Network and Systems Administration

The Network and Systems Administration program prepares students to enter the job market successfully as network technicians, junior network administrators, and junior system administrators. The program provides foundational skills, which provide a firm basis for lifelong, on-the-job learning and professional growth.

The first year of the program includes a sequence of three courses, which prepare students to take the Cisco Certified Network Associate® (CCNA) certification exam. It also includes courses in software applications, programming, web development, and introductions to operating systems, security, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The second year of the program includes a sequence of advanced courses in the administration of client/server network operating systems, script programming, and courses in network and system security. It also includes valuable cooperative work experience, arranged with one of a number of local public or private organizations.

The Career Pathway Certificate (CPC) in Basic Networking is designed to help students develop skills to administer and manage computer networks and assume the role of a network technician. Courses examine and illustrate network terminology, protocols, standards, local and wide area networks (LANS/WANS), OSI model, cabling, network topology, troubleshooting, and network addressing. Skill classes are taught in a laboratory setting and through online simulation, lecture, and online curriculum. The CPC program must be started in fall term, and it assumes that entering students have some working knowledge and familiarity with computer systems and software. Individual courses may assist students in preparing for related industry information technology exams (CCNA, CompTIA, MCSE). Students should contact an advisor to discuss the CPC program and the necessary basic skill set prior to enrolling in courses. All required courses can be applied to the two-year Network and Systems Administration, Associate of Applied Science degree.

The Systems Administration Certificate may take two years to complete. It prepares students for entry into the Information Technology field as administrators of Network Operating Systems. These systems typically incorporate a large number of client enterprise-wide resources and connectivity through a computer network. The certificate program teaches foundational skills that provide a basis for lifelong on-the-job-learning and professional growth. All required courses can be applied to the Network and Systems Administration two-year Associate of Applied Science degree.

Program Requirements

Students considering a major in Network and Systems Administration should be aware that it is a challenging program requiring a full-time commitment. The sequence of courses begins Fall Term and continues for two years. Students should also meet regularly with a program advisor to ensure that coursework is on track.

Important Note: It is a prerequisite for each student in the Network and Systems Administration AAS program to possess a basic knowledge of information technology hardware and software before enrolling in any CIS or CS courses. In order to fulfill this requirement a student must either:

  • Pass a Computer Literacy Placement Exam, or
  • Enroll in CS 120 – Digital Literacy (3 credits).

To schedule a placement exam or for further information contact: Student Assessment.

To begin the Systems Administration Certificate program, the assumption is made that entering students have some working knowledge and familiarity with computer systems and software. The following courses need to be completed prior to or during the first term: CS 120 Digital Literacy (or equivalent) and MTH 075 Variables and Linear Equations (or equivalent), both with a grade of C or higher. The certificate program includes five laboratory courses in which students practice hands-on administration of several Network Operating Systems. Also included in the certificate program are courses in Networking Essentials, Orientation to Computer Science, and Security and Information Assurance.


Students in this program spend a considerable amount of time working on computers. Students have access to personal computers for completing assignments.