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Computer Systems Networking Major

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Computer Systems Networking

1,267 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
645 Master's Degrees Annually
#7 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 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Basic Certificate 5,591
Associate’s Degree 4,092
Undergraduate Certificate 2,389
Bachelor’s Degree 1,270
Master’s Degree 645
Graduate Certificate 67
Doctor’s Degree 1

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

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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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

networking majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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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

Networking majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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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?

1,270 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
13% Percent Women
44% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This is one of the most frequently chosen computer science majors. It is the 7th most popular in the country with 1,267 students graduating with a bachelor’s in networking in 2019. This major tends to be male dominated. About 87% of recent graduates are men.

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 99
Black or African American 173
Hispanic or Latino 250
White 594
International Students 64
Other Races/Ethnicities 90

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Networking. About 5.0% 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

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that computer systems networking students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $46,800 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $46,800 (25th percentile) and $50,100 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in networking, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

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 you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

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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250K
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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250K

Some degrees associated with networking may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for networking careers below.

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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 2018-2019, 696 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) 291 24
Certificate (1-2 years) 269 28
Certificate (2-4 Years) 15 1
Associate’s Degree 386 59
Bachelor’s Degree 20 8
Post-Baccalaureate 291 24
Master’s Degree 42 17
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 76,482
Computer Science 47,906
Information Technology 33,399
Information Science 17,779
Computer Software & Applications 12,793
Computer Programming 10,688
Computer Systems Analysis 2,472
Data Processing 2,138
Data Entry 1,382
Other Computer & Information Sciences 1,243

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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