When most people hear “tech” they instantly think of data science, software development, and web design. However, there are so many other fields that make up the tech industry. Systems and network administration is one of the lesser-known fields of technology that is equally as important as the rest of them.
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With an associate or bachelor’s degree, you can easily begin your career as a systems and network administrator. However, to make progress and advance in your career, you may have to pursue an advanced program. This article will introduce you to multiple systems and network administration master’s degrees, schools, salaries, jobs, and FAQs. Read on for more.
What Is Systems & Network Administration?
Systems and network administration is the organization, installation, and support of an organization’s computer systems and networks on a daily basis. Professionals in this field must ensure that the organization’s networks and systems are operational. These systems include local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and intranets.
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What Is a Systems & Network Administration Master’s Degree?
A systems and network administration master’s degree is a program that helps students develop the necessary skills required to perform the duties and responsibilities of a professional in the field. These responsibilities include designing, analyzing, optimizing, and protecting computer networks and systems.
To qualify for this program, students need to have background knowledge in computer and information technology. A graduate program typically lasts for two years or less but that could vary depending on the school, learning format, and country of learning. The program may include courses in database management, network security, and telecommunication systems.
Systems & Network Administration Master’s Degree Requirements
The requirements for a Master’s Degree in Systems and Network Administration may vary by school but it typically consists of an undergraduate degree in computer science, information technology, or similar programs. It could also include requisites like a GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0, a GRE score between 292 and 328, an IELTS or TOEFL score, letters of recommendation, a resume, or a statement of purpose.
These requirements may seem intense due to the high competition of students applying for the programs. The minimum GPA, GRE, and ELP scores may be lower or higher depending on the school you’re applying to. Some schools also hold entrance exams which could be the final determinant of your acceptance.
How Much Does a Systems & Network Administration Master’s Degree Cost?
The average cost of a graduate school program across all institutions is $19,314 per year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The average yearly cost of public graduate schools is $12,171. The average cost for graduate tuition at a private for-profit institution is $14,208 per year, while at nonprofit private institutions is $27,776.
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Systems & Network Administration Master’s Degree Financing Options: How to Pay for Your Systems & Network Administration Degree
There are different financing options available to fund your way through college. Some of those options are work-study, scholarships, grants, and student loans. Grants, student loans, and other types of financial aid can be provided by the federal or state government.
Best Systems & Network Administration Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview
|Boston University||Master of Science in Computer Information Systems||New England Commission of Higher Education|
|Carnegie Mellon University||Master of Science in Computer Science||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|DePaul University||Master of Science in Information Systems||Higher Learning Commission|
|East Carolina University||Master of Science in Network Technology||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges|
|Saint Ambrose University||Master of Science in Information Technology Management||Higher Learning Commission|
|Syracuse University||Master of Science in Information Systems||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|University of Arizona||Master of Science in Management Information Systems||Higher Learning Commission|
|University of Maryland, College Park||Master of Science in Information Systems||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|University of Nebraska Omaha||Master of Science in Management Information Systems||Higher Learning Commission|
|University of Texas, Austin||Master of Science in Information Studies||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges|
Best Colleges for Systems & Network Administration: Top Systems & Network Administration Master’s Degree Programs
There are many schools that provide a master’s degree program in systems and network administration. Below are a few of the best schools to pursue your master’s degree in the field. If you are considering furthering your education in this field, you can’t go wrong with these programs.
Founded in 1839, Boston University is a private research institution with over 33,500 students and over 300 programs on three campuses. The program can be completed online, on-campus, or in a blended format.
The Master of Science in Computer Information Systems allows students to choose an optional area of concentration. These concentrations include computer networks, data analytics, database management and business intelligence, health informatics, IT project management, security, and web development applications.
Carnegie Mellon University is a private research institution founded in 1900. The school has campuses in Qatar and Silicon Valley and research partners in different countries including Australia, China, Portugal, and Rwanda.
The Master of Science in Computer Science is open to students with a bachelor’s degree in relevant fields. It is designed to equip students with analytical, math, programming, and logical reasoning skills. The program allows students to construct their own courses of study with help from their advisor and also has optional research work and thesis.
DePaul University is a private, Catholic research institution established in 1898. The school prides itself on being one of the largest Catholic universities in the country with over 300 undergraduate and graduate programs. DePaul prioritizes having a small class size where students can get to know their professors.
The Master of Science in Information Systems is a program that fuses business and IT. It focuses on teaching students to understand diverse technology trends, Agile project management, digital transformation, and analytics systems. The curriculum offers students hands-on experience using the latest technologies applied to real-world projects.
East Carolina University is a public research university founded in 1907. The Master of Science in Network Technology program has a focus on technology management, application to practice, and creative problem-solving in technology and business. The program has four concentrations: computer networking management, digital communications technology, information security, and web technologies.
Saint Ambrose University is a private Roman Catholic institution founded in 1882. It was founded as a seminary school for boys and is affiliated with the Diocese of Davenport. The Master of Science in Information Technology Management program is designed for working professionals and can be taken in full-time or part-time formats.
The program teaches students how to apply information technology to support an organization. It covers IT-specific courses with a focus on analysis, design, implementation, and management solutions, as well as human resources. Students can work on real-life projects for their employers as part of their coursework.
Syracuse University is a private research university founded in 1831. The institution has 13 schools and colleges, 200 customizable majors, and 100 minors. It also offers online degrees and certificates.
The Master of Science in Information Systems degree program combines business education with a focus on IT to equip students with the knowledge and professional skills needed to work with organizations and individuals. Students also get to choose between 15 areas of focus and learn skills in teamwork, communication, leadership, design, analysis, and innovation.
Established in 1885, the University of Arizona is a public land-grant research university. The Master of Science in Management Information Systems is a program designed with the aim of preparing students to start a career in IT. The program teaches students to analyze, design, implement, and manage IT applications and strategies to solve business problems.
The students learn business processes and are taught how to use IT to improve them. They learn technical skills, gain in-depth knowledge of American business culture, and participate in internships, which gives them the real-world experience necessary to join the industry.
Founded in 1856, the University of Maryland is a public land-grant research university. The institution has 12 schools and colleges and offers over 300 degree programs. The Master of Science in Information Systems program is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills of data science, IT, and analytics that are relevant in the field.
Students who complete this program will learn the best ways to manage data using the latest analytics tools. After the program, students will be able to help organizations choose the right technology and make well-informed business decisions.
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The University of Nebraska at Omaha is a public research university founded in 1908. The Master of Science in Management Information Systems program is designed to give students the skills and foundation necessary to develop and manage an organization’s information resources, technology, and infrastructure.
The University of Texas is a public land-grant research university established in 1883. It has roughly 51,000 students across 18 colleges and schools. The Master of Science in Information Studies is designed to give students a pathway to high-demand careers in IT. The program does not require students to have a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems.
The program curriculum is flexible and provides students with the tools needed to study, manage, and analyze data and information and help businesses and individuals in their decision-making processes.
Best Online Systems & Network Administration Master’s Degree Programs and Schools: Overview
|Capella University||Master of Science in Information Technology||Higher Learning Commission|
|Colorado State University Global||Master’s Degree In
Information Technology Management
|Higher Learning Commission|
|DeVry University||Online Master’s Degree in Information Technology Management||Higher Learning Commission|
|Florida Institute of Technology||Master of Science in Information Technology||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges|
|Lewis University||Master of Science in Computer Science||Higher Learning Commission|
|Liberty University||Master of Science in Information Systems||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges|
|Northcentral University||Master of Science in Information Technology||WASC Senior College and University Commission|
|Strayer University||Master of Science in Information Systems Management||Middle States Commission on Higher Education|
|University of Illinois Springfield||Master of Science in Computer Science||Higher Learning Commission|
|Western Governors University||Master of Science in Information Technology Management||Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities|
Best Colleges for Systems & Network Administration: Top Online Systems & Network Administration Master’s Degree Programs
The best online master’s degree programs can help you grow in your career and advance from a mid-level worker to an executive role. Online programs are a great option to further your education because they give the student more flexibility. Below you will find some of the best online programs for systems and network administration.
Capella University is a private for-profit online institution with over 1,900 online courses and 52 degree programs. The Master of Science in Information Technology allows students to choose courses that align with their goals. The curriculum is designed for both entry-level and mid-level IT professionals in the field and helps them increase their technical expertise.
Founded in 2007, Colorado State University Global is an online public university. The school offers several online undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as certificate programs. The Master of Science in Information Technology Management program is designed to prepare students for roles in advanced IT management and builds their confidence in the skills necessary for IT operations.
DeVry University is a private for-profit university founded in 1931. The school offers several programs in both online and hybrid formats in over 40 locations. The Master of Science in Information Technology Management is designed to help students improve their technical knowledge of the field and gain the skills necessary to apply that knowledge in real-life situations.
The Florida Institute of Technology is a private research university founded in 1958. The Master of Science in Information Technology is designed to provide students with the technical and management knowledge needed to work as IT professionals. It covers all the areas necessary to help you thrive as a well-rounded professional in the field and advance in your career.
Lewis University is a private Catholic and Lasallian university with about 6,200 students. The school offers over 80 undergraduate programs, 22 graduate programs, and accelerated programs for working adults. The graduate degree program in computer science offers accelerated classes that can be completed in a year.
A private evangelical university, Liberty University was founded in 1971. The Master of Science in Information Systems program is designed to equip you with the skills necessary to design, assess, and improve organizational data networks. The program combines practical business study with organizational management and information technology.
Established in 1996, Northcentral University is a private online institution. The graduate degree in information technology is designed for IT professionals to help them gain the management-level technical skills they need to grow in their careers.
There are several areas of specialization. Students can choose to concentrate on cloud and networking infrastructure management, general information management, information technology project management, and network risk management and control.
Strayer University is a private for-profit institution that was founded in 1892. The Master of Science in Information Systems Management program covers advanced Agile project management, IT risk management, IT audit and control, advanced systems analysis and design, strategic planning for database systems, and a capstone project.
Established in 1969, the University of Illinois Springfield is a public institution and one of the three universities in the University of Illinois System. The Master of Science in Computer Science program allows students to choose, to an extent, the specific courses they want to cover as the degree requirements evolve regularly.
Western Governors University is a private nonprofit online institution founded in 1997 by a group of governors. The school’s graduate degree in information technology management is designed for mid-level IT professionals seeking to advance to executive-level positions. The program offers the necessary knowledge and skills needed to achieve career advancement.
What’s the Average Systems & Network Administration Master’s Degree Salary?
According to Payscale, the average annual salary of systems and network administrators with a master’s degree is $96,000. Meanwhile, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual salary for network and computer systems administrators is $84,810. This will vary according to location of employment, company, and work experience.
Top Systems & Network Administration Master’s Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview
|Systems & Network Administration Master’s Degree Jobs||Average Salary|
|Computer and Information Systems Manager||$151,150|
|Computer Network Architect||$116,780|
|Information Security Analyst||$103,590|
|Computer Systems Analyst||$93,730|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrator||$84,810|
|Computer Support Specialist||$55,510|
Best Systems & Network Administration Master’s Degree Jobs Explained
Computer and Information Systems Manager
- Average Salary: $151,150
- Job Outlook: 11%
- Number of Jobs: 482,000
- Highest-Paying States: California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Colorado
Computer and information systems managers are in charge of the supervision of a company’s technological systems. They have to determine the company’s technology needs, make plans and recommendations, and install software and hardware to meet those needs.
Computer Network Architect
- Average Salary: $116,780
- Job Outlook: 5%
- Number of Jobs: 165,200
- Highest-Paying States: Massachusetts, California, Virginia, Maryland, Columbia
Computer network architects are responsible for the design and development of communication networks like local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and intranets for an organization.
These experts must have in-depth knowledge of the organization’s business plan. This is necessary to ensure that the communication networks that they design align with the organization’s goals. To become a computer network architect, you need to develop strong programming, communication, and leadership skills.
- Average Salary: $110,140
- Job Outlook: 22%
- Number of Jobs: 1,847,900
- Highest-Paying States: Washington, California, New York, Massachusetts, District of Columbia
A software developer conducts research, and designs, implements, tests, and maintains software programs using their programming knowledge. They monitor existing programs, check for areas of improvement, and work to optimize them.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, these professionals will enjoy a very robust job outlook in upcoming years, with the number of job openings growing by an impressive 22 percent.
Information Security Analyst
- Average Salary: $103,590
- Job Outlook: 33%
- Number of Jobs: 141,200
- Highest-Paying States: California, New York, New Jersey, District of Columbia, Virginia
Information security analysts exist to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. They make plans to install software and carry out other security measures to protect the networks from cyber attacks. You should consider becoming an information security analyst if you are passionate about helping companies protect their data.
- Average Salary: $98,860
- Job Outlook: 8%
- Number of Jobs: 168,000
- Highest-Paying States: New Jersey, Washington, District of Columbia, California, Massachusetts
Database administrators, also known as database managers, manage and maintain computer systems used for storing and organizing a company’s data. They have to ensure that a company’s data is secure and backed up. It is their responsibility to make sure that the databases are working properly.
Computer Systems Analyst
- Average Salary: $93,730
- Job Outlook: 7%
- Number of Jobs: 607,800
- Highest-Paying States: California, Virginia, New York, Washington, District of Columbia
Computer systems analysts, also known as systems architects or designers, study a company’s computer systems to initiate updates, write reports and requirements, configure hardware and software, and design solutions.
The goal of these professionals is to ensure the systems are operating efficiently. You should become a computer systems analyst if you are looking for a career with high compensation and a bright job outlook.
- Average Salary: $89,190
- Job Outlook: -10%
- Number of Jobs: 185,700
- Highest-Paying States: Washington, District of Columbia, California, Virginia, Texas
A computer programmer writes code to design, maintain, and update computer software or operating systems. These coding experts work closely with software developers to turn their designs into reality.
Network and Computer Systems Administrator
- Average Salary: $84,810
- Job Outlook: 5%
- Number of Jobs: 350,300
- Highest-Paying States: Maryland, California, New Jersey, District of Columbia, Connecticut
Network and computer systems administrators are professionals who carry out daily operations to maintain an organization’s computer systems and data communication systems. They are also charged with organizing and installing these networks.
- Average Salary: $77,200
- Job Outlook: 13%
- Number of Jobs: 199,400
- Highest-Paying States: Washington, California, Georgia, New Jersey, Massachusetts
Web developers are professionals who design and build websites for a company. They are in charge of the coding, design, layout, and maintenance of the website according to the requirements of the company.
Computer Support Specialist
- Average Salary: $55,510
- Job Outlook: 9%
- Number of Jobs: 844,600
- Highest-Paying States: New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York
Computer network specialists are technical support professionals who work to examine and troubleshoot computer network problems. They typically have a routine maintenance check to ensure that an organization’s computer network and systems are functioning adequately.
Systems & Network Administration Bootcamp vs Systems & Network Administration Master’s Degree: Which Is Better?
Master’s degrees are great to achieve your career goals and promote your growth in the industry. Bootcamps, meanwhile, are specifically designed to instill relevant and in-demand industry skills in students. To determine which educational pathway to choose, you must carefully consider your particular goals and circumstances.
Benefits of a Systems & Network Administration Master’s Degree
- In-depth curriculum. A master’s degree in the field will give you a broader and more in-depth knowledge of systems and network administration. The curriculum in this type of degree covers a wide range of areas that other options may fail to include.
- Proof of expertise. A master’s degree tells potential employers that you have thorough and relevant knowledge and training for a senior role.
- Higher employability. Having a master’s degree gives you a competitive advantage in the job market. It serves as proof of your expertise, knowledge, and skills in the field. It will set you apart from those with associate or bachelor’s degrees.
- Opportunity for growth. A master’s degree will help you grow in your career and qualify for higher positions. More senior roles are within reach with a graduate degree.
- Higher salary. Having an advanced degree will give you access to more senior positions and higher salaries.
Benefits of a Systems & Network Administration Bootcamp
- Fast-paced. Attending a coding bootcamp means you can learn the relevant skills in a shorter period. Bootcamps are designed to be fast-paced, lasting usually just a few months.
- Affordable. Bootcamps are more affordable than a master’s degree. In addition, they often have flexible financing options that can prevent you from incurring debt. You may even be able to find a coding bootcamp that you can take for free.
- In-demand skills. Bootcamps focus on teaching students the skills they will need to enter the workforce. The curricula of the best networking bootcamps are based on the most up-to-date skills and know-how.
- Hands-on training. The majority of bootcamps teach their students using a hands-on approach to ensure the students gain practical experience while learning.
- Career services. A typical systems and network administration bootcamp will have different career services to get students job-ready and help them land a job right after graduation.
Should You Get a Master’s Degree in Systems & Network Administration?
You should definitely get a Master’s Degree in Systems & Network Administration, especially if you want to advance in this career path. Earning a master’s degree is worthwhile as it enables you to apply for more senior positions. This degree will also prepare you for leadership roles as well as jobs in research, management, and development.
Systems & Network Administration Master’s Degree FAQ
A Master’s Degree in Network Administration is a program that teaches you the relevant knowledge and skills needed to take on more advanced roles as a network administrator.
You do not need a PhD to be a network administrator. However, you can earn a PhD if you want to focus on research.
Some of the skills needed to work as a network administrator include IT skills, problem-solving skills, critical-thinking skills, teamwork skills, communication skills, strong attention to detail, and patience. Some technical skills include network security, network hardware, and network infrastructures.
You can become a network and computer system administrator by completing an Associate or Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or Information Systems. You can also enroll in a bootcamp that offers courses in these relevant fields.
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