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Computer Networking

Two women using a multimeter

Computer Networking - AAS-T

Choose BTC’s Information Technology program to train for positions such as network technician, network specialist, network administrator, and network security administrator, or Local Area Network (LAN) technician. Learn how to manage computer networks, troubleshoot and repair computer systems, and design, install, and maintain LANs.

Graduates will find employment opportunities with computer support firms or with small-sized to large-sized companies that use computer networks, such as financial institutions, insurance companies, schools and universities, a range of corporations, and federal, state, and local government agencies.

To learn more about Bellingham Technical College programs you’re interested in, join us for a Virtual Program Info Session. Prior sign up is required. If you do not see an Info Session for the program you’re interested in, email outreach@btc.edu for more information.

Employment Information

71% BTC graduate placement rate

$68,307 starting annual wage
$87,485 average annual wage
$111,446 potential annual wage
  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    BTC graduate employment rates:
    The graduate employment rate reflects placement rates of students who graduated from BTC in 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17. The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Data Linking for Outcomes Assessment database pulls from Unemployment Insurance (UI) data across Washington and Oregon. UI data do not reflect BTC graduates who (a) are employed in states beyond those listed above or outside of the United States, (b) are self-employed, (c) are active duty members of the armed forces, (d) continued on to another educational institution, and/or (e) did not provide a social security number while enrolled at BTC.

    Wages:
    Washington State Employment Security Department 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates ( esd.wa.gov) reflect 2014-2017 employment

    Starting annual wage = 25th percentile
    Average annual wage = 50th percentile
    Potential annual wage = 75th percentile

Estimated Program Costs

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

Students may begin this program Fall, Winter, Spring, or Summer quarters.

What are the Minimum Entry Requirements?

Admissions application and assessment testing in Reading, Math and Writing is required. Your score on the test and/or your previous transcripts will determine where you begin your course sequence. Contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 or at admissions@btc.edu for assistance with academic planning.

What are My Next Steps?

Classes

Total Program Credits: 99

  • Quarter 1

  • IT 105Using Network Computer Systems3 CR
  • IT 141A+ Operating Systems5 CR
  • IT 112A+ Hardware5 CR
  • General Education5 CR
  • Quarter 2

  • IT 106IT Support Skills3 CR
  • IT 120Command Line Interface & Scripting5 CR
  • IT 160Network Technology I5 CR
  • General Education5 CR
  • Quarter 3

  • IT 107Using Cloud Services3 CR
  • IT 161Network Technology II5 CR
  • IT 142Windows Desktop I5 CR
  • General Education5 CR
  • Quarter 4

  • IT 242Windows Server I5 CR
  • IT 240Linux Server Administration5 CR
  • General Education5 CR
  • Quarter 5

  • IT 210Information Security5 CR
  • IT 250Cloud & IOT Fundamentals5 CR
  • Specialty/Elective5 CR
  • Quarter 6

  • IT 270Field-Based Experience5 CR
  • Specialty/Elective5 CR
  • Specialty/Elective5 CR
  • General Education Core Courses

  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 CR
  • OR
  • ENGL& 102English Composition II5 CR
  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communications5 CR
  • OR
  • PSYC& 100General Psychology5 CR
  • OR
  • SOC& 101Introduction to Sociology5 CR
  • MATH& 107Math in Society5 CR
  • OR higher
  • Choose 5 credits of Humanities, Social Science or Natural Science from approved transfer course list.5 CR
  • Program Specialty

  • CHOOSE ONE OF FIVE TRACKS: CLOUD COMPUTING, NETWORK MANAGEMENT, COMPUTER PROGRAMMING, HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, OR GENERALIST15 CR
  • Cloud Computing:
  • IT 252Amazon Cloud5 CR
  • IT 253Microsoft Cloud5 CR
  • IT 254Web Applications5 CR
  • Network Management:
  • IT 241Windows Desktop II5 CR
  • IT 243Windows Server II5 CR
  • IT 260Network Technology III5 CR
  • Computer Programming:
  • IT 121Introduction to Programming5 CR
  • CS& 131Computer Science I C++5 CR
  • CS 132Computer Science II C++5 CR
  • Health Information Technology:
  • HT 180Healthcare & Technology5 CR
  • HT 190Health Information Management Systems5 CR
  • HT 200Health Technology Professional5 CR
  • Generalist:
  • Students may select any three classes from the Cloud Computing, Network Management, Programming or Health Information Technology tracks to complete the Generalist track.

Program Outcomes

After successfully completing this program, students will be able to:

  • Install, configure, and administer an advanced application server.
  • Install, configure, and administer a Microsoft Windows Network.
  • Design, develop, implement, and document a complex project.
  • Design and implement a group project.
  • Demonstrate industry competency in fundamental networking concepts used by computer networking professionals.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply technical and interpersonal knowledge and skills in a professional setting.

Employment Outlook

The rapid expansion of the computer industry has generated a growing need for highly skilled workers to repair, network, and support these complex computer systems. Employment of computer network engineers is expected to increase much faster than average as technology becomes more sophisticated and organizations continue to adopt and integrate these technologies. This field requires networking specialists to continually learn new skills to keep pace with the rapidly changing industry.

The average annual income in this field is $87,485, with an earning potential of about $111,446 per year.*

Employment opportunities are available in medium to large businesses with computer networks, such as banks and other financial institutions, schools and universities, insurance companies, federal and state government, and other corporations. As smaller companies move to a client-server model, more opportunities for network specialists will soon become available. Potential positions include network technician, network specialist, network administrator, network security administrator, and LAN technician.

Faculty & Support

Photo of Mike Massey
Mike Massey

Mike Massey graduated from Western Washington University, in 1985, with a combined Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science and Business Administration, and a minor in History. For the next 15 years he worked as a computer programmer (Dealer Information Systems), and as a database programmer, network administrator and IT Manager at Western Washington University (WWU). During that time he also obtained his commercial pilot license and float plane rating from Trinity Western University. Mike has been teaching Computer Networking at Bellingham Technical College since 2000. He is currently pursuing a degree in Biology at WWU.

  • Degrees and Credentials

    WA Professional Technical Certification - 2001

    CompTIA Network+ Certified - 2001

    CompTIA A+ Certified - 2001

    B.A., Business Administration/Computer Science, Western Washington University - 2001

    Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer - 2001

Photo of Gregory Rehm
Gregory Rehm

  • Degrees and Credentials

    Microsoft Certified Professional - 1997

    B.S., Community Health Ed, Western Washington University - 1997

    WA Professional Technical Certification - 1997

    Network+ Certified Professional - 1997

    Linux+ Certified - 1997

    Certified Netware Administrator - 1997

    A+ Certified Professional - 1997