Top 10 Online Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Networking Programs for 2024

Author: Melissa Maypole
Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
Reading Level: Grade 9
Read Time: 14 minutes, 31 seconds
Original Publication Date: December 2021
Updates: 5

To say that computer networking impacts our society is a colossal understatement. Today, we rely on computer networks to do many daily tasks like:

  • Sending emails at work
  • Searching online for recipes to feed our families
  • Using navigation systems to plan travel itineraries

The networks that connect people, businesses, and systems need trained professionals. Our editors have ranked the top 10 online bachelor’s in networking degrees.

Featured Programs

Best Online Bachelor in Computer Networking Degrees Methodology

To develop this ranking, our editors began with an initial pool of 40 programs. We then applied a tuition filter. This eliminated programs with costs exceeding $30,000 per year. Finally, we used the site-wide undergraduate program methodology. In the case of a tie, the more affordable program was given the higher ranking. Tuition numbers were taken from the National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator. We list in-state undergraduate costs.

#10—Santa Fe College

Website
Gainesville, Florida
Online Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Systems Technology: Networking

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,563
Points: 11

Santa Fe College is home to the cheapest online degree in our ranking. This is a unique Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Systems Technology. There is a concentration in Networking that students can pursue entirely online. Professional core courses required for the degree include:

  • Data Analytics
  • Mobile Security
  • Cloud Computing
  • Computer Systems
  • Information Systems Management

Those students in the Networking concentration will be required to take additional classes. Examples include:

  • Network Management
  • Introduction to Cloud Computing
  • Wireless Devices
  • Advanced Concepts in Networking

A Network and Security capstone course is also required before graduation. Santa Fe College holds the institutional accreditation necessary to award online networking degrees. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges provides the accreditation.

Pros:

  • Students can graduate with no debt
  • Programs are flexible

Cons:

  • Problems at the administrative level have been reported
  • Some programs curriculum are not found to be challenging

#9—Lindenwood University

Saint Charles, Missouri

Online BS in Information Technology: Networking

Website
Undergraduate Tuition: $18,100
Points: 12

Lindenwood University has an online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. The program includes an emphasis in Networking. It is comprised of 120 credit hours of required coursework. This includes up to 67 credit hours in the IT major. These core classes include titles such as:

  • Programming Logic and Design
  • Hardware and Computer Systems
  • Database Analysis and Design Concepts
  • Project Management in Information Technology

Students in the Networking concentration will take extra courses. Examples include:

  • Cisco I- Introduction to Networks
  • Cisco II- Routing and Switching Essentials
  • Cisco III- Scaling Networks

An information technology capstone is also required before graduation. This is so students can gain hands-on experience. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Lindenwood University.

Pros:

  • Small class sizes
  • Faculty is supportive

Cons:

  • Issues at the administrative level have been reported
  • Lack of communication

#8—University of Maryland Global Campus

Adelphi, Maryland

Online BS in Computer Networks & Security

Website
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,560
Points: 12

UM-Global Campus offers an online BS in Computer Networks and Security. This 120-credit hour program can be completed entirely online. Still, some classes are also available via a blended learning format. Besides general education requirements, students must take 33 credit hours of major-specific coursework. They will also complete 46 credit hours of elective classes. These classes may be applied to specific industry certifications. Examples include:

  • Certified Computer Examiner (CCE)
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • CompTIA A+

UMGC accepts up to 90 credit hours from transfer students for this program. It was named a National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security provided this credential. It also holds the institutional accreditation necessary to award this computer networking degree. Accreditation is extended by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Pros:

  • Programs offer a good work/life balance
  • Great networking opportunities

Cons:

  • Low graduation rate
  • Lack of diversity

#7—Western Governor’s University

Salt Lake City, Utah

Online BS in Operations and Security

Website
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,670
Points: 12

WGU is home to one of the more affordable online computer networking options in our ranking. This Bachelor of Science option is self-paced and can be completed entirely online. The curriculum for the program includes 36 different courses. This includes titles such as:

  • Implementing and Administering Networking Solutions
  • Introduction to Cryptography
  • Managing Cloud Security
  • Computer Systems Network and Security: Applications

In addition, eleven industry certifications are built into the program’s curriculum. WGU is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Pros:

  • Challenging curriculum
  • Program flexibility

Cons:

  • Lack of transparency has been reported
  • Lack of student support has been reported

#6—Florida International University

Miami, Florida

Online Bachelor of Science in Information Technology

Website
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,565
Points: 12

Florida International University is a leading provider of online programs. It offers a bachelor’s degree program in Information Technology. This program can be customized to accommodate students interested in network admin. The university’s School of Computing and Information Sciences offers the degree. It features major coursework such as:

  • Technology in the Global Arena
  • Applied Computer Networking
  • Computing and Network Security
  • Computer Systems

Students can choose the following elective classes to design a custom concentration:

  • Data Communications
  • Network Admin

FIU is fully accredited to confer this online network admin degree.

Pros:

  • A wide range of degree choices
  • They hold the top rank for awarding degrees to Latino/Latina students

Cons:

  • A high student to faculty ratio
  • 64% acceptance rate

#5—Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology

Okmulgee, Oklahoma

Online Bachelor of Technology in Information Technologies: Network Infrastructure

Website
Undergraduate Tuition: $5,774
Points: 12

Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology offers an affordable online networking program. This is a Bachelor of Technology option in Information Technology. The program features a concentration in Network Infrastructure. It requires 121 total credit hours of coursework. Core courses as are necessary for the concentration include:

  • Enterprise Networking
  • Network and Computer Systems
  • Principles of Information Security
  • Secure System Administration
  • Cloud-Based Systems

The program includes an accelerated track. It enables students to complete all degree requirements in two to three years. OSUIT is fully accredited to confer the computer networking degree. The Higher Learning Commission extends this accreditation.

Pros:

  • They offer academic and career support
  • Provide counseling services for students

Cons:

  • TAs teach many of the classes
  • Student to faculty ratio is higher than the national average

#4—University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Online Bachelor of Applied Science in Computing: Network Operations

Website
Undergraduate Tuition: $12,716
Points: 13

The University of Arizona offers a unique online computer networking degree. The program is offered through its College of Applied Science and Technology. This Bachelor of Applied Science in Computing features an optional concentration in Operations. The concentration can be pursued entirely via distance ed. Classes required for this emphasis include:

  • Introduction to Network Design and Architecture
  • Cloud Computing
  • Network Security Principles
  • Advanced Routing and WAN Technologies

Students enrolled in the program must also take more general applied computing courses. Examples include:

  • Introduction to Computer Systems
  • Fundamentals of Cybersecurity
  • Computational Thinking and Doing
  • Statistics in the Information Age

The University of Arizona holds institutional accreditation to award computer networking degrees. Accreditation has been extended through The Higher Learning Commission.

Pros:

  • Advanced placement and dual credits are accepted
  • Acceptance rate is higher than the national average

Cons:

  • Graduation rate is lower than the national average
  • Many classes are taught by TAs

#3—Old Dominion University

Norfolk, Virginia

Online Bachelor of Science

Website
Undergraduate Tuition: $10,800
Points: 13

Students who want a great online degree should consider ODU’s online BS in networking. This program prepares students for careers in network admin. It also includes a degree completion track. This is for students who have already earned some college credits. The 120-credit hour curriculum for the program features major courses. Examples include:

  • Computers in Society
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Operating and Computer Systems
  • Computational Methods and Software

Students may also choose from elective offerings. They can use these to customize their course of study.

Pros:

  • They accept alternate forms of credit
  • Average debt upon graduation is much lower than the national average

Cons:

  • A low graduation rate
  • They have a high student/faculty ratio

#2—North Carolina A&T State University

Greensboro, North Carolina

Online Bachelor’s in Information Technology: Computer Networking Degree

Website
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,657
Points: 13

North Carolina A&T State University offers an affordable computer networking degree online. The online bachelor’s in Information Technology includes a built-in computer networking concentration. This concentration can be achieved entirely online. Sample course titles comprising the curriculum for the program include:

  • Network Security Applications
  • Computer Database Management
  • Computer Networking I
  • Linux System Administration

Along with online coursework, a senior capstone project is also required. This allows students to complete the program and gain hands-on experience. SACSOC accredits NC A&T State.

Pros:

  • Student debt upon graduation is lower than the national average
  • Great selection of academic programming

Cons:

  • Graduation rate is lower than the national average
  • TAs teach a majority of the classes

#1—Bellevue University

Bellevue, Nebraska

Online BS in Systems and Computer Network Administration

Website
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,851
Points: 14

Bellevue University offers an online BS in Computer Systems and Network Admin. Students will take general education courses as well as major-specific online courses. Examples include:

  • Advanced Networking Admin
  • Virtualization of Computer Systems Resources
  • Administration of Messaging Systems
  • Cloud Systems
  • Web Development
  • Information Security

The curriculum for this online networking administration degree can also be customized. Students can select elective courses and professional certifications. An accelerated cohort track is available. Bellevue University is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

Pros:

  • Program flexibility
  • Excellent support for adult learners

Cons:

  • Lack of communication from instructors
  • Lack of preparedness upon graduation from the cybersecurity program has been reported

About the Bachelor’s Degree

Many of the best jobs in networking require a four-year undergraduate degree. These degree programs give students a foundation in computer science and information technology. They also emphasize more refined skills in the specific sub-field of computer networks. Some schools tailor them around industry certifications. Some of these include:

  • Comp TIA Network+
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
  • or CISCO Certified Network Professional (CCNP)

Online Networking Program: Overview

The breakthroughs in computer and networking technology are what enable distance learning. Distance ed has become more common and more effective. Thus, online degrees in networking have become much more accessible. Today, it’s common for students to take an online course of study toward a networking credential. Colleges and universities nationwide now offer undergraduate degree programs. Many can be completed entirely online. All course content is accessible online. Students can view lectures and complete assignments online. They can even interact with classmates and professors in a virtual learning environment.

Types of Online Programs

Online networking programs are appealing. But it’s important to know that they are not all the same. These differences can help you choose the right program for you. There will be one that fits your individual needs and schedule.

Part-Time Versus Full-Time Online Networking Programs

It is important for you to know that many programs demand a full-time commitment. Even without physical meeting times, you must devote a lot of time. If your schedule is busy, consider looking for online degrees offered part-time. Of course, completing these programs over the long term will take you longer. But it will make balancing school and your daily responsibilities easier.

Asynchronous Versus Synchronous Networking Options Online

Another thing to remember is how the program content is delivered. The difference between asynchronous and synchronous programming is significant. Asynchronous programming means that you can access the content on your own time. It is by far a more flexible method. Here’s the bottom line: Asynchronous online programs are self-paced options.

Synchronous online offerings require certain virtual meeting times. Asynchronous is likely best if you’re looking for the most flexible option. Be aware that many online degrees and programs combine asynchronous and synchronous elements.

Hybrid Versus 100% Online Networking Programs

There is another type of content delivery to be aware of when looking for degrees online. This is the hybrid versus entirely online issue. This can be a tricky distinction to discern. Many schools label their hybrid programs as “online” or “distance learning” options. If you want a fully online experience, be sure the degree program doesn’t require campus visits. Look for requirements such as:

  • orientations
  • workshops
  • internships
  • practicums

These may require your physical attendance. Check with the admissions office to find out if requirements can be fulfilled online. Be sure to do so before enrollment.

Online Networking Programs: Admissions Criteria for Bachelor’s Programs

Admissions requirements are pretty much the same for all online bachelor’s degrees. Networking degrees are no exception. Requirements can vary a little from one program to another. At the very least, you’ll need a high school diploma or GED. Beyond that, you should be ready to submit the following documents and materials:

  • Completed application and fee (if required)
  • Full academic transcript (including any previous college)
  • Proof of minimum GPA (usually 2.75 or higher)
  • Personal and/or professional references
  • Essays, writing samples, and/or personal statements
  • College entrance exams such as the ACT or SAT

Some online networking degrees are more competitive than others. Thus, reviewing admissions criteria on the school’s official website is a good idea. Do this before applying.

Curriculum Details for Online Networking Programs

Students looking for the ideal networking programs online are interested in the curriculum. The exact course titles often differ. Still, there is some standardization as well. For example, general education courses are usually required. This is in addition to core courses related to the networking major. All in all, you can expect to complete around 120 semester or 180 quarter hours of coursework. Below, we’ll list some major-specific classes typical of bachelor’s networking degrees.

Sample Major Core Courses in Computer Networking

  • Networking Security
  • Network and Server Operating Systems
  • Introduction to Systems Programming
  • Routers and Switches
  • Network Management
  • Data Communications and Networking
  • Cloud Computing
  • Networking Fundamentals
  • Wireless Systems
  • Programming Languages
  • Computer Architecture
  • Internetworking
  • Technical Communication
  • Local Area Networks
  • Network Configurations
  • Wireless Security
  • Computer Security Systems

Frequently-Asked Questions

Q: How long does it take to finish an online computer networking degree program?

A: Students pursuing a bachelor’s in networking degree online should expect it to take four years. However, accelerated degrees are available via distance technology. This is an option that could shorten the time to completion significantly. Moreover, part-time online networking students should expect the program to take longer.

Q: How much does an online degree cost?

A: As for all higher education programs, tuition costs can vary significantly. We found programs for less than $3,000 annually in the research required for this ranking. We also found those exceeding $50,000 annually. The tuition costs for most programs fall between $5,000 and $20,000 yearly.

Q: Can I study part-time towards a networking credential online?

A: Yes. Part-time networking programs are available online. Not all schools offer them, though.

Q: Are networking credentials online legitimate?

A: Yes. Many well-respected universities offer online bachelor’s degrees in networking. Even programs that are only available online are usually legitimate, too. To confirm a program’s legitimacy, check for regional or national accreditation. It should be from an accrediting body approved by the US Department of Education.

Q: Can I earn a networking credential fully online?

A: Yes. You can complete most online bachelor’s in networking programs without any campus visits.

Career Questions for Online Networking Programs

Q: What can I do with a networking degree?

A: Upon graduation from online networking programs, many possible career paths exist. Here are some popular examples:

  • Computer Network Administrator
  • Systems Administrator
  • Systems Engineer
  • Computer Network Engineer
  • Information Technology Director
  • Database Applications Program Analyst
  • Computer Operations Manager
  • Computer Network Architect
  • Computer Support Specialist

Q: Are jobs in networking in demand?

A: Yes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs for IT professionals are on the rise. Jobs for IT and computer support specialists should increase by 13% in the coming decade. This expansion is expected to add over 667,000 new jobs for qualified applicants.

Q: How much is a computer networking degree salary?

A:  You may be wondering: What’s a degree in computer networking worth? Salaries associated with networking degrees will inevitably vary. Still, PayScale reports an average annual wage of $78,000. This is for IT professionals with a bachelor’s degree in computer networking systems.

Q: What professional organizations are there in the field?

A: There are dozens of professional organizations and associations for information technology professionals. Some of these are specific to networking. These organizations can provide valuable resources for their members. Some of these include:

  • Professional development
  • Networking opportunities
  • Education
  • Advocacy within the industry

Here are some of the most popular choices for current students.

  • Network Professional Association (NPA)
  • Internet Society (ISOC)
  • International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP)
  • Computing Research Association (CRA)
  • Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
  • Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP)

A networking degree can jumpstart an exciting career in the field of IT. These programs are more convenient, effective, and affordable than ever before. If a job in IT is on your radar, consider one of the many top online networking programs listed here.

Sources:

  • National Center for Education Statistics (NCES): College Navigator
  • PayScale: Salary Data and Career Research Center (United States)
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): Occupational Outlook Handbook