The IT-Network Specialist program prepares students to maintain and support local and wide area networks, computer communications systems including router and switch configurations, hardware & software infrastructure management/design, voice and video over IP, private telephone systems (PBX), voicemail systems, and video production. Network Specialists are needed in almost any business using local and/or wide area networks, the Internet or Intranets, and telephony systems.
Is This Program for You?
Do you have strong analytical and technical skills? If the challenge of creating a computer network strategy, troubleshooting problems, and installing hardware and software appeals to you, this program may help make your career dreams a reality.
Students entering the Network Specialist program should:
- Possess an analytical and creative ability.
- Like to solve problems and be persistent.
- Be able to think logically.
- Have good basic reading and math skills.
- Have good oral and written communication skills.
- Associate degree, requiring a minimum of two years to complete.
- High school articulation courses accepted.
- Financial aid available.
- Classes start in August and January.
- Modified plan available.
- Curriculum & Costs
Admission and Program Requirements
- Submit Application and $30 Application Fee
- To make sure your classes are the right fit, we consider any previous college credit you've earned, Accuplacer or ACT scores, high school GPA, or an assessment at your registration session. Submit High School Transcripts, College Transcripts, and Test Scores to: Southwest Tech, Attn: Admissions, 1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809
Helpful Academic Background
- Math skills (math proficiency through algebra required prior to enrollment in 605-150 Basic Electronics for Communication Networks, Semester 2)
- Oral and written communication skills
- Computer applications and concepts
- This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
- Estimated cost for each semester can be found under the Curriculum tab. Please note that costs are approximate and are based on the current academic year.
- Please discuss additional fee questions with the program advisor or instructor.
At the completion of the program, students are expected to be able to:
- Develop effective interpersonal skills.
- Use effective electronic, oral, and written communication skills.
- Demonstrate and adhere to ethical policies and procedures within the regulatory environment.
- Implement computer networks.
- Select appropriate devices for each network based on design criteria.
- Implement client systems on a network.
- Troubleshoot the communications network when problems arise and develop a plan for a solution.
- Install and upgrade hardware and software.
- Maintain the organization's communication network.
- Assist with network design, testing, and documentation for implementing a communication network.
- Demonstrate knowledge of basic communications network electronics.
- Install, support, and maintain a Local Area Network (LAN) and/or Wide Area Network (WAN).
- Implement and maintain a voice communications network.
- Career Opportunities
Graduates are prepared for positions in a wide variety of organizations and businesses. Opportunities for employment exist in accounting firms, banks, schools, hospitals, insurance companies, manufacturing firms, and government agencies as:
- Network Administrator: Designs, implements, and maintains local area and wide-area computer networks needed for the efficient functioning of the firm
- Network Assistant: Assists the network administrator with all aspects of the firm's information network(s)
- Information Technology Support: Works directly with end users to maintain and troubleshoot information systems
Southwest Tech's Career Connections Center offers Services to assist students looking for job placement.
- Prior Learning
Credit for Prior Learning
Experience Pays! You've Been There... You've Done That... Let's See If You Can Get Credit For It!
Credit for prior learning gives you opportunities to earn credit for college-level knowledge that you have already acquired. This may be the result of work or volunteer experiences, certifications, apprenticeships, military training, extensive self-instruction, or professional development. Credit for Prior Learning affords you the opportunity to accelerate the completion of your educational goals.
For more information or to request Credit for Prior Learning see our Credit for Prior Learning page.
IT-Network Specialist Courses that may have Credit for Prior Learning options:
Course # Course Title Challenge Exam
CLEP Credential Portfolio 10-103-106 Beginning Microsoft Excel Any Microsoft MOUS certification (even an old certification) will also be considered for CPL 10-103-111 Beginning Microsoft Access Any Microsoft MOUS certification (even an old certification) will also be considered for CPL 10-103-118 Intermediate Microsoft Excel Any Microsoft MOUS certification (even an old certification) will also be considered for CPL 10-150-102 Cisco Networking Cisco CCNET Certification 10-150-103 Firewall/VPN Cisco CCNA Security (210-260 IINS) 10-150-115 Principles of Information Security CompTIA Security+ 10-150-121 VMWare VCP Essentials VMWare VCA (VCA6-DCV) 10-150-128 Windows Server Administration Any Microsoft Exam 70-74x Any Microsoft Exam 70-41x Any Microsoft Exam 70-64x 10-150-130 Linux Essentials LPI Linux Essentials 10-154-101 Comp TIA A+ Essentials CompTIA A+ Certified 10-154-106 Comp TIA A+ Practical Applications CompTIA A+ Certified 10-196-156 Project Management 1 10-801-136 English Composition 1 CLEP Test - College Composition 10-801-196 Oral/Interpersonal Communication 10-801-197 Technical Reporting 10-809-195 Economics CLEP Test - Principles of Macroeconomics