In addition to completing and general education requirements in mathematics, English, and science, network support training will include classes on operating systems principles, technology management, wireless network support and implementation, internet protocols, network security, and telecommunication network design. Programs will require traditional classroom courses as well as hands-on lab courses in electronic network systems, electronic computer networks, and customer service. Other courses may include troubleshooting, data systems management, network hardware, basic computer repair, and computer programming courses. For added practical experience, consider completing an internship during undergraduate study. For computer specialists, certification can lead to more job opportunities and can increase earning potential. Many programs provide training for students to pass various certification exams for Cisco Certified Network Professional credentials or network security credentials for CompTIA.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for computer and network support specialists are expected to grow 18% through 2020, which is much faster than estimates for all occupations. With a network support degree, graduates are prepared for several entry-level positions, including computer support technician, helpdesk consultant, system-wide administrator, and computer system specialist. Because network support technicians and specialists are required for nearly any industry, jobs are available in a variety of settings, including healthcare facilities, educational institutions, financial institutions, retail, or within the military.