System, Networking, and LAN/WAN Management/Manager  Interviews


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dotWhat to Expect

Network administration students spend much of the day in front of a computer, working on programming assignments, designing websites and software and doing math.

Wendy Bohnenkamp took computer science at Kansas State University. Many of her days and nights consisted of doing homework, but she believes that the end result was worth it.

"After working, going back to school and then getting certified, I...have very marketable skills," Bohnenkamp says.

The computer science curriculum consisted of math, analytical problem solving, science, physics and programming. In many of these courses, students were assigned group projects, and needed good communication skills to get their points across. Teamwork is essential for success in computer science.

Shawn Keown also studied computer science. He valued his friends as resources. "Find friends who are in the same classes, and above together," he says. "Teamwork makes everything easier."

Students spend about four to six hours a night on homework, programming assignments and reading.

"Work with other students and discuss homework or concepts that you don't understand. Run your solutions to a project by another student and see if they think it could work," recommends Heather Patterson, who took the program at the University of Florida.

How to Prepare

Math and science are good courses to take. Take classes for college credits if your high school allows it. This will prepare you for college and sharpen your programming, math and science skills.

Keown recommends going to a community college right after high school rather than a university. Though most community colleges only offer two-year programs, Keown says most allow you to transfer the credits to a bachelor's program for the final two years.

"I think the smartest route to a [bachelor of science] in computer science is to spend your first two years at a college. The class sizes are about one-fifth of a university class. The people at a college are also more likely to work together, which is priceless when you get to third and fourth year," Keown says.