a family, you may miss out on activities and everyday family time.

Overview of a Master's in Network Administration


What Network Administration Master’s Degrees are Available?


  • Master of Science in Information Technology
    You’ll learn about information security and assurance, business intelligence, analytics, and project management. You’ll also gain hands-on learning experience because the courses have been created and built by practicing IT professionals.
  • Master of Business Administration with an Information Assurance Concentration
    You’ll work on learning about secure networks, computers, and practices that help to reduce threats from outside and inside sources. Your courses help you learn to protect hardware and software, as well as how to communicate effectively with personnel at all levels of your employer’s business.
  • Master of Science in Information and Communications Technology with a Concentration in Database Design and Administration
    This graduate program teaches you how to improve business efficiency and performance by building credible databases. You’ll learn that it’s up to a knowledgeable database administrator to develop and provide those advanced solutions for your organization. You’ll perform data warehousing, data modeling, and performance tuning.
  • Business Administration - Information Management (MBA-IM)
    You’ll begin to augment your management skills and begin to provide management perspectives in several areas of business, including information technology. You’ll learn both practical and theoretical approaches to business administration as you develop your own leadership style.

Admission Requirements


As with other admissions processes, you’ll have to submit your personal and educational paperwork. This will begin with official transcripts from your last university. Take the GRE or GMAT and have your test scores sent to each university you’re considering. Testing agencies will send your scores directly to each school.

Submit a personal statement, letters of recommendation, a curriculum vitae (CV) or resume, along with any other required materials. These may include a portfolio, writing sample, and a self-study. After gathering all required documents, submit them to each university you are considering. Submit your application fee with all of your application materials.

How long does it take to earn a Network Administration Master’s?


Because you have already taken all of the general education requirements in your undergraduate program, you’ll simply move right into the courses required of your specific degree. Programs require about 36 credit hours for you to complete your degree program. If you’re attending full-time, strive to take a full course load. If you’re going to school online, you may be on the quarterly term system. Then, you’ll be able to take one or two courses per quarter. An online, quarterly term or semester program means you may be in school a little more than two years.

Potential Careers in Network Administration with a Master’s


Once you graduate from your master’s program in network administration, you may decide to continue in your former job. Or, if you left work to go to school full-time, you may decide to return or find a new position. Here are a few of the positions you may be able to enter.

  • System Administrator
    While this may be a lower level position for someone with a master’s degree, your job role is still vital to your employer. You ensure that your employer’s computer systems are maintained regularly and operating correctly. You will coordinate workflow. Expect to communicate with your co-workers as you troubleshoot issues.
    Average annual salary - $61,000
  • Computer Network Architect
    You are responsible for designing and reviewing all network requirements and capabilities within your employer’s company. You’ll validate high-level design plans so that the new network operates as desired. You’ll also evaluate new technologies as they come out, then analyze and explain the cost of each.
    Average annual salary – $118,000
  • Digital Forensic Examiner
    You have to analyze computer-based information and find any forensics evidence that may exist. You’ll go through large amounts of data, looking for specific items for your employer. You’ll work with computer hard drives and storage devices, looking for computer programs and user patterns so you can recover information from destroyed devices.
    Average annual salary – $72,000
  • Information Security Analyst
    It’s your job to find and provide security solutions for your employer. You’ll research, collate data, develop secure strategies, and ensure maximum productivity. You also implement security by following strict privacy policies. Your skills need to be advanced so you can find vulnerabilities and eliminate them.
    Average annual salary – $70,000
  • Network Engineer
    You will design and create new computer networks for your employer, then ensure they work properly. You may also maintain networks for third-party clients. You’ll use problem-solving skills to find solutions when the networks don’t work correctly. You’ll monitor and diagnose performance issues with network architecture and design and implement business solutions with network equipment.
    Average annual salary - $99,000

Options to Advance


You could begin working as a computer network architect and get experience in the building and use of new computer networks. After accumulating some experience, you can more easily move into a master’s network administration program. Once you have earned your master’s degree, you may receive a promotion to a senior network architect position. You’ll create plans and layouts for new data communication networks, present these plans to management, and explain why the organization needs them.

If you plan to move into leadership, a master’s degree will allow you to do so. You may begin to take the lead with IT activities, managing technology teams.

Best Master’s in Network Administration Programs


  • Nova Southeastern University
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    At Nova Southeastern University, education is the most important consideration for faculty and staff. With its main campus in Fort Lauderdale, NSU has locations in both Puerto Rico and throughout the state of Florida. The university sits in the heart of the Southeast region’s research and academic hub.

    Degrees Offered:

    • M.S. in Information Technology (MS-IT)
  • Florida International University
    Miami, Florida

    Florida International University is the public research university of Miami. FIU is designated as a Top 100 public university. The university is focused on student success and research excellence. FIU has two campuses with multiple centers and sites in Tianjin and Qingdao, China. Its three museums support cultural and artistic engagement.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Science in Information Systems (MS-IS)
  • Kettering University
    Flint, Michigan

    Kettering University leads the U.S. in experiential STEM and business education. By integrating both into a strong academic curriculum, students get the education to move into their chosen field. Students are encouraged and inspired to reach for their fullest potential and move their ideas forward, combining theory and practice.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master in Business Administration with a Concentration in Information Technology
  • Northeastern University
    Boston, Massachusetts

    Northeastern University puts experience central to everything it does. The university and its faculty believe that gained experience strengthens and deepens learning, setting off a curiosity and love of learning. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is at the center of everything Northeastern is doing, from robotics to the Internet of Things.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Science in Information Systems (MS-IS)
  • Pace University
    New York City, New York

    Pace University has a long, proud history of ensuring its student body is prepared for a life of success. The student body is diverse because of the university’s one-of-a-kind programs, combining real-world-experiences with rigorous academics.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Science in Information Systems (MS-IS)

Traditional Schools Offering an MS in Network Administration


  • Western Governors University
    Salt Lake City, Utah

    In 2011, Western Governors University was established in a partnership with the state of Texas. WGU was handed a unique mission of helping Texans gain a high-quality education. At the university’s establishment in 1997, the founding governors knew that technology and the internet would strongly impact the new educational institution.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Business Administration, Information Technology Management
  • State University of New York
    New York, New York

    State University of New York (SUNY) was established in 1948, following the end of World War II, as its first governing board recognized a new and changing need for education throughout the state. At first, SUNY was a consolidation of about 29 unaffiliated institutions.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Science in Information Science (Albany)
  • Drexel University
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    In 1891, Anthony Drexel agreed to allow his name to be attached to the Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry. He knew the world was in the midst of great change, so he was reluctant to establish strict rules about the nature of the university.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Science in Information Systems (MS-IS)
  • Boston University
    Boston, Massachusetts

    Today, Boston University has 34,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all over the world. Ten thousand faculty and staff, 300 programs of study, and 17 schools serve each student. BU can boast of Nobel Laureates, civil rights leaders, and millions of dollars in research funding, it’s clear the university doesn’t stand still.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Science in Computer Information Systems (M-CIS)
  • Florida State University
    Tallahassee, Florida

    Florida State University is one of the nations’ top research universities. It disseminates knowledge in technology, the sciences, arts, professions, and humanities. As it does so, it continuously embraces a learning philosophy that is rooted in the liberal arts and critical thinking traditions.

    Degrees Offered:

    • Master of Science in Information Technology (MS-IS)

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