Best Online Network Administration Associate Degrees 2021: Top Picks


Computers power all aspects of business, government and industry. Associate degrees in network administration prepare graduates for careers that ensure that computer systems, security functions, and software are functioning properly and efficiently.

IT User Support Specialists provide technical assistance directly to end users. Network administrators manage the operation of computer systems. Website developers design, create, and maintain websites that virtually every organization needs to exist. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth in all of these areas.

Read on for information on educational options and career paths for those with an Associate Network Administrator degree, as well as what to expect as an online learner.

The Best Online Associate in Network Administration Degrees

ZDNet’s ranking methodology uses information from federally reported datasets to provide lists of independently selected schools and programs that help readers identify those that will help them meet their educational goals and professionals. We subject every dataset we use to rigorous expert review.

Unless otherwise noted, data is from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Scorecard.

1. Dakota State University

Madison, South Dakota

About the program: DSU’s 60 credit online associate science program in Network and Security Administration teaches networking, security and systems basics through virtual conferences and labs real world simulation.

  • Acceptance rate: 77%
  • Graduation rate: 39%
  • Avg. annual net price: $ 18,000
  • Years until the end: Of them
  • SAT range: 950
  • Minimum GPA: 2.6
  • Registration periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Dakota State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

What to Expect in an Online Network Administration Associate Study Program

Distance learning consists of asynchronous materials accessible at any time, synchronous lectures and labs at fixed times, hybrid programs with some participation on campus or a combination of instructional formats. Online students can participate in virtual discussion forums and interactive activities, including group projects.

The program can be difficult, and many programs require applicants to take a placement exam or submit ACT, SAT, or other test results. Graduates qualify for specialization certifications, such as Cisco and Microsoft. Some programs include seminars or wrap-up projects, as well as internship opportunities in companies close to the students’ homes.

Basic courses tend towards the practical side, teaching the skills needed for the job. Students choose electives in consultation with their advisers.

Associated with network administration courses

This section lists the common core courses taken by online associates of network administration students. The program typically focuses on installing and maintaining networks, protecting system security, and troubleshooting issues.

Fundamentals of cybersecurity

This course introduces students to the principles of information assurance and covers threats to system security, developing risk mitigation plans, and identifying vulnerabilities. Students examine security mechanisms, models and policies.

Introduction to cyber operations

Learners receive an introduction to cyber operations, including applied cryptography, legal issues, user experience, and wireless communication. The course emphasizes the ramifications of cyber attacks at the military, government and consumer levels.


This course begins with LAN topologies, planning and installation considerations, as well as LAN hardware and software offerings and troubleshooting. Students then move on to the TCP / IP architecture and its role in network communications.

Routing and switching

This course combines lectures and hands-on virtual labs to teach students how to design, configure, implement, and troubleshoot LAN / WAN technologies. Participants learn to use firewalls, routers, and switches, and recommend networking solutions.

Network Administration Diploma Levels

Choosing a degree in network administration involves careful consideration of your career goals. If you are short on time or are unsure of the area, you can opt for a certificate, which allows you to get your feet in the water for a lower investment. An associate or bachelor’s degree increases your chances of getting an entry-level position.

Certificate in Network Administration

  • Length: One year
  • Cost: $ 3,500 – $ 16,000
  • Postgraduate careers: IT system administrator, system administrator, network support specialist

Certificate in Network Administration programs train students in the analysis, design, and maintenance of network systems through courses that include networking fundamentals, operating systems and utilities, and local networks.

Graduates can find entry-level technician jobs, but may have to gain experience before becoming a full network administrator. Certificate holders can take industry certification exams, gain experience in the field before embarking on continuing education, and apply the credits they earn towards an associate or bachelor’s degree.

Network administration collaborator

  • Length: Two years
  • Cost: $ 13,000 per year
  • Postgraduate careers: IT User Support Specialist, Network Administrator, Website Developer

An Associate’s Degree in Network Administration is aimed at students seeking a quick entry into the workforce. Learners obtain an average of 60 credits which introduce them to the fundamentals of computer systems administration, information systems security, scripts and databases, as well as WAN technology.

Those pursuing an associate’s degree in network administration may specialize in areas such as Cisco CCENT and Microsoft MCSA. The program focuses on workplace skills and hands-on instruction and may include a wrap-up project or internship opportunities in local student communities.

Bachelor of Network Administration

  • Length: Four years
  • Cost: $ 9,000 to $ 18,000 per year
  • Postgraduate careers: Database administrator, information security analyst, systems architect

A bachelor’s degree in network administration prepares graduates for entry-level positions in businesses, healthcare facilities, and government agencies, and also opens doors to industry certifications. Bachelor programs also include general education courses.

Distance learning typically involves a combination of self-paced, synchronous and hybrid teaching. Core courses include best business practices in computer science, object-oriented programming, software analysis, and technical communication. Students can expect to gain practical experience through labs and internships and to complete a comprehensive project.

In conclusion

An associate’s degree in online network administration combines the flexibility and convenience of distance learning with hands-on, skill-based instruction. Graduates can obtain entry-level jobs, obtain industry certifications, and apply their credits towards further education. Visit the program’s website so you can decide if an associate’s degree is the right choice for you.


About Author

Comments are closed.