Networking specialist: Keeping computers connected
Think about what happened the last time your office’s computer network went down or your home Internet service failed. In today’s “connected” world, networks are necessary for success!
Computer networking is a growing field where technicians keep computers “talking” with one another. Networking specialists sometimes called technical specialists, maintain networks that link computers, communication equipment and video equipment. They work to keep the computer networks running and performing optimally, perform routine maintenance, install network hardware and software, troubleshoot problems, and ensure network availability to users.
A versatile career
Networking specialists work in many environments – large corporations, small businesses, government organizations and schools. It’s not always a 9-5 job, because they may be called in at all hours if a system is down, or they may need to put in long hours for a certain project. Specialists must keep up with frequent changes throughout their careers.
“You need the ability or desire to constantly learn new things because computer networking is a very dynamic environment, things are always changing,” said Assistant Professor Larry Choate.
About the Program
Jackson College offers both associate degree and certificate programs for networking specialists, and each 200-level networking class helps prepare students with the skills and knowledge to take vendor-sponsored certification exams. Students who pass the related core exams will be CompTIA Network+ certified and recognized as a Microsoft® Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA). Students who pass the appropriate related elective exam can also achieve the premier certifications of Microsoft® Certified System Engineer (MCSE) and Certified Cisco Network Administrator (CCNA).
Further study with a bachelor’s degree will increase job opportunities. Employment will grow 12.1 percent in the coming years in Michigan. Salaries vary depending on location, from about $45,000 to more than $76,000 annually; median earnings are about $60,000.