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Online Education (cisco Networking Degree)

By Expert Author: John Srob

Computers were once primarily used for word processing and automation of basic algorithms and arithmetic equations. Over the last decade, computers have become an important building block of the information highway. Computers now cater to the needs and requirements of millions of people across the world. Multimedia applications, digital photography, music storage capacity and gaming software are just some of the features offered by computer systems.

Computers can be configured to network with many devices including printers, servers, and other storage devices. Many people choose to specialize in computer networking. All sorts of different computer networking diplomas, certifications, and degrees are now offered by colleges across the world. Networking training enables students to learn about computer systems and the different mechanisms and configurations required to create networks.


The Associate in Applied Science degree in Information Technology: Cisco Networking Professional program focuses on the skills needed to prepare for industry-recognized certifications with an emphasis on certifications at the professional-level. Knowledge and skills are developed to install, configure, maintain, and troubleshoot Cisco routers and components, advanced routing protocols, Local Area Networks (LANs), and Wide Area Networks (WANs); troubleshoot problems with various common hardware and software configurations; perform administrative tasks in a network. Courses in the program also focus on the skills needed to prepare for various Cisco certifications including the Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional Certifications (CCNP). A Certificate of Completion (CCL) is also available.
How Can I Study Cisco Network Management Online?
Cisco network management refers to the use of technology developed by Cisco, a multinational tech company, to create and oversee computer networks. Online education in this area is available through non-credit courses in addition to undergraduate certificate and associate degree programs. Some of these programs offer all relevant course materials online, while others are in a hybrid format, with some coursework available online and other coursework to be completed on campus.

Typically, these programs are directly affiliated with Cisco through a program referred to as the Cisco Networking Academy. The coursework included in these programs is designed to prepare students to take the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) or Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certification exams. The CCNP is an extension of the CCNA, building on the networking topics covered in the CCNA exam. You need to be CCNA certified before you can become a CCNP.

There is some variation between schools in how this education is presented. Some schools offer a variety of certificate and associate degree options. For example, one school offers Associate of Applied Science degrees with a choice of focus in CCNA, CCNP or both CCNA and security in addition to a variety of certificates in CCNA, CCNP and security. You may want to decide which level of study is right for you by considering what classes are included in the curriculum.
What Courses Will I Take?
Online coursework in these programs is typically administered through a course management system like Blackboard, with instructors uploading lectures and instruction materials to be accessed at the student's convenience. In hybrid programs, on-campus coursework often includes computer lab work so you can have hands-on experience setting up and learning to maintain a network.

Stand-alone classes and certificate programs typically do not include any coursework outside of the core Cisco networking focus unless specifically designated in the program's area of focus. For example, a certificate in CCNA and security will probably include additional network security procedures not covered in the standard CCNA program.

Associate degree programs in this area usually include general education coursework and may cover other computer networking topics and certifications, including classes in computer programming languages and course content from tech companies like Sun, Adobe, Microsoft and HP. Regardless of program award level, Cisco network education programs typically focus on CCNA certification.

Some specific topics of study could include:

Computer hardware and software
Designing and managing computer databases
Using Internet routers
Troubleshooting network problems
Computer technology: ethics and implications
Communicating with the Internet
Protecting and security computer data and information

What Can I Do With This Education?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers of computer support specialists prefer to hire professionals with some formal education (www.bls.gov). In some cases this could mean a formal degree, though the BLS says that other certifications and kinds of training are often acceptable.
After completing a certificate program in Cisco network management, or becoming CCNA certified, you could find a career in technical support. This might involve working for an Internet service provider, troubleshooting for customers' problems or answering questions.

You could find a position providing support to a specific business, maintaining its computer networks and keeping them secure. With an associate's degree, you might be able to find a position in network administration, but you generally need at least a bachelor's degree for these positions, according to the BLS.
ake advantage of the opportunity to become a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and ultimately achieve Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) designation. CCNP is a highly sought-after certification that provides value to your professional career. As a CCNP, you'll deploy and maintain large-scale computer networks on which many businesses rely. Together this certification and Cisco training degree will prepare you to start your career in the field of technology.

Program features include:

more than half of core contact hours delivered via hands-on lab training
Cisco Networking Academy courses to prepare you for the Cisco Certified Network Association (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) exams*
courses that prepare you for additional industry-relevant certificates*, such as Microsoft® (workstation, server, active directory and infrastructure), CompTIA A+, CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA Network+

You May Qualify For Financial Aid.

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