Overview of a Bachelor’s in Network Administration
An online or traditional bachelor’s in network administration gives you the background to begin a technological career. You may either choose to start with a bachelor’s or your associate degree can advance into a bachelor’s program. Programs may be housed under either computer science, engineering, or in a business school, which means you’ll have to earn credits associated with engineering, business, or computer science. Many of these easily shift to an online learning format, so you may be able to find these programs in a traditional format, online, or through hybrid learning, with online and in-person courses. As long as the colleges and universities prospective students choose has regional or national accreditation, this should be a breeze and lead to great career opportunities where you can gain relevant work experience and earn promotions through experience, passing professional certification exams, and more.
Just some of the wide variety of topics and skills you might study include:
- Software Development
- Systems Analysis and Design
- Computer Network Security
- Cloud Computing
- Scripting and Programming
- Web Development
- Information Security
- Computer Systems Hardware and Software
- Operating Systems
- Systems and Network Administration
- Network Management Technology
As you decide whether or not you’re going to earn a bachelor’s in network administration degree, whether online or not, you should weigh the pros and cons of going into this degree program. If you already have an associate degree in this field, then a bachelor’s will allow you to take on more responsibility and move into other areas of network administration while building on the credit hours you've already earned. On average, you can expect to earn about $56,000, depending on your employer and your specific job responsibilities.
It shouldn’t be difficult to find a job in your new field; information security professionals and network administrators are badly needed in a variety of organizations. Right now, employers are struggling to find enough qualified network administration professionals. Depending on any concentrations or certificates you earned in school, you may work as a network security administrator, computer and information manager, computer support specialist, network administrator, or a computer systems analyst.
While you’ll experience definite advantages with a bachelor’s degree in network administration, you also need to think about possible disadvantages to this career field and degree. If you have plans or aspirations to lead or manage a team, then you may not get this opportunity with only a bachelor’s degree. You’re more likely to have access to these positions once you’ve earned your master’s in network administration and made good use of networking opportunities. It may be possible for graduates from online bachelor's network administration degree programs to work as network administrators, but they'll need much more relevant work experience as proof of their skills than those with a master's.
Network administration is a popular field, both at colleges and universities and among employers and, while employers are still struggling to find qualified people, if you don’t have the right degree, you’ll likely lose out to someone who holds a higher degree from a network administration program and more qualifications.
If you’ve already worked in network administration and you have a master’s degree, then you’ll find that HR managers are looking for people like you.
Certificate Vs. Bachelor’s
While an online or on-campus bachelor’s degree in network administration will help you begin a challenging career, it’s not everything you need. If your degree program offers any certification programs that would apply to your future career, be open to enrolling into those certification programs that would benefit you the most.
The criteria for deciding on “certification or not?” includes:
- Your intended career path
- Your level of experience
- Any specific job role you’d like to get into
- Which IT area you are most interested in
If you’re still wondering, ask your advisor. They may recommend getting a few certifications before graduation.
What Network Administration Bachelor’s Degrees are Available Online?
- Bachelor of Science in Network Operations and Security (BS-NOS):
This degree allows you to learn the material you need to become a network administrator. You’ll also be able to work in the security side of the field. This degree program also makes available 14 industry certifications you may need for your career. These degrees are often available through online programs.
- Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT):
This online degree has a specialization in Network Administration, so you’ll be able to learn everything you need to for your degree and pending career through online or in-person courses.
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Networks (BSCN):
Learn about all the operations and procedures you’ll use in your daily work. You’ll also learn to use technologies that allow you to design computer networks, implement their operations, administer, and troubleshoot.
- Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Technology (BAS-IT):
You’ll be entering into a field that is in high demand with this degree. You may work with a company that wants to place its networks into cloud services, as is happening with many healthcare facilities. Online courses are commonly available for this degree.
- Bachelor of Science in Information Technologies (BS-IT):
You’ll be the specialist to increase the efficiency and performance of the IT systems within your employer’s company. This degree comes with a concentration in Networks and Telecommunications.
The admission requirements at some schools may include specific experience categories:
- Two years of IT experience
- Minimum of 60 previously earned credits or an associate degree
- Complete BSIT 200 or BSIT 220, passing with a B or higher
- Hold current CompTIA or CompTIA Network+ certification
You’ll also need to submit an official high school transcript or GED certificate. If you are transferring from another university, you’ll submit an official transcript from that institution and any others you may have attended. Transcripts must be sealed and sent directly from the institution to be considered official.
How long does it take to earn a Network Administration Bachelor's online?
In an on-campus bachelor degree program, if you take 12 credits each semester, you’ll graduate in a little more than four years. Increasing the number of credits you take per semester to 15 allows you to finish more quickly, usually within the normal four-year time frame.
If you take an online bachelor’s degree program, you may be on a quarterly term schedule, meaning each course finishes within seven to 10 weeks. Try to take your general education courses more quickly by taking two at a time, then take single core courses per ten-week term. By doing so, you’ll graduate within four to five years.
Potential Careers in Network Administration with a Bachelor’s
As you start your college years, you may have some indefinite plans and goals. Once you start taking your classes and finding which core topics you’re most passionate about, you should get an idea of which careers you find the most interesting. Here are some career options for you to consider.
- Information Systems Manager:
This career is attainable with a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems. Expect to take part in planning, arranging, and managing IT-related operations. You’ll also collaborate in establishing and executing new goals for your organization, as well as the processes needed to reach these goals.
Average annual salary: $83,800
- Network and Computer Systems Administrator:
If you’re hired in this position, you’ll manage your organization’s computer networks. Because these networks are becoming even more complex, you’ll have to be able to keep up with the technology and work demands. You’ll involve yourself in daily network operations and troubleshoot problems in software and hardware applications.
Average annual salary: $68,400
- Computer Systems Analyst:
This professional helps their employer to establish and implement information systems, undertake the processes involved in integrating both business and technology. You may be involved in the design and creation of documentation connected to specific information systems and any technical equipment the company uses.
Average annual salary: $69,500
- Software Developer:
Professionals in this position are vital in helping to customize applications and systems. They work with system engineers and computer programmers. They may develop or customize existing systems, run tests, and control networks. They test and document software, write code, use source debuggers and write, modify, and debug software for clients’ applications.
Average annual salary: $71,900
- Software Engineer:
The responsibilities of this professional include developing and integrating software systems for their organization. This professional works with programmers to create new user applications. They also evaluate the programs and systems used by their employer. They may help to design and execute workflow processes.
Average annual salary: $86,600
Options to Advance
If you have been working in network administration after earning your bachelor’s degree, you may have seen some higher-performing roles in your organization. If you want to be able to manage and lead teams, then an online master’s in information technology can help you achieve your goals. In general, your courses will focus on the development of effective and secure systems solutions. You’ll learn how to lead your organization and different teams in managing the company’s information systems and related business outcomes. You’ll help to manage the scope, resources, and scheduling as you deliver quality information systems projects.
Best Online Bachelor of Science in Network Administration Programs
Ithaca, New York
As a privately endowed research university, Cornell deeply feels its responsibility to help students and the general public benefit from knowledge gained. The university is also a land-grant institution and a partner of the State University of New York.
- Bachelor of Science in Information Science, Systems, and Technology
Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Herzing University works to provide personalization to each student so they can successfully earn their degree and move into their chosen career. The university was founded in 1965 by Henry and Suzanne Herzing; their daughter, Renee, the university’s president, is carrying on their legacy.
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Networking
Grand Canyon University
In August of 1949, Grand Canyon College was chartered with about 100 students and 16 faculty members. The college moved to a new, 90-acre tract in West Phoenix, becoming accredited in 1968. As a Baptist-affiliated institution, GCU first offered education and religious studies.
- Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT)
Green River College
Green River College strives to help students achieve success through comprehensive educational programs and any needed support services. Green River works to meet the needs of life-long learners and a range of students seeking educational achievement.
- Bachelor’s in Network Administration & Security
New Orleans, Louisiana
Tulane prides itself on its School of Professional Advancement, which caters to the needs of working adults as they strive to reach their fullest potential in their educational pursuits. The School of Professional Advancement (SOPA) was begun in April of 2017 by relaunching the old University College.
- Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a Concentration in Network Administration
San Antonio, Texas
Hallmark University is a different kind of university. If you look at the tuition costs, the relative speed at which students can complete their degrees, and the university’s efforts at immersive education, you know this isn’t an old-style higher education institution.
- Bachelor of Science in Information Systems
Traditional Schools Offering a BS in Network Administration
Arizona State University
In February of 1886, nearly 30 years before Arizona became a state, the Territorial Normal School was founded. This was the former territory’s first institution of higher education, opening its doors to 33 students, who took classes in four classrooms. That same school later became Arizona State University.
- Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
California Baptist Online
CBU’s Division of Online and Professional Studies (OPS) strives to increase the opportunities for people who want to attain their educational goals. CBU Online works to make sure that working adults can gain the education that they need and want.
- Bachelor of Science in Network Administration and Management
Dakota State University
Madison, South Dakota
DSU bills itself as “not your typical four-year university.” The original institution was founded in 1881, as a teacher education college in the Dakota Territory. Fast-forward to today and DSU is called one of the most technologically advanced school campuses in the Midwest.
- Bachelor of Science in Network and Security Information
Colorado State University Global Campus
CSU-Global was founded in 2008 with 200 students. Today, its student body is 18,000. In the spring of 2009, the university was officially declared to be an online university within the Colorado State University system. It is not just an extension of a physical campus.
- Online Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology
The University of Arizona
The University of Arizona knows that classes on-campus may not work for everyone. Its online program gives anyone who seeks the opportunity to earn their degree. Students who go to school online are taught by the same professors who teach classes on-campus.
- Bachelor of Applied Science, Emphasis in Network Operations