Best Online Associate in Network Administration Degrees for 2023

Associates Degree in Network Administration Career Options & Salary

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Overview of an Associate Degree Program in Network Administration

There are a variety of associate in network administration degree programs available in the field of Network Administration. A few examples of a traditional associate degree program or online programs in this field may be called a network administration degree program, network systems administration program, computer network administration program, and more. These associate in network administration degree programs will introduce you to the design, building, and maintenance of both local area networks (LANs) and wide-area networks (WANs) through a variety of applicable academics that will prepare graduates to explore career opportunities with large and small companies and certification in the field. You may take courses in Cisco Networking, learn how to support computer users, and help them to troubleshoot computer issues. You’ll also learn Linux, Windows, hardware, and programming so you’ll be fully equipped with the knowledge and skills you’ll need in your job. Other courses within this type of network administration degree program will cover general courses in computer networking, network security, computer systems security, operating systems, hardware and software, and more. One of the best things about this degree program is that you can obtain your associate in network administration degree online. There are a variety of online, traditional, and hybrid (with in-person and online courses) available all over the United States.


Even beginning with a two-year, online associate in network administration degree program, you’ll be putting yourself into a position to earn a decent annual salary in network administration once you find employment. Once you progress to higher paid positions, from network administrators and computer systems administrators, who earn about $80,000, to computer network architects, who earn just over $100,000, you’ll see good returns for your degree. You may have to start in entry-level positions, but you'll soon be able to advance.

Whether you are attending an online or traditional program, you should expect to develop non-computer-related skills (soft skills) as well such as problem-solving, communication, leadership, and collaboration. You’ll need to be able to observe closely what you and co-workers are doing for customers and network or operating systems administrators may be required to set policy.

Businesses are transitioning their company information and data to computers and computer networks all the time. They will need help to build those systems, then create the security they need to ensure their data is protected. That’s where you come in. Knowing that more businesses will be relying on you means that your knowledge and skills will be in-demand for years.


Along with the pros in earning an online or on-campus associate in network administration degree, come the disadvantages. You’ll make the final decision for yourself, but you should have every argument placed in front of you.

While earning an online associate in network administration degree allows you to begin working in your chosen field more quickly, you may be limiting your choices and your ability to perform certain tasks by not earning a higher-level degree. With an associate degree, you may learn a few programming languages. However, you won’t gain that deeper knowledge of computer science.

If you persist with a four-year bachelor's degree, then you’ll learn about computer network development, design, and testing. You’ll also learn about database management, which is information you’ll need in a network administrator position. In addition, you’ll learn about many more programming languages and operating systems and optimal strategies. With a bachelor’s degree, your education will be more focused and your education will delve deeper into computer systems, network operating systems, various network systems technology and best practices that improve network security and information systems security, as well as classes on network and security administration. You’ll have more options from which to choose where to specialize. A bachelor's degree in network administration prepares students to potentially advance into higher paying positions.

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What are the Best Online Network Administration & Computer Networking Associate Programs?


Bismarck State College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $4,926
    • Out-of-State: $6,930
  • Net Price: $10,249
  • Retention Rate: 72%
  • Graduation Rate: 53%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,716
  • Undergrad Students: 3,716
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Diplomas Awarded: 34
  • Grads Salary: $49,500
  • Student-to-faculty: 14:1
  • Bismarck State College

University of Toledo

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,490
    • Out-of-State: $20,850
  • Net Price: $17,764
  • Retention Rate: 78%
  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Total Enrollment: 18,319
  • Undergrad Students: 14,406
  • Graduate Students: 3,913
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $43,800
  • Student-to-faculty: 21:1
  • University of Toledo

Dakota State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,633
    • Out-of-State: $12,735
  • Net Price: $17,572
  • Retention Rate: 71%
  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,186
  • Undergrad Students: 2,740
  • Graduate Students: 446
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $44,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • Dakota State University

Great Basin College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $3,593
    • Out-of-State: $12,809
  • Net Price: $7,824
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,772
  • Undergrad Students: 3,772
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Diplomas Awarded: 4
  • Grads Salary: $36,200
  • Student-to-faculty: 18:1
  • Great Basin College

Germanna Community College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $4,913
    • Out-of-State: $10,916
  • Net Price: $6,149
  • Retention Rate: 63%
  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Total Enrollment: 7,679
  • Undergrad Students: 7,679
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $36,300
  • Student-to-faculty: 25:1
  • Germanna Community College

Oconee Fall Line Technical College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $3,072
    • Out-of-State: $5,472
  • Net Price: $3,826
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Total Enrollment: 1,835
  • Undergrad Students: 1,835
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Diplomas Awarded: 7
  • Grads Salary: $27,200
  • Student-to-faculty: 12:1
  • Oconee Fall Line Technical College

Texas State Technical College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,950
    • Out-of-State: $11,369
  • Net Price: $10,738
  • Retention Rate: 71%
  • Graduation Rate: 42%
  • Total Enrollment: NA
  • Undergrad Students: NA
  • Graduate Students: NA
  • Diplomas Awarded: 22
  • Grads Salary: $35,500
  • Student-to-faculty: 14:1
  • Texas State Technical College

Northern Wyoming Community College District

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $4,590
    • Out-of-State: $10,890
  • Net Price: $8,562
  • Retention Rate: 48%
  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Total Enrollment: 3,741
  • Undergrad Students: 3,741
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $37,700
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • Northern Wyoming Community College District

Lake Superior College

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $5,616
    • Out-of-State: $5,616
  • Net Price: $13,682
  • Retention Rate: 57%
  • Graduation Rate: 32%
  • Total Enrollment: 4,762
  • Undergrad Students: 4,762
  • Graduate Students: 0
  • Diplomas Awarded: 12
  • Grads Salary: $42,900
  • Student-to-faculty: 20:1
  • Lake Superior College

DeVry University-Illinois

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $17,488
    • Out-of-State: $17,488
  • Net Price: $29,115
  • Retention Rate: 54%
  • Graduation Rate: 42%
  • Total Enrollment: 20,832
  • Undergrad Students: 17,174
  • Graduate Students: 3,658
  • Diplomas Awarded: 60
  • Grads Salary: $44,100
  • Student-to-faculty: 27:1
  • DeVry University-Illinois
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Certificate vs. Associates

Earning specific certifications in network administration can only help you. You can earn an online associate in network administration and see if your college offers any certifications that may help you as you begin your career along the way. Many certifications that will be useful in your future career are available through online courses.

These may include:

  • Configuring Advanced Windows Server
  • CompTIA A+
  • Administering Windows Server
  • Configuring Windows Devices
  • Installing and Configuring Windows Servers

Deciding on whether these or other certifications will help you to do your job more effectively will be something you and your college advisor should discuss and decide together. You’ll spend more time studying, but you’ll benefit in the end.

What Network Administration Associate Degrees are Available?

Each college may have a different name for their Network Administration Associate Degree. The information and classes taught in each program may be slightly different, but you’ll learn what you need to know to work in this field. Make sure you check through the course list to make sure the program provides everything you need before you sign up for online courses or move onto campus.

  • Network Systems Administration Associate Degree:
    You will learn about computer networks, which are being brought online in more and more businesses. You’ll also gain other technical knowledge you need to perform this job.
  • Associate Degree in Computer and Network Support:
    Again, you’ll be ready to work in this industry, carrying out peripheral interfacing, network design and administration, Microsoft networking, LAN management, client/server configuration, and more. These programs are some of the most accessible through online learning.
  • Associate Degree in Network Systems Administration:
    Network administration students learn about CISCO and CompTIA; configuring a network or system solution; design, installation, and configuring of a network or system solution; and monitoring, maintaining, and enhancing existing network installations. Due to hands-on learning requirements, these may be less accessible through online learning.
  • Associate of Science in Network Administration:
    You’ll learn how to set up, configure, troubleshoot network systems, and maintain various computer network systems. You’ll also learn how to implement and monitor computer security measures within the work environment to become network system administrators.
  • Associate Degree in Computer Network Administration:
    In school, you’ll learn how to manage information technology for both government and business.

Admission Requirements

Each prospective student has to submit the same information so they can be considered for admission to a network administration program. This is just as true for online programs as it is for traditional ones. Request your high school transcripts, which should show that you have a minimum high school GPA of 2.0. If you are a transfer student, you should have a minimum higher education GPA, also of 2.0.

If you don’t meet college or program admission requirements, you may be admitted to exploratory studies, then transfer to the College of Business when you meet minimum requirements. If you are still in high school and you know your GPA isn’t 2.0, work to bring this up to the minimum standard for admission. Luckily, associate degree admission requirements are lower overall for both online and on-campus programs.

How long does it take to earn a Network Administration Associates?

Associate degrees usually take between 18 and 24 months to complete. An Associate in Applied Science (AAS) may take at least two years, if not longer. Because you’ll be taking computer classes and general education courses, your degree program may take a little more than two years, even if you are attending on a full-time basis. Network administration graduates should expect your curriculum to require completion of 62 to 67 credits.

If you do have to take any developmental education courses, this will extend your time in school. Developmental education courses are any course that is classified under the 100 level.

Potential Careers in Network Administration with an Online Associates

It’s natural to wonder where a prospective career can take you and it pays to do a little research to learn what you can about the professional field you’re choosing when you start college.

  • Network Administrator:
    Your daily duties may include performing data backups, managing disaster recovery operations, diagnosis, troubleshooting, and resolving software and hardware issues as well as oversight and maintenance of computer networks, hardware, systems software, and applications software. You’ll also implement network security measures that protect customer data, database management systems, software, and hardware.
    Average annual salary: $60,100
  • Technical Support Specialist:
    You may work in an organization providing technical assistance to users. You could troubleshoot problems with operating systems (OS), software, and hardware. You may also work in a technology company with the same job title.
    Average annual salary: $51,800
  • Computer Support Specialist:
    In this computer network support specialist role, you may be a team member, helping to maintain both networks and computer systems. In this role, you’ll provide technical assistance to various users on the network. You’ll also provide regular maintenance and network systems testing.
    Average annual salary: $46,200
  • Network/IT Security Analyst:
    As a network / computer systems analyst, you are responsible for analyzing, monitoring and helping to resolve a company’s online security issues, such as attempts to hack into the company’s computer network. You may also identify any potential security issues in the system, then preventing them by upgrading policies, software, and procedures that make the network system more secure.
    Average annual salary: $72,400
  • Computer Network Architect:
    In this role, you’ll work within an organization’s data communication networks, focusing on WANs, LANs, and intranets. They may be small or large, cloud-based or hardwired. You should keep your employer’s business goals in mind as you arrange the network and look for new technologies that will help it to achieve its biggest goals.
    Average annual salary: $121,800

Options to Advance

If you limit your educational options, you’re limiting the types of work you can do as an IT professional. Going back to school for a few more years to earn your online bachelor’s degree can be worth it, especially if you have specific goals you’d like to reach; a more in-depth education gives you a better opportunity to reach them.

You could earn your online Master’s Degree in Network Administration and become a manager. You’ll gain the skills to manage an entire network operation. An online master’s helps you to develop leadership and management skills as well as needed technology skills.

If you go further with your education, you could earn your Doctor of Information Technology. This will hone your problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Don’t mistake a PhD for a Doctor of Information Technology; the education and subsequent roles you can enter are different. With a doctorate, you have a wider set of skills to use. With a PhD, you’d work in theory and research.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it difficult to be a network administrator?

You might be surprised to hear that many in the industry believe that working as a network administrator is one of the more difficult positions in IT. However, due to the fact that every network is different and will require different solutions, that can make it very difficult to work in this role. You must always be aware of everything that is happening within your network and be ready to problem solve to find solutions to any issue. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions, so you’ll need to be creative to fix any issues you run into. You’ll be responsible for setting up new networks, troubleshooting the current setup for your employer, and creating solutions that work for each new problem.

Can you work from home as a network administrator?

Surprisingly, network administrators can do at least some of their work from home. However, you are likely going to need to spend some time in a physical office, so it’s more difficult to find roles outside of your region or local area in this field. You’ll repair connections and fix issues that arise remotely if you can, but your physical presence may still be needed on occasion.

Can you find work as a network administrator right out of school?

While most employers prefer to hire someone with experience, gaining an education in the field is certainly one way to overcome an employer’s reluctance to hire you without that experience. If you earned a bachelor’s degree, that means that you not only completed our general education classes, but also that you spent two whole years learning all about computer science, networking, and related knowledge. This can sway even some of the strictest employers to give you a chance if you seem like you know what you’re doing during an interview. This is why education can be so important when you go looking for a job.

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