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Campus Center (CC) building remains closed through September 30, 2022.  Students, please check Canvas for class updates. Services normally located in CC are available in Morse Center second floor including library, tutoring, TRIO and Student Life. Campus Store has limited services in G building from 7:45 a.m.-1 p.m.

Computer Networking

Person checking the power supply of a computer using a multimeter

Computer Networking - AAS

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 networking engineers is expected to increase much faster than average as information technology becomes more sophisticated and organizations continue to adopt and integrate these technologies. The computer networking field requires specialists who continually learn new skills to keep pace with the rapidly changing IT industry.

BTC’s degrees and certificates in the Information Technology Program are ideal for students with skillsets and interests in information technology, working with and troubleshooting computers, assisting the public, customer service, and more. Your Information Technology career training will help you learn in-demand skills for a rewarding career in the fast-paced world of modern business.

Information Technology Jobs & Employment

Choose BTC’s Information Technology programs to train for positions such as network technician, network specialist, network administrator, and network security administrator, or local area network (LAN) technician. Through our top career training, you will learn how to manage computer networks, troubleshoot and repair computer systems, and design, install, and maintain LANs.

BTC’s top-quality computer networking training is widely respected by businesses and information technology (IT) professionals. The average annual wage in the computer networking field is $87,485, with an earning potential of about $111,446 per year.

Information Technology Program graduates will find employment opportunities with IT and computer support firms or with a wide range of companies that use computer networks, including software companies, manufacturers, industrial firms, retail and wholesale companies, financial institutions, insurance companies, schools and universities, corporations, and federal, state, and local government agencies.

Bellingham Technical College is a Microsoft IT Academy member and is a member of CompTIA.

Employment Information

Data are provided on a program (not credential) level

72% BTC graduate placement rate1

$63,311 starting annual wage2
$79,867 average annual wage2
$94,358 potential annual wage2
  • Employment and Wage Data Sources

    1Employment data come from the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) and reflect WA/OR employment for students enrolled at BTC between 2017-18 and 2019-20. Students are included in the employment rate if they left with a credential. Rates are not shown for programs with fewer than 10 students meeting the above criteria.

    2Whatcom County and WA State wage data come from Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) 2021 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates and reflect 2018-21 employment. Wage data represent occupations that BTC faculty have identified as the most relevant career paths for program graduates. Note that these wages reflect employees with varying educational levels/credentials. For cases in which multiple occupations have been identified by faculty, a weighted percentile is calculated using each occupation’s percentile wage and employment size estimate. Wages are not shown for programs for which occupations do not meet the ESD’s minimum thresholds for publishing. If the program has wage data from the Washington SBCTC that involves shift work, these ESD wages reflect the same number of hours used in the annual wage calculation. Starting wage = 25th percentile, median wage = 50th percentile, wage potential = 75th percentile.

Estimated Program Costs

Entry Information

When Can I Start?

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

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

  • Current Students: Learn how to use this page to register for classes

  • Quarter 1

  • AMATH 100Applied Occupational Math5 CR
  • OR
  • BUS 150Math for Business5 CR
  • OR5 CR
  • MATH& 107Math In Society5 CR
  • Or higher
  • BIT 100Survey of Business and Information Technology2 CR
  • IT 101Using Network Computer Systems5 CR
  • IT 141A+ Operating Systems5 CR
  • Quarter 2

  • CMST& 210Interpersonal Communication5 CR
  • OR
  • PSYC& 100General Psychology5 CR
  • OR
  • SOC& 101Introduction to Sociology5 CR
  • IT 112A+ Hardware5 CR
  • IT 120Command Line Interface & Scripting5 CR
  • IT 160Network Technology I5 CR
  • Quarter 3

  • AENGL 100Applied English5 CR
  • OR
  • BUS 191Technical Communications5 CR
  • OR
  • ENGL& 101English Composition I5 CR
  • OR
  • ENGL& 102English Composition II5 CR
  • IT 107Using Cloud Services3 CR
  • IT 142Windows Desktop I5 CR
  • IT 161Network Technology II5 CR
  • Quarter 4

  • IT 242Windows Server I5 CR
  • IT 240Linux Server Administration5 CR
  • Specialty/Elective5 CR
  • Computer Networking students may choose elective credits from any 100 level or higher courses with the following prefixes: ACCT ACCT& BUS CAP CET CS CS& ECON ECON& EMTEC ENGR ENGR& ENGT HT INST IT PHIL PTEC, or instructor permission. Courses taken to meet the general education or program core requirements may not be used for electives.
  • Quarter 5

  • IT 210Information Security5 CR
  • IT 250Cloud & IOT Fundamentals5 CR
  • Specialty/Elective5 CR
  • Computer Networking students may choose elective credits from any 100 level or higher courses with the following prefixes: ACCT ACCT& BUS CAP CET CS CS& ECON ECON& EMTEC ENGR ENGR& ENGT HT INST IT PHIL PTEC, or instructor permission. Courses taken to meet the general education or program core requirements may not be used for electives.
  • Quarter 6

  • IT 270Field-Based Experience5 CR
  • Specialty/Elective10 CR
  • Computer Networking students may choose elective credits from any 100 level or higher courses with the following prefixes: ACCT ACCT& BUS CAP CET CS CS& ECON ECON& EMTEC ENGR ENGR& ENGT HT INST IT PHIL PTEC, or instructor permission. Courses taken to meet the general education or program core requirements may not be used for electives.
  • Program Specialty

  • Cloud Computing:
  • IT 252Amazon Cloud5 CR
  • IT 253Microsoft Cloud5 CR
  • IT 254Web Applications5 CR
  • Computer Programming:
  • CS& 131Computer Science I C++5 CR
  • CS 132Computer Science II C++5 CR
  • IT 121Introduction to Programming5 CR
  • Generalist:
  • Students may select any three classes from the Cloud Computing, Network Management or Computer Programming tracks to complete the Generalist track.
  • Network Management:
  • IT 241Windows Desktop II5 CR
  • IT 243Windows Server II5 CR
  • IT 260Network Technology III5 CR

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

  • 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

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