Computer Networking Technology training can fall under various different program names such as information technology, network technology, computer support technician, or network engineering. The programs vary slightly – as all programs do at different schools – but they will get you to roughly the same place in terms of education. At a high-level, you will learn to set up and maintain computer networks, troubleshoot network issues, teach users how to work on the network and be responsible for administering company-wide software applications.

Computer networking career opportunities

Graduating from one of these programs can get you a job as a network operations analyst, network technician, or as a member of an information technology support group. These days it is common for almost all companies to have an IT department, whether it’s a one man job or a 100 member support staff.

If you run a search for job requirements, you will find that for most entry-level jobs in this field, having knowledge of the specific technologies used by the hiring company can be very important.  Some schools offer certifications as part of their programs (or at least they prepare you for the certifications).  Popular networking certifications include Microsoft, Cisco, and A+.  Certifications pertaining to network security are also becoming more and more critical.  Even if the school doesn’t offer these certifications, you may want to consider it as something to do after you graduate because these certifications can often help you get your foot in the door if you do not have relevant job experience to boast on your resume.

What a computer networking program will teach you

Kaplan College, with several locations in Texas, indicates on their website that students will learn, among other things, managing databases, ensuring network security, and how to troubleshoot hardware and software problems. Other schools also include classes on specific software programs, or classes about routing internet protocol (IP) addresses.

The Hallmark Institute of Technology teaches you the latest technology, client systems, and operating systems, according to the program chair at the school, Gumaro Cabrera. DeVry University has a lot of variations of their programs that include Associates, Bachelors and Masters degrees, plus specialization options including project management and security management.

How long are the programs and how much will they cost

The length of a program will almost always impact its price. If you decide to tack on extra certifications, the price of your program will be different.  If you already have some college credits that you think will transfer, you may be able to pay less, and spend less time.

At the Hallmark Institute’s program in San Antonio, Texas, you will spend about 12 or 13 months to earn an Associate’s degree, said Cabrera. For an Associates degree at DeVry  University, with locations across Texas, you need about 67 credits or 5 full-time semesters. The price for their program is cheaper if you attend full time. The price per credit hour is reduced to $350 compared to about $580 if you go to school part time, or taking less than 12 credits each semester.

What schools look for in you

To get into a computer networking program, make sure you have completed your high school diploma or the General Equivalency Diploma (GED). Some schools will require you to take a placement test that will show you are ready for college level studies. At the Hallmark Institute, an acceptance committee will review your past grades, test scores, and the kind of support you have to determine if you will be a successful student at their school. You should also anticipate an application fee that you have to pay in order to be considered at the school, whether or not they ultimately accept you.

View a list of computer networking schools in Texas to learn more.