Best online network administration degree 2022: Top picks | #education | #technology | #training


Organizations increasingly rely on efficient communication networks, information systems, and cybersecurity. With a network administration degree, you’ll learn to build and manage networks, along with the foundations of working with various systems and technologies. The training also gives you access to a broad and growing career landscape.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 13% growth in computer and information technology occupations between 2020 and 2030. Your training could lead to a career as a network architect, administrator, or analyst. Here, we offer details on the network administration degree and rank the best programs available to you. 

The best online bachelor’s in network administration degrees

ZDNet’s ranking methodology follows a careful process. We collect information from publicly available sources, such as national datasets and individual schools and programs. We also gather insight from industry experts and education specialists. 

Unless otherwise indicated, data is drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Scorecard.

1. University of Alabama at Birmingham

Birmingham, Alabama

About the program: UAB’s online bachelor’s in information systems includes core courses in  business programming, database management, and systems analysis. The program also features a capstone experience requirement.

  • Acceptance rate: 74%
  • Graduation rate: 55%
  • Avg. annual net price: $16,953
  • Years to completion: Four
  • SAT range: 530-685
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available 
  • Enrollment periods per year: Over three
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous 

Accreditation: The University of Alabama at Birmingham is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

2. Dallas Baptist University

Dallas, Texas

About the program: A Christian university, DBU offers a 120-credit online bachelor’s in systems technology and information management. The training includes courses in networks and data communications, database design, and IT security. 

  • Acceptance rate: 90%
  • Graduation rate: 58%
  • Avg. annual net price: $26,387
  • Years to completion: Four
  • SAT range: 510-630
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Four
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Dallas Baptist University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

3. Indiana State University

Terre Haute, Indiana

About the program: ISU’s online bachelor’s in management information systems includes training in network administration and security, systems analysis and design, and data management. 

  • Acceptance rate: 90%
  • Graduation rate: 42%
  • Avg. annual net price: $13,896
  • Years to completion: Four
  • SAT range: Not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: 2.5
  • Enrollment periods per year: Over three
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: Indiana State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

4. Old Dominion University

Norfolk, Virginia

About the program: ODU’s online bachelor’s in information systems and technology focuses on building system and business analysis skills. The program features courses in database concepts, systems analysis and design, and strategic IT administration. 

  • Acceptance rate: 89%
  • Graduation rate: 58%
  • Avg. annual net price: $16,493
  • Years to completion: Four
  • SAT range: 480-600
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: Old Dominion University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

5. Dakota State University

Madison, South Dakota

About the program: DSU’s online bachelor’s in network and security administration teaches students about software security, advanced networking, and information security management.

  • Acceptance rate: 77%
  • Graduation rate: 39%
  • Avg. annual net price: $17,691
  • Years to completion: Four
  • SAT range: 500-640
  • Minimum GPA: 2.6
  • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: Dakota State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

6. Keiser University

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

About the program: Keiser’s online bachelor’s in management information systems features courses in data communication and networking, information systems implementation, and business intelligence. 

  • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
  • Graduation rate: 57%
  • Avg. annual net price: $33,428
  • Years to completion: Four
  • SAT range: Not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: 2.8
  • Enrollment periods per year: Over three
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Keiser University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

7. Colorado State University Global Campus

Greenwood Village, Colorado

About the program: CSU Global’s online bachelor’s in management information systems offers training in data mining, information systems analysis, and web analytics. The program also features 30 specialization options, including virtualization and cloud computing.

  • Acceptance rate: 99%
  • Graduation rate: Not publicly available
  • Avg. annual net price: Not publicly available
  • Years to completion: Four
  • SAT range: 460-600
  • Minimum GPA: 2.8
  • Enrollment periods per year: Rolling
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Colorado State University Global Campus is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

8. Maryville University of Saint Louis

St. Louis, Missouri

About the program: Maryville’s 128-credit hour online bachelor’s in management information systems features training in information security and application development. 

  • Acceptance rate: 83%
  • Graduation rate: 59%
  • Avg. annual net price: $29,064
  • Years to completion: Four
  • SAT range: 510-630
  • Minimum GPA: 2.5
  • Enrollment periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous

Accreditation: Maryville University of Saint Louis is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

9. Champlain College

Burlington, Vermont

About the program: Champlain’s 120-credit online bachelor’s in management information systems includes training in networking fundamentals, enterprise database systems, and information systems design.

  • Acceptance rate: 85%
  • Graduation rate: 61%
  • Avg. annual net price: $33,561
  • Years to completion: Four
  • SAT range: 540-670
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Over two
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Champlain College is regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE).

10. Bellevue University

Bellevue, Nebraska

About the program: BU’s 127-credit online bachelor’s in management information systems includes courses in information security management, managing innovations, and future trends in management information systems. 

  • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
  • Graduation rate: 46%
  • Avg. annual net price: $15,616
  • Years to completion: Three to four
  • SAT range: Not publicly available
  • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
  • Enrollment periods per year: Four
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

Accreditation: Bellevue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

What to expect in an online bachelor’s in network administration degree program

A network administration degree prepares you to manage an organization’s network operations and security. The programs also provide training in various other information technology fields, including data management, data analytics, and systems and application design. You can often direct the focus of your studies by choosing a concentration or strategically picking electives. 

Like many information technology programs, network administration programs emphasize practical learning. You should expect to complete various hands-on assignments, lab experiences, and internships. As an online student, you receive similar training as on-campus learners but with more independent study requirements. 

Bachelor’s in network administration courses

Network administration degree curriculums can include a variety of core courses. Some programs focus primarily on network-related training, whereas others offer broad training touching on many information technology topics.

Network management

In this course, students learn how to build, secure, and troubleshoot networks. They learn to evaluate network performance, identify upgrades, and install hardware and software. 

Database systems

Students in this course learn how to design, secure, and manage database systems. They also learn to maintain databases, mine data, and analyze the information for business applications. 

Network and information security

This course teaches students how to secure networks and information systems. They look at the leading types of attacks and protection measures. They also learn to identify vulnerabilities and implement solutions.

Management information systems

Students in this course learn to oversee and operate management information systems for organizations. They may also acquire skills in data analytics and business intelligence. 

Network administration degree levels

Many schools offer network administration degrees at various levels. Each degree offers you something unique, including entry-level career preparation at the undergraduate level and management preparation at the graduate level. Use the information below to understand what each degree offers, and choose a level based on your personal educational interests and career goals. 

Associate in network administration

  • Length: One to two years
  • Cost: $11,389/year in 2018-19
  • Post-grad careers: Computer systems administrator, computer support specialist, and customer service representative

In a network administration associate program, students learn the fundamentals of networking and networking technologies. They learn to set up and troubleshoot networks, while also developing a foundation in information technology. This may include understanding the major systems and business information technology applications. 

Graduates may qualify for various entry-level positions in the computer and information technology field. They can also build on their training with a bachelor’s degree or beyond.

Bachelor’s in network administration

  • Length: Three to four years
  • Cost: $28,123/year in 2018-19
  • Post-grad careers: Network administrator, database administrator, and information security analyst

In a network administration degree at the bachelor’s level, students develop skills in designing, implementing, and managing networks for organizations. They also learn to secure networks and install the necessary upgrades. 

Network administration programs also explore the fundamentals of information technology management, including managing systems and databases. Graduates can pursue many entry-level computer and information technology careers. They can also qualify for a master’s degree.

Graduate certificate in network administration

  • Length: 2-12 months
  • Cost: Varies
  • Post-grad careers: Computer network architect, computer systems analyst, and information security analyst

A network administration graduate certificate curriculum can vary considerably depending on the school and program. Some programs offer an introduction to network administration for students with no professional or educational background in the discipline. Others feature more specialized and advanced training for professionals looking to advance their information technology careers. 

Depending on their previous training and experience, graduates may be able to access computer management and analyst careers.

Master’s in network administration

  • Length: One to three years
  • Cost: $19,792/year in 2019-20
  • Post-grad careers: Computer and information systems manager, computer and information research scientist, and top executive

A network administration program at the master’s level explores more advanced topics in the discipline, including designing, building, securing, and upgrading networks. Students also acquire advanced training in related computer fields, such as data management and systems design and analysis. 

Graduates can pursue most computer and information technology careers, including management, analyst, and consultant positions. They can continue their training in a doctoral program as well.

In conclusion

Organizations need their computer networks to be effective and well managed. With a network administration degree, you can acquire the skills to oversee organizational networks and the careers that come with those responsibilities. For more information on the top-ranked programs above, reach out directly to the schools listed above.



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