Due to the technical and computer-oriented nature of the discipline, Associate of Science (AS) and Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees are typically granted instead of AA degrees. These programs provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary for the support, design and implementation of internet-based networks. Some programs offer emphasis areas, such as security and information assurance, Cisco administration and network technology management. A few general education courses are required as well. Most programs take two years to complete, and applicants must have a high school diploma or GED.
Associate's in Internetworking Technology
The coursework exposes students to a broad range of subjects related to computer systems, system design, network security, troubleshooting in internetworking technology and convergence. Students take courses that teach Linux/Unix operating systems, A+ programming and hardware maintenance. Other topics covered include the following:
- Maintenance of a personal computer
- Concepts and protocols of routing networks
- Desktop operating systems configuration
- Professional communications techniques
- Analytical thinking
- Active directory services implementation
Popular Career Options
Program graduates can seek future career opportunities that can allow them to regulate and oversee computer networks utilized within organizations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), after acquiring higher degrees and/or certification, graduates may be able to advance to management positions in the following institutions:
- Computer systems design firms
- Elementary and secondary schools
- Telecommunications carriers
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't provide specific information for internetworking workers, the closely related field of networking and computer systems administration is projected to see an employment increase of 4% from 2019-2029. The mean annual wages of these workers were $89,460 in May 2020.
Continuing Education Information
Upon successful program completion, graduates can sit for certification examinations, such as those for Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Network+ and CompTIA A+. Students can also go on to attain bachelor's degrees in internetworking technology-oriented fields of study.
Although AA programs in internetworking technology are not offered, AS and AAS programs in computer network technology provide a relevant introduction to the field of IT. When students graduate, they can seek entry-level work, or they can boost their future employment prospects by pursuing a bachelor's degree in another computer-related field.