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Online Colleges for Network Administration

Network administrators serve a vital role in businesses and organizations across the globe, as they are responsible for the day-to-day operations of technology in the workplace. They work in a variety of settings from elementary and secondary schools, investment services, retail management, and even entrepreneurial take-offs to ensure that technology operations are running smoothly. If you are able to multitask and have strong analytical and problem-solving skills, the addition of completing a degree program in network administration would be a good way to prepare for a career in this IT field.

Best Online Colleges for Network Administration

When choosing an online degree program, especially in a highly competitive field like network administration, rankings can be helpful for selecting a program that matches your interests and career goals.

Our rankings use a unique methodology that evaluates programs on several factors, including their admissions rate, graduation rate and number of degrees awarded in network administration out of all degrees awarded (otherwise known as "prominence"). Take a look at our top 10 online colleges for network administration.

1

St. Petersburg College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$3,347
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
N/A
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
46
School Type
4-year

As the first two-year higher-learning institution in Florida, St. Petersburg College has a long tradition of preparing students with skills to succeed in the workforce. Today, that includes innovative online programs, including two online degrees in Information Technology to help students stay competitive in our innovative digital world. The college offers:

  • An A.S. degree in Computer Networking
  • A choice of specialization in either network engineering (Cisco) or network administrator (Linux and Windows)
  • A Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Technology Development and Management

St. Petersburg earns a spot in our top 10 ranking thanks to its impressive graduation rate (ranked seventh out of the 19 schools offering the same online degree), and its fifth place prominence ranking. Once completing the A.S. degree in computer networking, many students choose to go on to earn the school's B.AS degree. The coursework prepares graduates for careers as Network and Computer Systems Administrators, Computer Network Support Specialists and Computer User Support Specialists, among others.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Location:

6021 142nd Ave N
Clearwater, Florida 33760-2822
2

Oconee Fall Line Technical College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$2,614
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
40.92%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
12
School Type
2-year

The AAS in Networking Specialist program at Oconee Fall Line can be completed in just five full-time semesters. Ranked second in prominence (out of 19 schools), over three percent of the school's graduates receive their degree in Network Administration. The program aims to help students gain competency in the technical areas of computer terminology and concepts, program design and development and computer networking. Students have a choice in specialization in either Microsoft or Cisco.

As per the website, the program operates under the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) with this guarantee:

"If one of our graduates educated under a standard program and his/her employer finds that the graduate is deficient in one or more competencies as defined in the standards, the technical college will retrain the employee at no instructional cost to the employee or the employer."

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)

Location:

1189 Deepstep Road
Sandersville, GA 31082
3

Lake Superior College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$5,126
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
43.54%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
11
School Type
2-year

With digital security at the forefront of both corporate and public sector priorities, students will achieve valuable career skills by completing this degree from LSC. In fact, the LSC Center for Cybersecurity provides a broad range of system security and information assurance services for local businesses and government, giving students real hands-on experiences. The college offers:

  • An A.A.S. in Network Administration and Cybersecurity
  • A Network Administration & Security certificate
  • A Network Administration & Cybersecurity diploma

In addition to the accolade of ranking sixth in prominence on our list, and having the ninth highest graduation rate, the program also received the Center of Academic Excellence 2Y Designation from the NSA and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Location:

2101 Trinity Road
Duluth, MN 55811-3399
4

Akron Institute of Herzing University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$12,790
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
N/A
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
24
School Type
4-year

With an average degree completion time of 36 months, students who are serious about launching their computer networking careers find Herzing's online degree program to be effective and efficient. In fact, the B.S. in Information Technology with a concentration in Network Management program earned our number one spot for prominence out of the 19 programs we evaluated.

Students can customize their degree by choosing the following concentrations:

  • IT networking
  • Security

Four percent of the school's total graduates complete their degree in network administration, and the graduate rate is among the highest on our list.

The school's long history as a computer training institute (since 1965) has bolstered its reputation. Today, the institution's online division attracts students who are looking to advance their careers in network technology.

As the website explains, the curriculum focuses on designing, implementing and supporting solutions to business problems in the general categories of information technology, information management and business communications.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Location:

1600 South Arlington Street, Suite 100
Akron, OH 44306-3931
5

Bellevue University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$7,050
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
87.25%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
53
School Type
4-year

Coming in at number four in prominence and fifth overall, Bellevue University's Bachelor of Science in Systems and Network Administration Program (SNAP) is an online degree program worthy of consideration. The school established itself as a forerunner of online learning, and the program is geared toward those seeking career advancement.

SNAP aims to be a profitable degree, and is a big proponent of experiential learning.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Location:

1000 Galvin Road South
Bellevue, NE 68005-3098
6

Southeastern Technical College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$2,774
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
28.19%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
19
School Type
2-year

With the fourth highest graduate rate among the 19 programs ranked, Southeastern Technical College's program is all about student success. Students may enter any of the Computer Information Systems degree programs any semester, and it typically takes five semesters to complete the 70 required credit hours. The college offers:

  • Computer Information Systems Degree - Networking Specialist (Associate)
  • Students can choose between two degree tracks: Microsoft and Cisco Discovery.

Students will learn technical skills including computer terminology and concepts, program design and development and computer networking. Graduates are well prepared to work as networking specialists.

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)

Location:

3001 E. First Street
Vidalia, GA 30474
7

American National University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$11,466
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
N/A
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
10
School Type
4-year

Not only does ANU's Bachelor's in Network Administration program ranks third in prominence, but it has an impressive graduation rate of over 38 percent. Over three percent of ANU's degrees are awarded in network administration, and there are several options for adult learners who can complete the program in anywhere from nine to 18 months.

With small class sizes, real-world learning scenarios, and exposure to industry-standard tools, students learn to design and administer networks, as well as prepare for Microsoft®, Cisco® and CompTIA certification examinations.

Accreditation:

  • Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)

Location:

1813 E Main St.
Salem, VA 24153
8

Western Governors University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$6,070
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
100.00%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
56
School Type
4-year

Western Governors University is a nonprofit online university founded and supported by 19 U.S. governors. It's strong reputation helps it break the top 10, as it ranks ninth in prominence on our list.

The B.S. in Information Technology - Network Administration program prepares students with network server administration skills that are in high demand, as well as the knowledge to earn industry certifications including the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA).

It takes students an average of two years to complete the online B.S. in Information Technology - Network Administration degree program, a faster pace than you might find in a traditional school setting.

Accreditation:

  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Location:

4001 South 700 East Suite 700
Salt Lake City, UT 84107
9

University of Phoenix-Arizona

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$11,003
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
97.74%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
115
School Type
4-year

The University of Phoenix is a well-known online learning provider, and its networking programs prepare students with real-world job skills, hence why it earned a seventh place ranking in prominence. The B.S. in Information Technology with Advanced Networking Certificate teaches students how to install, configure and support a network. There are also a number of associate degree programs that focus on information technology and networking for students looking for a shorter program of study.

Faculty members are also professionals in the field, so they can offer students an accurate perspective on what to expect once they graduate and become network administrators, systems engineers or IT directors.

There are several specialization options as well, that allow students to focus on various industry certifications.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Location:

1625 W Fountainhead Pkwy
Tempe, AZ 85282
10

Rasmussen College-Minnesota

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$9,360
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
82.51%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics
78
School Type
4-year

Rasmussen College was an early adopter of online learning, which is why its known for its innovative and interactive classes that include live interactive sessions and online simulations. Their programs also have one of the highest graduation rates in our ranking, at over 36 percent. The college offers the following programs:

  • Associate Degree in Information Technology Management - Network Administration Specialization
  • Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology Management - Network Administration Specialization

Students in the associate and bachelor's degree programs can choose the Flex Choice® option that allows them to combine traditional courses and self-directed assessments. Bachelor's students can earn up to three industry certifications as part of their degree program.

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Location:

226 Park Avenue South
St. Cloud, MN 56301-3713

Degree Overview: Network Administration

Network administration professionals handle technical needs for companies in a wide range of industries, as just about all of our business and personal interactions occur over digital networks. Earning a degree in the subject can help students become skilled professionals who ensure that today's digital networks and systems continue to flow seamlessly. To help you on your journey there, here are some of the common courses and skills you'll want to focus on during your academic career in an online program for network administration.

Online Network Administration Courses

Bachelor's degree programs in network administration are structured to help students understand both the creation and administration of systems and networks. These systems and networks are often comprised of Microsoft and Cisco products, Linux operating systems, web servers, database management systems, and related hardware and software that is common to the industry. As such, courses found in these programs usually include:

  • Information Technology Fundamentals
  • Operating Systems
  • Scripting and Programming
  • Network Design and Management
  • Server Administration

At the undergraduate level, students should also be prepared to encounter courses in technical writing and advanced mathematics -- important general topics that network administration professionals are likely to need in their careers. Students with a particular affinity for a particular computer language or system should also make some inquiries of their school's IT department; some bachelor's degree programs can build selected IT certifications into their degree plan, such as:

  • Microsoft Certified Professional, Specialist
  • CompTIA Linux+
  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Network+
  • CIW Site Development Associate

Master's degree programs in network administration typically cover a variety of courses -- from security technologies and network design to data management -- and a diverse range of operating systems. Courses at this level often cover technical topics such as microprocessing, circuits, inputs and outputs. They may also include management-focused courses in leadership and organizational behavior. As you progress through your advanced degree, you'll likely have the opportunity to develop project management and research skills to assist you in completing your thesis or capstone project.

Career-Related Skills to Develop

Network administration degree programs can help students foster a whole host of practical technical skills, such as designing, installing, managing, and upgrading computer systems and network infrastructures, or how to install and oversee stand-alone, client, and server operating systems, as well as database, messaging, and file servers. As network administration is a rather technical field, it's no surprise that this would be the case, and this breadth of technical knowledge is a valuable commodity that is valued by many different careers in the IT industry, not simply those for network administration.

Instruction on all these technical aspects also provides students with ample opportunity to develop the necessary troubleshooting, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills used to resolve common issues experienced in the IT workforce. Strong communication skills should also be honed, especially for those looking to enter into customer service or management roles.

Network Administration Career Outlook

Earning a degree in network administration can open doors to numerous positions in the information technology world. From assisting in a large IT department to creating the systems a new organization needs to grow and thrive, computer experts are always in high demand.

Computer Network Architects
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$104,240
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
31,500
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
8.7
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Bachelor's degree

From building a simple network between two offices to working on state-of-the-art cloud infrastructures to serve an enormous customer base, computer network architects use their skills and training to build data communications networks.

Their work includes creating plans and layouts to serve the needs of the client, presenting detailed plans to the decision-makers, upgrading hardware and software, integrating security measures into the design and ensuring everything runs smoothly. The duties don't stop there; computer network architects are always looking at emerging technology to find the best ways to serve their clients.

Most computer network architect careers require a bachelor's degree for entry-level work; some employers prefer to hire those who hold an MBA in information systems.

Information Security Analysts
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$96,040
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
25,500
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
17.9
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Bachelor's degree

As computer hacking and cyber attacks become more common, information security analysts are busier than ever. These professionals focus on maintaining the security of an organization's computer systems and networks. The work includes installing software that protects sensitive information, monitoring an organization's network to identify security threats, preparing reports on security breaches, researching new threats and much more. They conduct penetration testing — where they hack their own system in order to spot weak areas and fix them — and prepare disaster recovery plans — measures to keep the system running during a crisis, as well as back-up plans in the event the system goes down.

A bachelor's degree is the minimum required for a job in this field, but some employers may require a master's degree. Knowledge of business as well as computers can be a useful advantage in this field, as can previous experience in a network-related career.

Network and Computer Systems Administrators
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$84,500
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
79,400
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
7.9
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Bachelor's degree

The world relies on more and more computers every day. Network and computer systems administrators are the mechanical physicians for all these computers, ensuring they work properly. They are responsible for determining what services a business or organization needs, setting up the networks or computer systems, maintaining the systems on a daily basis, collecting data to help with upgrades and training users to use the necessary hardware and software. When a problem arises, they figure out what's going on and implement solutions to get their network or system back on track.

Although a network and computer systems administrator career can be obtainable with only a postsecondary certificate, a bachelor's degree is generally recommended, and some businesses even require a master's degree. Due to the evolving nature of technology, many network administrators will regularly attend refresher courses or IT conferences to keep their knowledge of the latest technology fresh and relevant.

Computer Support Specialists
Average Salary Average salary refers to the 2016 mean salary for all U.S. workers in this job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
$67,770
Projected Job Openings Projected job openings refers to the estimated number of job openings from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
36,900
Projected Job Growth Projected job growth refers to the estimated rate of increase in the number of jobs in this profession from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
7.5
Entry-level Education This refers to the typical entry-level education needed to obtain a position in a particular job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016
Associate degree

Computer network support specialists serve as support for information technology professionals within an organization. They test and evaluate existing systems, perform regular maintenance and troubleshoot networks and internet systems. Also known as technical support specialists, these experts solve computer problems for those in the organization through email, phone or in-person visits. They often work closely with network and computer systems administrators.

Education requirements for computer network support specialist careers vary. Some employers will hire those with an associate's degree or some post-secondary work. Others require a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions. Organizations with a specific technical slant might prefer those with a related minor or specialization.

Sources and Methodologies
Methodology

To be included in these rankings, all colleges had to meet the following criteria for the specific subject being ranked:

  1. Offer an undergraduate degree (either associate or bachelor's) in that subject online
  2. Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2014-15

Once we had our list of schools for each subject, we ranked them on five criteria:

  1. In-state tuition, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  2. Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
  3. Accessibility, based on the admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014
  4. Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
  5. Related subjects, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015

Sources:

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  2. History, St. Petersburg College, Accessed February 2017, https://www.spcollege.edu/pages/dynamic.aspx?id=2147484171
  3. Accreditation, St. Petersburg College, Accessed February 2017 https://www.spcollege.edu/Accreditation/
  4. SACSCOC Accreditation, OFTC, Accessed February 2017, https://www.oftc.edu/oconee-fall-line-technical-college-earns-sacscoc-accreditation
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  6. Mission & Guarantee, OFTC, Accessed February 2017, https://www.oftc.edu/about-oftc/mission-guarantee/
  7. Network Administration & Cybersecurity, Lake Superior College, Accessed February 2017, https://degrees.lsc.edu/network-engineer/
  8. LSC Center for Cybersecurity, Lake Superior College, Accessed February 2017, http://www.cis.lsc.edu/?page_id=561
  9. Accreditation, Lake Superior College, Accessed February 2017, http://www.lsc.edu/about-lsc/accreditation/
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  11. History, Herzing University, Accessed February 2017, https://www.herzing.edu/about/history
  12. Accreditation, Herzing University, Accessed February 2017, http://catalog.herzing.edu/content.php?catoid=3&navoid=82
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  14. History, Bellevue University, Accessed February 2017, http://www.bellevue.edu/about/about-us/history/
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  31. Network Administration, Rasmussen College, Accessed February 2017, http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/technology/network-administration/
  32. Online Learning, Rasmussen College, Accessed February 2017, http://www.rasmussen.edu/ways-to-learn/online/
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Sources and Methodologies