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Best Network Engineering Associate Degree Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Ufuoma Ogono - May 17, 2022


In this digital age, there is nothing more critical for a computer-driven business than ensuring network security. A small error or breach on a network can lead to significant disruption to services. These crucial factors explain why there is a rising demand for network engineers in the US and beyond and the best Associate Degrees in Network Engineering will give you the start you need in this career.

Getting an Associate Degree or network security is an excellent first step to launching your career. In this article, you will learn everything there is to know about network engineering associate degree programs. It contains a vivid explanation of the term as well as information about the job outlook, prospective earnings, career paths, and a look at the best network engineering associate degrees for online learning.

What Is Network Engineering?

Network engineering is the act of selecting and implementing the processes, activities, software, and hardware used to ensure the integrity, usability, and security of an organization’s computer network. It may also involve a combination of rules and technological designs explicitly developed to keep a computer network secure.

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For network security to work as planned, a network engineer has to coordinate every aspect of an organization’s network infrastructure such that all internal and external threats are kept at bay. Network engineering also covers the measures taken to ensure that only people with security clearance can access certain data sets.

Where Can I Get an Associate Degree in Network Engineering?

The best colleges where you can get an Associate Degree in Network Engineering are community colleges and tech schools that focus on in-demand technical skills and hands-on training. Where to get an Associate Degree in Network Engineering will depend on your budget, location, and learning preference.

What Schools Offer the Best Network Engineering Associate Degrees?

  • Anoka Technical College
  • Bay Mills Community College
  • Davenport University
  • Palo Alto College
  • Sheridan College

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Associate Degree in Network Engineering?

For an Associate Degree in Network Engineering, you need to have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent. It will also help if you have credits from STEM courses that you took in math, computer science, design, and technology. You may also need credit in English and other non-tech subjects according to local and regional requirements.

Each community college and school sets its own requirements for admission into the networking major. For example, some might demand a cumulative grade point average of 2.0, while some might require 2.5 or even 3.0. As for the associate degree program itself, you will need between 60 and 70 credits to graduate, which can then be applied to a network-related bachelor’s degree.

Network Engineering Associate Degree Admission Requirements

  • Application form. The first step in applying for an Associate Degree in Network Engineering is to apply using an application form. These are found on the school’s website and can usually be filled out online.
  • Age requirement. Most community colleges and technical schools will require students to be at least 18 years of age on the first day of class. Some schools may make an exception to this rule.
  • High school diploma. Prospective students will need a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent to gain entry into a network engineer associate degree program.
  • Transcripts. Most associate degree programs will require students to submit transcripts. These can be high school or college transcripts.
  • Application fee. Some schools will require students to pay an application fee. This is usually under $100 and non-refundable.

How to Get an Associate Degree in Network Engineering

The best way to get a network engineering associate degree is to have previous experience with computers or IT, problem-solving skills, and a logical mind. Ideally, you should have some knowledge of basic computer science or network fundamentals going into a college for a network engineering associate degree.

Before starting a network engineering associate degree, students should have some idea of their career path and educational plan. For example, you should know if you want to enter the workforce straight after graduation or if you want to pursue higher education, such as a tech-related master’s degree . Admissions interviews will often cover these topics to ensure you are right for the program.

How Many Credits Do You Need for an Associate Degree in Network Engineering?

You need between 60 and 72 credits for Associate Degrees in Network Engineering. These credits are divided between general education classes and elective classes. Credits earned as part of an associate degree can be transferred to a bachelor’s degree program, which typically requires 120 credits to complete.

Network Engineering Degree Requirements

  • General education classes. Students will be required to complete about 30 credits of general education classes. These include fundamentals of math, English, and social sciences. Some schools use SAT or Accuplacer test results to place students in these classes. At the associate degree level, these classes offer lower-level subjects.
  • Elective classes. Each program will have a minimum number of elective classes and credits that need to be completed. Students typically have a wide range of subject choices when it comes to elective classes, and these are a great way for students to learn new skills and explore different career paths.
  • GPA. Some schools or colleges may require students to maintain a certain GPA to graduate successfully.
  • Internship program. The best colleges may have an internship program as part of their network engineering associate degree programs. Students will be required to successfully obtain and complete an internship to obtain their degree.

Best Network Engineering Associate Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Anoka Technical College Associate in Applied Science in Information Technology, Network Management and Security Specialization Higher Learning Commission
Arkansas State University Three Rivers Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems Higher Learning Commission
Bay Mills Community College Associate of Applied Science Computer Information Systems Higher Learning Commission
College of Southern Maryland Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Davenport University Associate of Applied Science in Networking Technology Higher Learning Commission
Delaware County Community College Associate in Applied Sciences in Information Technology, Network Engineering Specialization Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Harford Community College Associate of Applied Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Palo Alto College Associate of Applied Science in Information Security and Assurance Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Sheridan College Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security Higher Learning Commission
University of Maine at Fort Kent Associate of Science in Cyber Security and Information Security New England Commission of Higher Education

Best Schools for Network Engineering: Top Network Engineering Associate Degree Programs

The best schools for network engineering associate degrees focus on in-demand and up-to-date network engineering subjects like security, computer programming, network technologies, and routing protocols.

The top network engineering associate programs will ensure graduates are ready for entry-level networking jobs or have the knowledge to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program. The best network engineering associate programs will also provide hands-on training and use real-world and collaborative projects to ensure students are well-trained.

Community colleges, technical schools, and some universities offer an Associate Degree in Network Engineering. While an Associate Degree in Network Engineering is an ideal way for newcomers to learn fundamental skills, a Bachelor’s Degree in Network Engineering is required for upper-tier jobs with higher salaries.

1

Anoka Technical College

Anoka, MN

This college has been around since 1968 and offers over 70 technical courses. The current student population is 1,683 and the school is known for its low cost, hands-on training, and faculty experts.

Associate in Applied Science in Information Technology, Network Management and Security Specialization

The AAS in Network Management and Security has a completion requirement of 72 credits over two years. Graduates will develop critical thinking, analysis, project management, interpersonal, design, logic, and collaboration skills and knowledge.

This Associate in Applied Science will ensure graduates are specialists in their area of emphasis for a rewarding career in the IT industry. Students will gain technical specialization in network management and security as well as broad foundational tech knowledge. Anoka Technical College provides students with employment and internship opportunities.

Associate in Applied Science in Information Technology, Network Management, and Security Specialization Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and Fees: $202.48/credit
  • Required Credits: 72 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 46%

Associate in Applied Science in Information Technology, Network Management, and Security Specialization Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Not required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: Accuplacer test

Applying to Anoka Technical College

  1. Fill out an online application
  2. Take Accuplacer test
  3. Apply for financial aid through FAFSA
  4. Attend orientation
  5. Enroll in classes
  6. Pay tuition and fees

2

Arkansas State University Three Rivers

Malvern, AR

Arkansas State University Three Rivers was known as the College of the Ouachitas when it was established in 1969. It currently has a range of 27 certificates and associate degree programs. The current student population is 1,243. Arkansas State University graduates have the highest average starting income of all associate programs statewide.

Associate in Applied Science in Computer Information Systems

This AAS covers subjects such as microcomputer installation, network operations systems, network security, network administration, network applications, and software packages repair. Graduates will be able to find work as network managers, database administrators, hardware support specialists, software specialists, or network engineers.

This program is designed for students to gain entry into the workforce, not as a pathway to further education. While students may be able to transfer into a bachelor’s degree with this program, there is no guarantee or partnerships with other colleges. Students will need to complete 61 credits to complete this program.

Associate in Applied Science in Computer Information Systems Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $102/semester credit (in state); $203/semester credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 61 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 30%

Associate in Applied Science in Computer Information Systems Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Not required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: ACT, SAT, or Accuplacer scores when applicable

Applying to Arkansas State University Three Rivers

  1. Submit an online application
  2. Provide proof of MMR vaccination
  3. Submit ACT, SAT, or Accuplacer scores
  4. Supply high school transit or GED test scores

3

Bay Mills Community College

Brimley, MI

This small public community college in Michigan was founded in 1981. The student population is just under 500, and this community college offers 29 certificate, associate, and bachelor’s programs. Bay Mills Community College offers students a remote and intimate rural campus experience.

Associate of Applied Science Computer Information Systems

Students are required to complete 64 to 65 credits to complete this program. Graduates will have the necessary skills to install and manage computer networks, configure and maintain servers, and provide advanced software support.

Core subjects include computer hardware systems, computer security, advanced computer hardware, introduction to routing, and computer programming. Bay Mills Community College will provide students who enroll in this program with computer security, web page design, and office suite software.

Associate of Applied Science Computer Information Systems Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $285 per credit hour
  • Required Credits: 64-65 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 14%

Associate of Applied Science Computer Information Systems Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Not required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $30 per semester
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: Placement test

Applying to Bay Mills Community College

  1. Submit your application form online and wait for a confirmation email
  2. Submit high school or GED transcripts
  3. Take the placement test
  4. Register for classes with a student advisor
  5. Complete and submit your FAFSA to apply for financial aid

4

College of Southern Maryland

La Plata, MD

This two-year public university was established in 1958. It has five different campuses across Maryland. College of Southern Maryland offers over 120 associate and certificate programs. This school has over 200 transfer agreements across more than 60 colleges and universities, making it an ideal program for students looking to transfer to a bachelor’s program.

Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity

The AAS program runs for two years with a 60-credit requirement, including general education courses, tech subjects, and electives. Core courses cover penetration testing , ethical hacking, networking, digital forensics, cyber ethics, and computing essentials.

Students who want to break into the network engineering field can select the network security electives. Not only will graduates learn advanced networking skills, but they can use the associate degree to gain Cisco Certified Network Associate industry certification.

Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and Fees: $240/credit (in state) and 25% of the tuition amount for fees; $308/credit (out of state) and 25% of the tuition amount for fees
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person, online, or hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 29%

Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Not required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to College of Southern Maryland

  1. Submit your online application through the school’s website
  2. Submit your SAT, ACT, or GED scores or high school transcript
  3. Register for classes

5

Davenport University

Grand Rapids, MI

Davenport University , founded in 1866, is one of the most popular private schools for getting network security degrees in the US. This university offers an array of flexible and career-focused programs to help students achieve their career goals.

Associate of Applied Science in Networking Technology

The AAS program has a 60 or 61 credit requirement and can be completed in two years. Students learn about product management, professional ethics, operating systems, Microsoft networking, and Cisco networking.

Graduates will learn foundational skills in business and communications to help them effectively apply networking solutions. Davenport is a registered Cisco Networking Academy and is one of the top schools for graduates interested in cyber security. Graduates who wish to continue their education can transfer to related bachelor’s or master’s programs at Davenport University.

Associate of Applied Science in Networking Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $885 per credit hour (in-state and out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60-61 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person or online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 52%

Associate of Applied Science in Networking Technology Admissions Requirements

  • GPA: Not required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $25
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Davenport University

  1. Choose your major
  2. Apply online for admission
  3. Request your high school or GED transcript
  4. Complete and submit your FAFSA

6

Delaware County Community College

Media, PA

Founded in 1967, the Delaware County Community College has become one of the best places to get an associate degree. The student population is 9,989. This community college offers 53 associate degree programs and 43 certificate programs across nine locations.

Associate in Applied Sciences in Information Technology, Network Engineering Specialization

The network engineering option is offered as part of the IT degree, which requires 64 to 66 credits to complete. Some of the core topics covered during the program include cyber security concepts, network security concepts, Microsoft Windows and server, and Cisco.

Outcomes for graduates include installing, configuring, and troubleshooting Linux and Microsoft systems. You will analyze, test, and problem-solve physical network devices and network protocols. This associate degree will prepare students for employment as networking specialists in the communications industry.

Associate in Applied Sciences in Information Technology, Network Engineering Specialization Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $250/credit (in state), $375/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 64-66 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person or online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 21%

Associate in Applied Sciences in Information Technology, Network Engineering Specialization Admissions Requirements

  • GPA: Not required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Delaware County Community College

  1. Submit an online application
  2. Submit SAT or ACT scores for consideration of placement test waiver
  3. Complete the orientation class
  4. Meet with an academic advisor to schedule your classes

7

Harford Community College

Bel Air, MD

Formerly known as Harford Junior College, this school has been around since 1957. The student population is 5,256. Harford offers over 90 affordable associate degree and certificate programs that vow to educate students and help them find the right career path.

Associate of Applied Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity

This associate of applied science is a 60-credit program that introduces students to different aspects of network security. The required classes cover a variety of subjects including fundamentals of cyber security, network security, network defense, strategic infrastructure security, and computer forensics .

Students will receive hands-on training with the latest hardware and software that is needed for security and network jobs. Students may transfer to a higher-level computer programming degree or a cyber security degree if they don’t wish to enter the workforce straight away. Students will also be able to take the Cisco Certified Network Administrator certificate after graduation.

Associate of Applied Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $230/credit hour (in state), $325/credit hour (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 31%

Associate of Applied Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Admissions Requirements

  • GPA: Not required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Harford Community College

  1. Submit an online application
  2. Select your major
  3. Wait for an electronic acceptance via email
  4. Reach out to the Harford admissions team with any further questions

8

Palo Alto College

San Antonio, TX

Founded in 1985, Palo Alto College is one of the five accredited colleges in the Alamo Colleges District. This college offers over 300 associate degrees and certifications. The student population is close to 12,000. Palo Alto offers a student-first approach to education to allow community and student empowerment.

Associate of Applied Science in Information Security and Assurance

The 60-credit AAS degree might be just what you need to launch your career in network security. The curriculum covers Linux , Cisco, information security, and network security. Students will learn to design, implement, and secure computer networks. This is an ideal program for those looking to break into network engineering or information security analysis.

Associate of Applied Science in Information Security and Assurance Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and Fees: $6,592/academic year (in state), $14,122/academic year (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 29%

Associate of Applied Science in Information Security and Assurance Admissions Requirements

  • GPA: Not required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Palo Alto College

  1. Locate your AlamoINSTITUTE
  2. Apply for admission and allow five days for processing
  3. Complete and submit your FAFSA
  4. Submit high school or GED transcripts

9

Sheridan College

Sheridan, WY

Sheridan College was founded in 1948 and is part of the Northern Wyoming Community College District. It has a student population of 3,741 and offers about 50 associate degree, bachelor’s degree, and certificate programs. This college has low tuition fees, and 81 percent of students receive financial aid.

Associate of Applied Science in Information Security and Assurance

Sheridan College provides a range of technical courses, from applied computing to cyber security. The 61-credit program can either be taken online or on campus, and students have an option to take a certificate program if they have limited time. Toward the end of the associate degree, students participate in a networking internship and complete a capstone project.

Associate of Applied Science in Information Security and Assurance Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and Fees: $4,590 estimated annual cost (in state), $10,890 estimated annual cost (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 61 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person and online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 42%

Associate of Applied Science in Information Security and Assurance Admissions Requirements

  • GPA: Not required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Sheridan College

  1. Create an account and apply online
  2. Submit your high school or GED transcripts
  3. Activate your NWCDD Hub account
  4. Fill out and submit your FAFSA
  5. Explore and apply for housing options if required
  6. Register for classes
  7. Attend orientation

10

University of Maine at Fort Kent

Fort Kent, ME

For over 143 years, UMFK has been one of Maine’s best public schools for an associate degree. The student population is currently 1,624. This university offers four Associate of Science degrees, one Bachelor of Arts, 14 Bachelor of Science degrees, five certificate programs, one graduate program, and 12 minors. This small campus is the only US location that centers around French culture.

Associate of Science in Cyber Security and Information Security

The extensive 60-credit curriculum degree covers computer science, networking, cyber defense, operating systems , and cryptography. Graduates will have a deep understanding of security management and information security. The program uses hands-on training at its core. This applied practice will allow students to experience real-world situations to use their knowledge and learned skills.

Graduates can use this Sssociate of Science degree to seek entry-level work in the field of IT, cyber security, or network engineering. Students who wish to continue their education can use this associate degree to obtain a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as a computer science degree .

Associate of Science in Cyber Security and Information Security Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition and Fees: $245/credit (in state); $392/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person and online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 39%

Associate of Science in Cyber Security and Information Security Admissions Requirements

  • GPA: Not required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Sheridan College

  1. Complete and submit an online application form
  2. Letter of recommendation from school counselor or teacher
  3. High school or GED transcripts
  4. Official college transcripts if applicable
  5. Complete and submit your FAFSA

Best Online Network Engineering Associate Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
American National University Associate of Science in Network Support Distance Education Accrediting Commission
Central Texas College Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science, Network Systems Administration Specialization Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Charter College Associate of Applied Science in Computer Networking Systems Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
Dakota State University Associate of Science in Network and Security Administration Higher Learning Commission
Germanna Community College Associate of Applied Science in Information System Technology, Networking Specialization Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Georgia Piedmont Technical College Associate of Applied Science: Networking Specialist Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Lake Superior College Associate of Applied Science in Network Administration and Cybersecurity Higher Learning Commission
MidAmerica Nazarene University Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security Higher Learning Commission
Minnesota West Community and Technical College Associate of Applied Science in Information Security and Assurance Higher Learning Commission
Montgomery County Community College Associate of Applied Science in Computer Networking and Cyber Security Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Best Colleges for Network Engineering: Top Online Network Engineering Associate Degree Programs

The best online schools for network engineering associate degrees are focused on providing hands-on skills training in an environment that closely resembles in-person learning. Online learning has become increasingly popular as a more flexible and safer alternative to traditional education in the wake of the pandemic.

Today, you can now find some of the best network engineering associate programs online. If you prefer a fully online Associate Degree in Network Engineering, continue reading, as we further examine the best schools for an online Associate Degree in Network Engineering.

1

American National University

Salem, VA

American National University was established in 1886 as National Business College. Over the years, however, it has become more than a business school, with a range of new offerings that include this AS in Network Support. The student population is 931 and a wide range of master’s, bachelor’s, and associate elearning and on-campus programs.

Associate of Science in Network Support

This 20-month program prepares students who want to become certified in CompTIA Security+ , CompTIA Network+, or CompTIA A+. This Associate of Science will give students a strong foundation for a bachelor’s degree in network administration and the skills and training required for employment as a help desk technician, an IT support specialist, or a network support specialist. This course is delivered via synchronous video and asynchronous online learning.

Associate of Science in Network Support Overview

  • Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission
  • Tuition: $28,992 for 20-month online program
  • Required Credits: N/A
  • Program Length: 20 months
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 30%

Associate of Science in Network Support Admission Requirements

  • GPA: None
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: No fee
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to American National University

  1. Visit the American National University campus or arrange a telephone interview to meet the admissions staff
  2. Apply for FAFSA online
  3. Fill out an online application form for ANU eUniversity
  4. Wait for the admission team to contact you regarding your admission

2

Central Texas College

Killeen, TX

Central Texas College is one of the largest private colleges for online learning in Texas. It was founded in 1965, and network administration is just one of more than 60 associate and certificate online programs. The student population is 10,173.

Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science, Network Systems Administration Specialization

This full-time, 60-credit program runs for two years. Students learn how to configure computer networks, secure existing ones, and ensure scalability. Graduates of this program will find work as network technicians and work in any industry that needs to stay digitally connected. You can use this course to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program and train to be a network engineering specialist.

Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science, Network Systems Administration Specialization Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $95/semester hour (in state); $119/semester hour (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person and online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 15%

Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science, Network Systems Administration Specialization Admission Requirements

  • GPA: None
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: No fee
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Central Texas College

  1. Submit an application form online or via the Apply Texas application
  2. Submit high school or GED transcripts
  3. Take the state-approved Texas Success Initiative Assessment
  4. Consult with an academic advisor
  5. Arrange to attend orientation
  6. Apply for FAFSA online

3

Charter College

Vancouver, WA

Since 1985, Charter College has been a top destination for health-related degrees. But it also has associate programs for computer network systems, cybersecurity, information systems, and computer-aided design. The student population is 2,120. Charter College offers more than 20 career-focused programs in fast-growing sectors with a total of 61 programs.

Associate of Applied Science in Computer Networking Systems

Students can complete the Computer Networking Systems AAS in just 14 months by studying online. Subjects for this program include Windows Active Directory administration, cloud computing concepts, and application development, as well as general education classes in communication, ethics, math, sociology, and environmental science.

Associate of Applied Science in Computer Networking Systems Overview

  • Accreditation: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
  • Tuition and Fees: $18,711 (in state and out of state)
  • Required Credits: N/A
  • Program Length: 14 months
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 52%

Associate of Applied Science in Computer Networking Systems Admission Requirements

  • GPA: None
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: No fee
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Central Texas College

  1. Apply to Charter College online
  2. Attend a personal interview with an admissions representative
  3. Complete an enrollment agreement

4

Dakota State University

Madison, SD

Dakota State University was established in Madison, South Dakota about 140 years ago. It has evolved to be one of the best places to get an associate degree in computer-related fields. Dakota State University offers a large number of programs across all levels of education from certificate to doctoral degrees.

Associate of Science in Network and Security Administration

The 60-credit network and security program covers cyber security, computer science, basic networking design, and operating systems. Students will learn the basic concepts of security, systems, and networking. Students will have access to virtual and physical labs where they can practice their skills in real-world environments, such as defensive hacking and network forensics.

Associate of Science in Network and Security Administration Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and Fees: $354.75 per credit hour (in state); $464.90/credit hour (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person and online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 49%

Associate of Science in Network and Security Administration Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Not required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $20
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Dakota State University

  1. Complete the undergraduate online application form
  2. Provide basic information about yourself
  3. Include your GPA and standardized test scores
  4. Send high school or GED transcripts directly to DSU

5

Germanna Community College

Locust Grove, VA

Germanna Community College is a Virginia-based school with several campuses. The school was established in 1970 and has a student population of 2,615. GCC has 60 plus academic programs for certificate courses and associate degrees. The IT programs are skills-first training to help graduates get entry-level tech jobs.

Associate of Applied Science in Information System Technology, Networking Specialization

This online networking security program requires a total of 68 credits. Some topics covered in the program are firewalls for ecommerce security and basic switching and routing with Cisco. This program will prepare students for the Cisco Certified Network Associate certification. Career opportunities for graduates include network engineer, network administrator, network analyst, and help technician, to name a few.

Associate of Applied Science in Information System Technology, Networking Specialization Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and Fees: $163.75/credit hour (in-state); $363.85/credit hour (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 68 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person and online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 36%

Associate of Applied Science in Information System Technology, Networking Specialization Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Not required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Germanna Community College

  1. Apply online
  2. Apply for financial aid using FAFSA
  3. Meet with an advisor
  4. Register for classes
  5. Pay your tuition and fees
  6. Take the online student orientation class
  7. If possible, attend a welcome day

6

Georgia Piedmont Technical College

Clarkston, GA

Popularly known as GPTC, Georgia Piedmont Technical College was founded in 1961 as part of the Technical College System of Georgia. The student population is 2,615. This technical college offers over 180 associate degree, diploma, and certificate programs. This Georgia-based college is committed to personal, professional, and community transformation.

Associate of Applied Science: Networking Specialist

The 66-credit network specialist degree teaches more than network security. It also covers the fundamentals of databases , computer hardware, operating systems, and computer repair. The program uses hands-on skills to train students for jobs in tech support, help desk support, network administration, and Cisco and Microsoft specialization.

Associate of Applied Science: Networking Specialist Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition and Fees: $100/credit hour (in-state); $200/credit hour (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 66 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person and online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 47%

Associate of Applied Science: Networking Specialist Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Not required
  • Standardized Tests: Satisfactory score for Accuplacer, SAT, ACT, or ASSET Test
  • Application Fee: $25
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Georgia Piedmont Technical College

  1. Complete an online application
  2. Submit your application in person or via email
  3. Pay non-refundable $25 fee
  4. Submit high school or GED transcripts
  5. Provide Accuplacer, SAT, ACT, or ASSET Test scores

7

Lake Superior College

Duluth, MN

Lake Superior College is one of the newer colleges in Minnesota, as it was established in 1995. The student population is 4,762. Lake Superior College is nationally ranked for its high-quality in-person and online programs and its affordable tuition. Students can choose from more than 90 technical and liberal arts degrees.

Associate of Applied Science in Networking Administration and Cybersecurity

The AAS in Network Administration and Cybersecurity runs for two years and requires 72 credits to complete. Courses include software installation, hardware installation, network configuration, and ethical hacking . This program will prepare students to sit for networking certifications like CompTIA and Cisco CCENT certs. Elearning students will get the same high-quality education, support, and resources as on-campus students.

Associate of Applied Science in Networking Administration and Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and Fees: $208.54/online credit (in state and out of state)
  • Required Credits: 72 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person and online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 40%

Associate of Applied Science in Networking Administration and Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Not required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: Specific level of skill required in English and math

Applying to Lake Superior College

  1. Apply online, up to one year in advance
  2. Create your StarID account
  3. Choose a major, degree, or program
  4. Wait for LSC to contact you
  5. Apply for free to FAFSA
  6. Submit your high school or GED transcripts

8

MidAmerica Nazarene University

Olathe, KS

Also known as MANC, MidAmerica Nazarene University was established in Kansas in 1966. The student population is 1,636. This university has more than 60 academic programs and small class sizes of about 16, which ensures students get personalized hands-on training.

Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security

The credit requirement for the program is just 57 for this online course. Although this is a cyber security degree, it equips students with the knowledge to work as network security analysts, information security analysts, network engineers, and other related fields. Students can enter into the tech field after graduation or transfer to a tech-related bachelor’s degree offered by MidAmerica Nazarene University.

Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $34,082/year
  • Required Credits: 57 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 48%

Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Not required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Montgomery County Community College

  1. Apply for admission online
  2. Submit your ACT or SAT results
  3. Submit your high school or GED transcripts
  4. Complete and submit your FAFSA

9

Minnesota West Community and Technical College

Granite Falls, MN

Minnesota West Community and Technical College is one of the largest community colleges in the United States, with campuses in five different regions and a fully functional online platform. The student population is 3,253. This community and technical college offers more than 60 two-year degrees and training courses. Online courses mimic campus courses to ensure remote learners get the same high-quality education and individual focus as in-person learners.

Associate of Applied Science in Information Security and Assurance

This 60-credit program covers computer hardware repair, computer forensics, information security, ethical hacking, virtual computing, and networking. During their studies, students will learn how to perform technical security audits and apply network-based IT solutions.

Associate of Applied Science in Information Security and Assurance Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition and Fees: $222.05 per credit
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 45%

Associate of Applied Science in Information Security and Assurance Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Not required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $20
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: Accuplacer test and immunization form

Applying to Minnesota West Community and Technical College

  1. Complete an online application form for Minnesota West
  2. Request your official high school or GED transcripts
  3. Apply for financial aid using FAFSA
  4. Wait for your advising and registration welcome letter
  5. Take the Accuplacer assessment
  6. Submit your immunization form

10

Montgomery County Community College

Blue Bell, PA

Montgomery County Community College was launched in 1964 and has proven to be one of Pennsylvania’s top employers. The student population is 9,827. This community college offers over 100 programs in associate degrees and certificates. This includes specialized workforce training certs. Montgomery County Community College has been offering online learning for more than 25 years.

Associate of Applied Science in Computer Networking and Cyber Security

This AAS program helps students learn how to install, configure, and secure computer systems. Students must complete between 61 and 62 credit hours to graduate successfully. Classes at this college have an average size of 14, which means students get a very personalized learning experience. Furthermore, graduates of this program can transfer to one of 30 four-year partner schools such as Penn State University or Albright College.

Associate of Applied Science in Computer Networking and Cyber Security Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition and Fees: $288/credit (in state); $432/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 61-62 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person and online
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 25%

Associate of Applied Science in Computer Networking and Cyber Security Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Not required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or GED
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Montgomery County Community College

  1. Apply online
  2. Activate your Montco Connect account
  3. Log on to Montco Connect and complete MyCareerPlan
  4. Submit your official high school or GED transcripts
  5. Assess your test results from SAT, ACT, AP, CLEP, or TOEFL
  6. Complete the Student Financial Responsibility Agreement
  7. Meet with an advisor
  8. Register for classes
  9. File your free FAFSA
  10. Apply for scholarships
  11. Pay your tuition and fees

What Is a Network Engineering Associate Degree?

An Associate Degree in Network Engineering is an undergraduate degree that is typically awarded by a community college. These network engineering programs run for about two years, either in person or online. Students can either get a direct associate degree or enroll in similar programs such as an Associate Degree in Computer Science with a concentration in network security.

The best network engineering associate degree curricula cover ethical hacking, computer programming, application security, application end-point security, network installation, and identity management. Access management, cryptography , intrusion prevention, and a wide range of other topics are also relevant to network security.

How Important Is an Associate Degree in Network Engineering?

It is very important to have an Associate Degree in Network Engineering because it trains you for entry-level network jobs or can be used as a pathway to a bachelor’s degree. The main reasons why a network engineering associate degree is important are:

  • In-demand skills. Most top network engineering associate programs teach in-demand and up-to-date skills to ensure graduates are job-ready.
  • Quick entry into the workforce. Associate degrees can get you in and out the door in two years and assure graduates are job-ready.
  • Pathway to higher education. A network engineering associate degree can be used to transfer to a bachelor’s program in a related field. Some schools will have special rates with partner or sister schools.
  • Hands-on training. Associate degree programs give students access to labs and often focus on hands-on training. The best network engineering associate degrees will offer internship and employment opportunities to alumni and students.

It is important to get an Associate Degree in Network Engineering if you are starting out your career journey and you want to explore different classes and subjects through elective courses. Associate degrees also include general education classes to ensure students have a broad education.

What Types of Associate Degree Can You Get in Network Engineering?

You can get the following types of Associate Degrees in Network Engineering:

  • Associate of Science
  • Associate of Applied Science

These network engineering associate degree types offer very similar curricula, with the main difference being that some universities offer Associates of Applied Science, as well as community colleges and technical schools that offer Associates of Science.

Associate of Science degrees are more geared towards students who want to further their education with bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and eventually, PhD degrees . If you want a quick path into the workforce, you should choose an Associate of Applied Science.

Is It Better to Get an Associate Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree in Network Engineering?

It’s better to get an Associate Degree in Network Engineering because it offers more flexibility. Associate degrees give students the option of entering the workforce straight out of college or transferring to higher education, such as a bachelor’s degree. With a bachelor’s degree, students will be locked into the program for about four years before they can start work. However, a bachelor’s degree is more attractive to employees.

High school graduates may be wondering which is better: an Associate or Bachelor’s in Network Engineering. While it depends on your needs, an associate will allow students to explore different areas of interest at a lower cost and in a shorter period.

A Bachelor’s Degree in Network Engineering is better for getting you a job because it is a higher form of education that will offer a more focused and specialized job. Bachelor’s degrees allow students to become experts in their field. Furthermore, some jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree.

The difference between an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree in network engineering is cost, length of study, and curricula. Associate degrees are cheaper, quicker, and offer a more generalized area of study.

What Is the Difference Between a Network Engineering Associate Degree and a Network Engineering Certificate?

The main difference between an associate degree and a certificate in network engineering is that an associate degree is a longer, more generalized program that also includes general education classes and can be used to transfer to a bachelor’s program. Network engineering certifications usually take one year to complete and are more focused on particular subjects or a specific career.

An associate degree or certificate in networking engineering will teach students valuable network engineering foundational skills. If you want to pursue higher education, then you should get a network engineering associate degree. If you are currently employed in IT and are looking to upskill, a network engineering certificate program is the better choice.

Furthermore, you should get a network engineering associate degree instead of a certificate because you will have better job opportunities as well as further education options. Associate degrees are easy to gain admission to whereas a certificate program may require previous experience in the same industry.

The choice of a network engineering certificate vs associate degree may also depend on your financial situation. Certificate programs are not only shorter, but cheaper. However, associate degree tuition can often be offset with financial aid using FAFSA.

How Much Does It Cost to Get an Associate Degree in Network Engineering?

A network engineering associate degree costs about $4,230 per year , according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). To obtain an Associate in Network Engineering at a private two-year institution costs between $15,736 and $18,631. The average cost of an Associate Degree in Network Engineering at a public school is about $3,812.

Network Engineering Associate Degree Financing Options: How to Pay for Your Network Engineering Degree

You can pay for your associate degree upfront if you have the bulk cash. However, financial aid for an Associate in Network Engineering is the most popular way to help with tuition and fees. Prospective students can fill out a FAFSA if they wish to apply for partial aid or full financial aid for an Associate in Network Engineering.

Federal direct loans and Pell grants are other popular tuition financing options for associate degrees. Each method comes with terms and conditions, so make sure you find out these terms before applying. If a federal loan is not an option, and you are wondering how to pay for an Associate in Network Engineering, you can always reach out to the admissions team and ask about scholarships.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Network Engineering Associate Degree?

It takes two years to get an Associate Degree in Network Engineering. If students opt to take additional courses or more than the minimum requirements when it comes to elective courses, it may take another year or two before they earn an associate degree.

An Associate in Network Engineering typically requires students to complete between 60 and 72 credit hours of work per semester. Because tuition is often calculated by credit hours, students will only take the required classes and should complete the program in two years.

How Hard Is It to Get an Associate Degree in Network Engineering?

An Associate Degree in Network Engineering is hard to get because the skills required are technical and can be time-consuming to learn. Completing a network engineering associate degree is so hard for students who have no technical background or computer skills.

Associate programs will go into great detail and cover advanced network concepts. Most schools require students to maintain a high GPA throughout their studies, so getting a network engineering associate degree is hard. Students may also be required to partake in and complete an internship program or collaborative projects.

Why Should You Get a Network Engineering Associate Degree?

The benefits of getting an Associate Degree in Network Engineering are:

  • Flexibility. A network engineer associate degree gives students the freedom to continue their education with a bachelor’s program or to start looking for entry-level jobs.
  • Low tuition. Community colleges offer cheaper tuition than four-year institutions. Even if you plan to obtain a bachelor’s degree, starting your educational path with an associate degree will save you money.
  • Simple admissions. Technical schools and community colleges that offer Associate Degrees in Network Engineering have a straightforward admissions process. Students usually only need to fill out an online application form and supply any required documents such as high school transcripts.
  • General education courses. General education courses will ensure students maintain a good level of English, math, and social sciences. This broad education will open up more job opportunities and improve your resume.

The main benefit of getting a second Associate Degree in Network Engineering is to learn up-to-date technologies. This is essential for any professional network engineers who have been in the industry for some time. Technology advances fast, and a second associate degree will help current employees to improve and update their tech knowledge.

What Courses Do You Need to Take in an Associate Degree Program in Network Engineering?

The required courses for network engineering associate degrees are general education courses and elective courses. Elective associates in network engineering courses will allow students to focus on their areas of interest. Some schools will offer specialization tracks or courses in an Associate in Network Engineering program.

It is important to check the school’s website for a catalog or course description to find a current Associate in Network Engineering course list. This will help students plan their education path and read detailed class descriptions of elective classes.

If you are looking to get a computer science degree, you should ensure to take any computer programming and computer science fundamental classes during your network engineering associate degree program. A network engineering degree will require students to take a wide range of classes such as routing, cyber security, data science, programming, and computer architecture.

Computer Security

Computer security courses in Associate Degrees in Network Engineering cover fundamental principles of security and assurance. Students will learn the basics of cryptography, risk management, and secure design principles.

Project Management for IT

Network engineering courses for an associate degree may include project management classes that focus on IT. Project management fundamentals include project planning, communication, leadership skills, and risk management. This class would suit students who want to apply for management-level roles within the network engineering industry.

Server Administration

Server administration is one of the more advanced courses required for network engineering associate degrees. Students will use hands-on training to learn advanced server administration skills to develop, maintain, analyze, and repair network systems. These classes may focus on Linux or Windows networks.

Operating Systems

Operating systems courses for network engineering associate degrees provide students with a basic overview of the different operating systems. Students may learn about the history of operating systems but typically this class will focus on problem-solving networks and servers used across different operating systems.

Networking Security

An Associate in Network Engineering course list will typically include networking security. Aspiring network engineers must understand and learn the tools used by network engineers as well as hackers such as intrusion detection systems. This class may also cover some of the basics of ethical hacking.

Continuing Education Paths for Network Engineering Associate Degree Graduates

The best path to take with a network engineering associate degree is either entry-level network engineering jobs or a bachelor’s degree. Graduates who are on a budget or who are eager to start their careers should opt for a career-focused path after an Associate Degree in Network Engineering.

Graduates who want to specialize in a certain field or learn advanced practices should advance their training with a bachelor’s degree program after obtaining a network engineering associate degree.

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What to Look For in the Best Network Engineering Associate Degree Programs

The best network engineering associate degree programs have a curriculum that covers a wide range of subjects relevant to network engineering and network security. You can expect to learn about ethical hacking, Linux and Windows OS, application security, and intrusion prevention.

If you are wondering how to choose a network engineering associate program or what to look for in a college for an Associate Degree in Network Engineering, then continue reading as we examine five key factors to consider.

Cost

Associate degree programs are cheaper than bachelor’s degree programs. However, the tuition can still be a lot for some people and if you are worried about accumulating too much debt it is important you stick within your budget. If possible, pick a college in the state where you live as in-state tuition and fees will be cheaper. You can use FAFSA or talk to the school’s admissions team to find out about financial aid.

Career Services

If you don’t plan on transferring to a bachelor’s degree program, career services will be very important to you. Top network engineering associate degree programs will have career partners that can help graduates find internships and entry-level jobs with an associate degree. Career services can also help with portfolio and resume building, among other things.

Accreditation

Students should make sure that the community colleges and technical schools they are interested in are accredited. Accreditation ensures the school is legit and approved by the board of education. Programs that are not accredited might have an out-of-date curriculum or lesser trained faculty.

Continuing Education

If your educational plan is to obtain a bachelor’s degree or a higher degree, the associate degree program must allow you to transfer to a bachelor’s program. Most colleges will allow you to transfer your credits towards a bachelor’s requirements, but you may be required to take additional classes to do so. The best network engineering associate programs will have affiliate schools that students can transfer to.

Format

Students who are looking for flexible learning options should consider schools that offer online or hybrid programs. Most online programs will run via live virtual classrooms, so students will still need to log on regularly. Some programs may offer part-time or self-learning schedules, but this is quite rare for associate degree programs.

What Is the Most Affordable Network Engineering Associate Degree?

The most affordable Associate Degrees in Network Engineering for in-person learning are:

  • Associate of Applied Science Computer Information Systems at Bay Mills Community College has an average cost of $3,320 for tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Associate in Applied Science in Computer Information Systems at Arkansas State University Three Rivers has an average cost of $3,458 for tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Information Security and Assurance at Sheridan College has an average cost of $4,590 for tuition and fees per academic year.

The most affordable network engineering associate programs for online learning are:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science, Network Systems Administration Specialization at Central Texas College has an average cost of $3,570 for tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Associate of Applied Science in Information System Technology, Networking Specialization at Germanna Community College has an average cost of $4,913 for tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Associate of Applied Science: Networking Specialist at Georgia Piedmont Technical College has an average cost of $3,178 for tuition and fees per academic year.

Salary and Job Outlook for Network Engineering Associate Degree Graduates

a large blue eye looking through a web of digitized information to examine real-life cyber incidents
Network engineering students should keep their eyes open for job opportunities in the networking industry and the communications industry.

Network engineering associate degree jobs are currently in-demand. This means that an Associate in Network Engineering salary is high, even for entry-level jobs. Furthermore, Associate Degrees in Network Engineering jobs cover a wide spectrum and graduates can find work in areas like cyber security, network security, and network administration.

Network engineering jobs often require certification, such as Cisco or Microsoft certification. An associate degree program in network engineering will give students the knowledge and training to obtain these vendor certifications which will ensure a higher network engineering associate degree salary.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Network Engineering Associate Degree?

It is easy to get a job with a network engineering associate degree because jobs associated with networking engineering are in-demand. For example, information security analysts have a job outlook rate of 33 percent , according to BLS. This is much faster than average.

Network engineering associate degree holders will learn up-to-date technologies and use hands-on learning to train them for entry-level jobs right after graduation. Furthermore, associate degree programs in network engineering will help students build a strong technical portfolio and resume to make it easier to get a job in tech.

Even with just an Associate Degree in Network Engineering, graduates will easily be able to break into the IT industry. This qualification will open up plenty of opportunities across a wide range of specializations such as cyber security, cryptography, and software engineering.

What’s the Average Network Engineering Associate Degree Salary?

The average salary for an Associate Degree in Network Engineering is $71,000 per year, according to PayScale. This average salary for associates in network engineering graduates will increase as they gain experience. Furthermore, a network engineering associate average salary can be increased by completing network certifications. These can be gender-specific certifications or vendor-neutral certifications.

What Types of Jobs Can You Get With a Network Engineering Associate Degree?

The jobs you can get with a network engineering associate degree are typically engineering or security-focused tech jobs. The highest paying network engineering jobs for associate degree holders are based in the cyber security and network security fields.

Good-paying jobs with networking engineering associate degrees are easy to find, as entry-level jobs in the security field have an average salary of about $80,000. Furthermore, a network engineering associate degree will help you get a job across various fields in tech, as associate programs often cover the fundamentals of computer science and programming.

Students who are interested in date will be able to use an Associate in Network Engineering to break into this field. Network engineering principles, such as ethical hacking and network security are important when it comes to data protection or data analysis. Jobs in this area extend past the tech industry, as most businesses and industries use data in some form or another.

Network Engineering Degree Jobs

  • Network engineer
  • Network specialist
  • Network solutions architect
  • Cyber security analyst
  • Information and assurance engineer

Potential Careers With a Network Engineering Degree

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How Much Money Can You Make With an Associate Degree in Network Engineering?

You can make between $29,000 and $138,000 with an Associate in Network Engineering. You earn less money without an Associate Degree in Network Engineering as you will have to start out at the very bottom of the ladder or in internship roles that pay less.

You can make very good money with a network engineering associate degree. Some entry-level jobs have high starting salaries, and by working hard, learning new skills, and getting network certifications you will be able to earn promotions and earn six-figure salaries as a network engineering associate degree graduate.

Highest-Paying Network Engineering Associate Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Network Engineering Associate Degree Jobs Average Salary
Entry-Level Network Security Engineer $82,666
Entry-Level Cyber Security Analyst $82,565
Entry-Level Penetration Tester $76,237
Information Security Associate $74,668
Entry-Level Network Support Engineer $65,450
Entry-Level Information and Assurance Engineer $55,093
Entry-Level Cryptographer $53,428
Entry-Level Cryptanalyst $51,826
Computer User Support Specialist $44,918
Entry-Level Security Systems Administrator $39,345

Best Jobs for Network Engineering Associate Degree Grads

Read below to learn about the best jobs for people with a network engineering associate degree. Keep in mind that you might need some work experience to land some of the jobs below since an associate degree is an entry-level diploma.

1

Entry-Level Network Security Engineer

Average Salary: $82,666

Network security engineers are responsible for configuring, deploying, and administering an organization’s security hardware and software. People who dive into a career in network engineering set up network equipment, firewalls, and Internet routers, to mention a few.

  • Average Salary: $82,666
  • Job Outlook: 33% job outlook from 2020 to 2030
  • Number of Jobs: 141,200
  • Highest-Paying States: Alaska, California, Wyoming, Connecticut, Washington

2

Entry-Level Cyber Security Analyst

Average Salary: $82,565

Cyber security and network engineering are closely related fields. Cyber security analysts are networking professionals who specialize in protecting a company's Internet-connected systems from cyber threats. They keep bad actors at bay, ensuring that only authorized people have access to data within an organization.

  • Average Salary: $82,565
  • Job Outlook: 33% job outlook from 2020 to 2030
  • Number of Jobs: 141,200
  • Highest-Paying States: Alaska, California, Washington DC, Maryland, Wyoming

3

Entry-Level Penetration Tester

Average Salary: $76,237

A penetration tester is an ethical hacker whom a company authorizes to simulate cyber attacks. The goal is to help find possible security breaches and block them before actual hackers can take advantage of them. They could be on retainer, or the company could invite them at intervals.

  • Average Salary : $76,237
  • Job Outlook: 33% job outlook from 2020 to 2030
  • Number of Jobs: 141,200
  • Highest-Paying States: Alaska, California, New York, Connecticut, Washington

4

Information Security Associate

Average Salary: $74,668

Information security associates design and develop IT security programs for organizations. They carry out internal audits and ensure that the organization's network is up to standard. IT security associates may also be charged with protecting the company from cyber attacks.

  • Average Salary: $74,668
  • Job Outlook: 33% job outlook from 2020 to 2030
  • Number of Jobs: 141,200
  • Highest-Paying States: Alaska, California, Wyoming, Connecticut

5

Entry-Level Network Support Engineer

Average Salary: $65,450

These networking professionals are in charge of an organization's computer network, ensuring that everything functions perfectly and without disruption. They may manage networks within a single organization or between two organizations that do business together.

  • Average Salary: $65,450
  • Job Outlook: 7% job outlook from 2020 to 2030
  • Number of Jobs: 189,800
  • Highest-Paying States: New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York

6

Entry-Level Information and Assurance Engineer

Average Salary: $55,093

These security experts develop systems for securing and preserving the integrity of data within an organization. They must ensure that data is readily available on-demand and that all parties involved during data transmission get receipts.

  • Average Salary: $55,093
  • Job Outlook: 33% job outlook from 2020 to 2030
  • Number of Jobs: 141,200
  • Highest-Paying States: Alaska, California, Washington DC, Wyoming, Connecticut

7

Entry-Level Cryptographer

Average Salary: $53,428

Cryptographers encrypt data to keep it safe in storage or during transmission. Only people with the decryption key can access the data. They primarily work in financial services firms but may also find jobs in other industries dealing with sensitive data.

  • Average Salary: $53,428
  • Job Outlook: 33% job outlook from 2020 to 2030
  • Number of Jobs: 141,200
  • Highest-Paying States: Alaska, California, Washington, Maryland, Wyoming

8

Entry-Level Cryptanalyst

Average Salary: $51,826

Cryptanalysts are IT experts responsible for decrypting data without a unique encryption key. So, while a cryptographer encrypts sensitive information, cryptanalysts can remove the encryption without a key.

  • Average Salary: $51,826
  • Job Outlook: 33% job outlook from 2020 to 2030
  • Number of Jobs: 141,200
  • Highest-Paying States: California, Alaska, Virginia

9

Computer User Support Specialist

Average Salary: $44,918

Computer support specialists troubleshoot software and hardware problems in an organization's system. It doesn't necessarily have to be security breaches. It can be any network or connectivity issue within the internal network.

  • Average Salary: $44,918
  • Job Outlook: 9% job outlook from 2020 to 2030
  • Number of Jobs: 654,800
  • Highest-Paying States: Washington DC, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island

10

Entry-Level Security Systems Administrator

Average Salary: $39,345

Security systems administrators monitor network systems daily by looking for possible security breaches that may compromise the network’s integrity. They may also be charged with evaluating system performance and providing support to members of the staff.

  • Average Salary: $39,345
  • Job Outlook: 5% job outlook from 2020 to 2030
  • Number of Jobs: 350,300
  • Highest-Paying States: Alaska, California, Washington, Wyoming, Connecticut

Best Jobs According to Your Major

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Network Engineering Bootcamp vs Network Engineering Associate Degree: Which Is Better?

An Associate Degree in Network Engineering is better compared to a network engineering degree if you want to pursue a university degree but don’t have the resources yet. It gives students foundational knowledge of network security, which they can use to secure entry-level positions. If you have an Associate Degree in Network Engineering, you can complete a bachelor’s, which is usually a four-year degree, in just two years.

Bootcamps are alternatives to traditional degrees and provide accelerated training that students can complete in a few months. Bootcamps don’t have general education requirements, so all your learning will pertain directly to network engineering and network security. The best network security bootcamps include Springboard and Code Fellows.

Benefits of a Network Engineering Associate Degree

  • Opportunities for advancement. An Associate Degree in Network Engineering is the most flexible undergraduate degree you can get. As an associate degree holder, you can enter the job market right away or advance to a bachelor’s degree.
  • Affordable tuition. For less than $10,000, you can get an Associate Degree in Network Engineering. Some community colleges also offer free education or scholarship opportunities for local students.
  • Easy enrollment. Most community colleges offer open enrollment to anyone who has a high school diploma or an equivalent certificate. Schools that don’t offer open enrollment typically set low requirements for admission.
  • Broad vocational education. If you want to become an independent contractor or freelance network security analyst, you will benefit from general education courses that enhance life skills and make you a more well-rounded job candidate.

Benefits of a Network Engineering Bootcamp

  • Flexible learning. If you intend to hold on to your job while you learn network security, a bootcamp that offers self-paced or part-time studies might be just what you need.
  • High job placement rates. The best bootcamps help between 85 and 95 percent of their graduates get at least entry-level jobs within the first few months of graduation. These high employment rates are achieved because most bootcamps have hiring partners in the tech industry who get first pick at their graduates.
  • Job-specific training. If you want to chase a career in network security, you should be able to do that without worrying about unrelated general education topics. A bootcamp’s focused curriculum and emphasis on hands-on training make this possible.
  • Possibility of employer reimbursement. Did you know that you can get your current employer to pay for your bootcamp education? While this doesn’t work in every company, many bootcamps make employer reimbursement an option.

Is an Associate Degree in Network Engineering Worth It?

Yes, an Associate in Network Engineering is worth it if you want to gain foundational knowledge about the field. Even if it is just the basics, you can start reaching your career goals and working your way up to a higher degree. With this qualification and some job experience, upgrading your credentials later will be easy, making an Associate in Network Engineering worth it.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security professionals are currently in high demand. It is expected that there will be a 33 percent increase in job openings between 2020 and 2030. It is also an incredibly versatile degree, which means you can switch to other careers in networking fields, such as a network architect .

Additional Reading About Network Engineering

[query_class_embed] https://careerkarma.com/blog/how-to-become-a-network-engineer/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/network-engineering-bachelors-degrees/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/network-administration-degrees/

Network Engineering Associate Degree FAQ

What can you do with an Associate Degree in Networking?

You can get any number of tech jobs or transfer to a bachelor’s degree program with an associate degree in networking. Some jobs you can get include network security specialist, cyber security analyst, network engineer, network administrator, network architect, IT support technician, cryptographer, or cryptanalyst.

Can I get an IT job with an associate degree?

Yes, you can get a job in tech with an associate degree because tech companies are more concerned with hands-on experience and industry certifications than degrees. Note that you will have to start with entry-level employment opportunities and work your way toward achieving your career goals.

What degree do you need for network engineering?

A degree in network security, information technology, cyber security, network administration, or any related field will do. You can start with an associate degree and get a bachelor’s degree later as you develop more experience.

Is network engineering in demand?

Yes, there is a high demand for network security experts in the United States and beyond. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 33 percent rise in network security jobs between 2020 and 2030.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Ufuoma Ogono

About the author: Ufuoma is a veteran freelance writer whose work has also appeared in Smartereum, Cyber Jam Limited, and Binance. Her goal as a content writer is to help readers chase their careers in technology and follow their dreams. Ufuoma attended Delta State University, where she earned her BSc in Sociology and Psychology.

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