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2020 Computer Systems Networking Degree Guide

Computer systems are essential in almost every company to allow information to be shared, and work to be completed. If you would like to play an integral role in the daily operations of many businesses, consider majoring in Computer Systems Networking.

The job of computer systems networking technicians is to configure the computer system of businesses and ensure that they are kept up to date and running smoothly. Students take classes in computer applications, computer network design, computer science, and mathematics to learn everything about networks, firewalls, and routers.

Computer Systems Networking Degrees Remain Stable

#87 Most Popular Major
13.8k Degrees Awarded
1.0% Increase in Graduates

Computer Systems Networking was the 87th most popular major in the 2017-2018 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 13,791 degrees in this year alone. This represents small change only 1.0% from the prior year's total of 13,655 networking degrees awarded.

The United States has 141 different schools where you can get a degree in computer systems networking. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of networking programs later in this article.

Computer Systems Networking Degree Requirements

Those who are successful in Computer Systems Networking have a strong background in computers and operating systems. Students must also have strong problem solving and analytical skills so they can successful assess and fix network problems. Multitasking skills will allow professionals to work on multiple networks and operating systems at once.

Computer Systems Networking professionals are often employed full time in office environments. Since computer networks can go down at anytime, professionals may work overtime or on weekends to fix problems and ensure everything is running smoothly.

Internships and summer jobs are beneficial to students pursuing a career in Computer Systems Networking. These experiences will allow students to work hands-on with networks and operating systems while learning from professionals in the field.

Networking Degree Program Entry Requirements

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most networking degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. In addition to these basic computer systems networking program qualifications, to serve in some networking careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Computer Systems Networking Degree Types

There are many different networking degree levels. Computer Systems Networking programs offered by schools range from a first year certificate to a research/scholarship based doctorate, which is the highest networking degree you can get. The type of networking degree you choose will determine how long it takes to get your diploma.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to networking, with approximately 44.2% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for networking workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 45.3%
Master’s Degree 16.6%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 12.7%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 9.9%
Some College Courses 6.3%

78.7% of networking workers have at least a bachelor's. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in computer systems networking careers have.


The education level required is different depending on the networking career you are seeking.

Networking Careers

Above Average Number of Jobs
$40.6k Average Starting Salary
10% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Since computers are used in almost every business and organization, Computer Systems Networking graduates are employed at a variety of locations including hospitals, educational institutions, financial corporations, and government agencies. Since this major teaches students all aspect of computer networks, graduates are good candidates for any career dealing with computer systems.

Solid Growth Projected for Networking Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your networking degree? Computer Systems Networking careers are expected to grow 10.3% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to computer systems networking.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Computer Systems Analysts 654,900 9.1%
Computer Network Support Specialists 215,200 8.2%
Computer Network Architects 173,200 6.5%
Information Security Analysts 128,500 28.5%

How Much Money Do Networking Grads Make?

Computer Systems Networking graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $40,564 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $13,500 to as high as $71,800. As you might expect, salaries for networking graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Networking Majors

Salaries for computer systems networking graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers networking grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Computer Network Architects $111,130
Information Security Analysts $102,470
Computer Systems Analysts $93,610
Computer Network Support Specialists $68,050

Getting Your Computer Systems Networking Degree

With over 1,173 different networking degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased networking school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Computer Systems Networking

One of 10 majors within the Computer & Information Sciences area of study, Computer Systems Networking has other similar majors worth exploring.

Majors Similar to Networking

Related Major Annual Graduates
Computer Information Systems 74,454
Computer Science 44,313
Information Technology 30,179
Information Science 17,384
Computer Software & Applications 11,900

View All Networking Related Majors >


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