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Computer Systems Networking Major

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Computer Systems Networking

1,446 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
747 Master's Degrees Annually
#143 in Popularity
$93,610 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Computer Systems Networking Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many computer systems networking graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 4,821
Associate’s Degree 4,437
Undergraduate Certificate 2,264
Bachelor’s Degree 1,454
Master’s Degree 747
Graduate Certificate 65
Doctor’s Degree 3

What Computer Systems Networking Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, networking majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Networking Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in networking should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

Skills for Networking Majors

When studying networking, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Abilities for Networking Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a networking student include the following:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

What Can You Do With a Computer Systems Networking Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with networking:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Computer Network Architects 6.5% $109,020
Computer Network Support Specialists 8.2% $62,770
Informatics Nurse Specialists 9.1% $88,740
Information Security Analysts 28.5% $98,350

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Systems Networking?

1,454 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
15% Percent Women
38% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 1,446 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer systems networking in 2018, making it rank #143 in popularity. This major attracts more men than women. About 85% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of networking majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Networking Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 88
Black or African American 189
Hispanic or Latino 239
White 773
International Students 69
Other Races/Ethnicities 96

Geographic Diversity

Networking appeals to people across the globe. About 4.7% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • India
  • China
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Pakistan
  • Nigeria

How Much Do Computer Systems Networking Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median early-career salary of computer systems networking students with a bachelor’s degree is $46,800 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $46,800 (25th percentile) and $50,100 (75th percentile).

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One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to networking.

Salaries According to BLS

Networking majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $68,050 to $102,470 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Computer Systems Networking Major  ( 68050 to 102470 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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Some careers associated with networking require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to networking have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 1.5%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 5.3%
Some College Courses 6.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 12.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 45.3%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 9.9%
Master’s Degree 16.6%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 2.4%
Doctoral Degree 0.9%

Online Computer Systems Networking Programs

In 2017-2018, 720 schools offered a networking program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 285 30
Certificate (1-2 years) 277 25
Certificate (2-4 Years) 16 2
Associate’s Degree 412 57
Bachelor’s Degree 20 6
Post-Baccalaureate 285 30
Master’s Degree 44 18
Post-Master’s 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Computer Systems Networking Worth It?

The median salary for a networking grad is $93,610 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 135% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,074,200 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to networking.

Major Number of Grads
Computer Information Systems 74,454
Computer Science 44,313
Information Technology 30,179
Information Science 17,384
Computer Software & Applications 11,900
Computer Programming 10,098
Computer Systems Analysis 2,655
Data Processing 2,185
Data Entry 1,461
Other Computer & Information Sciences 1,303

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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