Best Networking Bootcamps for 2022
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Technology changes quickly, which can cause traditional postsecondary programs to lag behind new trends and innovations. Coding and networking bootcamps aim to minimize the skills gap with condensed and focused training that allows students to pursue entry-level jobs, develop specializations, or advance their careers.
Networking bootcamps equip current and aspiring technology professionals with cloud computing and security skills — two of the industry's fastest-growing fields. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the addition of more than 665,000 new information technology (IT) occupations between 2020-2030, many of which fall under the networking umbrella.
This guide offers a starting point in your network bootcamp search by highlighting what these programs offer and what graduates can do after completing them.
What Is a Networking Bootcamp?
Networking bootcamps vary in their structure and content. Some may take a comprehensive approach and examine the fundamentals of networking, security, and troubleshooting. Other programs focus on advanced or specialized networking skills or explore specific vendor technologies.
Program formats also vary considerably. According to a 2019 research report from the Research Triangle Institute (RTI), the average bootcamp length is 16.5 weeks. Approximately 73% of bootcamps run in-person classes only, 15% occur exclusively online, 31% take place only on a full-time basis, and 28% run part time only.
Networking bootcamps provide a fast-tracked alternative to associate or bachelor's degrees. Bootcamps reduce study times by omitting general education or training unrelated to networking. These programs also offer an alternative to general coding bootcamps, which cover the most applicable programming languages and web development skills.
Skills Learned in Networking Bootcamps
The skills available in a networking bootcamp depend on the focus and level of the training. Here, we highlight areas these programs concentrate on. In addition to the more common abilities below, bootcamp students may also develop skills in server configuration, routing and switching, and network administration.
Network Architecture: Students learn about network components and how they function together, including their organization. Learners consider the various devices used in networking, such as routers, firewalls, and wired and wireless connections. They also learn about virtualization and dividing and combining networks. Network Security: Enrollees assess, anticipate, and evaluate network risks and identify threats and attacks. They also learn to safeguard networks and systems and develop effective security policies. Troubleshooting: Development in this skill may include designing and building networks, including testing and troubleshooting. The training may also explore common network problems and fixes, such as pings, traceroutes, and trace paths. Cloud Development: Students use cloud-based tools and set up accounts using various cloud service models. They develop the ability to identify network requirements and run quality testing programs.
What Will a Networking Bootcamp Cost?
As with all training programs, networking bootcamp costs vary significantly among providers based on length, level, and location. According to RTI's research report, the median bootcamp price in 2019 was $11,900. For full-time students, that amounts to a median weekly price of $1,050.
Return on investment varies, too. In addition to the training, technology, and course materials, some learners can access high-quality teachers and facilities, individualized support, vendor-specific training, and career services assistance. Bootcamp participants should also look for extra costs, such as application fees, book costs, and vendor subscriptions.
While costs can seem high, many networking bootcamps offer payment options, such as upfront discounts, deferred tuition plans, and income-sharing agreements. Many programs offer financial aid programs, and some even offer job guarantees.
What Jobs Can I Get After a Networking Bootcamp?
Networking bootcamps can open the door to many computer science and IT careers. Depending on their previous training and experience, bootcamp graduates can pursue entry-level careers or advance into roles with more responsibility. Even for roles that prefer applicants with bachelor's degrees, some employers may hire bootcamp graduates who possess the appropriate skills.
Network architects design and build networks for organizations, ensuring they satisfy their needs and fit within their budget. Professional duties may involve upgrading networking devices and integrating new security systems. Network bootcamp graduates may need additional computer science or business training to qualify for employment.
Median Annual Salary: $120,520
Job Outlook (2020-30): +5%
Information Security Analyst
These analysts evaluate organizations' network security needs. They perform risk and vulnerability assessments, monitor suspicious activities, and help organizations implement new security practices. Network bootcamp graduates may need additional credentials for employment, such as a degree or certification.
Median Annual Salary: $102,600
Job Outlook (2020-30): 33%
Systems analysts help organizations enhance network performance. They review system operations and practices, discuss system budgets and goals with management, and design or research solutions and upgrades to improve IT efficiencies and outcomes. Network bootcamp graduates may need computer science or business training for employment in some organizations.
Median Annual Salary: $99,270
Job Outlook (2020-30): +7%
These professionals oversee organizations' daily network activities, including usage and security, troubleshooting issues, and assessing performance. They manage software licenses, technology upgrades, and user training efforts. Network bootcamp graduates may need additional training or experience, depending on network and organization size.
Median Annual Salary: $80,600
Job Outlook (2020-30): +5%
Computer systems managers handle IT activities and operations within organizations. They handle IT staffing, projects, systems, and vendor contracts. For positions in some organizations, a network bootcamp graduate may need a bachelor's degree in computer science or extensive experience.
Median Annual Salary: $159,010
Job Outlook (2020-30): +11%
Other Computer Science Education Options
While completing a networking bootcamp may suffice for some employers, these programs can also complement traditional degrees. Bootcamps can also help degree-holders develop a networking specialization or vendor-specific expertise.
Associate Degree in Computer Science: These programs cover the fundamentals of networking, such as terminology, devices, and basic functions. Associate degrees can provide a foundation for further computer-related studies.
Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science: These programs offer a comprehensive look at the computer science field through coursework in various computer systems, networks, and security. Bachelor's degrees can lead to entry-level employment in most computer and information technology fields.
Master's Degree in Computer Science: These programs explore more advanced topics in computer science, offering in-depth specializations and practical applications of this knowledge. Master's degrees qualify graduates to pursue senior-level analyst and management roles.
Ph.D. in Computer Science: These programs allow each enrollee to focus on a specialized computer science area and conduct extensive research and experimentation in their field of expertise. Doctoral degrees qualify graduates for careers in academia and research and development.
Explore Other Coding Bootcamps
Completing other coding bootcamps allows individuals to create a well-rounded education. Students can acquire expertise in programming, web development, and data science from these programs.
2022's Best Bootcamps for Networking
The following list — organized alphabetically — covers some of the best networking bootcamps in 2022. Most of these intensive U.S. bootcamps provide a comprehensive look at cybersecurity topics, including networking. They last 3-6 months, depending on the format and coursework. Some also prepare graduates for common CompTIA certifications, like security+.
Explore the four most popular networking bootcamps below. Each one can help you launch a tech career in network security.
Bootcamps offered in partnership with QuickStart
QuickStart partners with universities to offer information technology bootcamps. Students choose an affiliated university through QuickStart and complete the bootcamp in 24 weeks.
The following universities offer cybersecurity bootcamp programs through QuickStart:
Colorado State University Florida Atlantic University Georgia Southern University Hofstra University James Madison University Northeastern Illinois University Santa Clara University University of California, Santa Barbara University of Tennessee, Knoxville University of Texas at Arlington Wagner College
Bootcamps offered in partnership with Trilogy Education Services
Trilogy Education Services aims to close the digital skills gap by offering training programs. It partners with universities to teach marketable skills in industries like cybersecurity and product management.
Explore a few of the partner universities' programs below.
Questions About Computer Networking
Are networking bootcamps worth it?
Yes. Networking bootcamps provide worthwhile training for aspiring computer professionals who want to gain quick access to the IT field, further develop their skills, or pursue more advanced IT positions.
What are some computer networking jobs?
Professionals with computer networking skills can work in several IT positions, such as network administration, network architecture, and network security. Depending on their training and experience, they may also pursue jobs in systems management and analysis.
How easy is it to work with computer networks?
Even highly skilled professionals can encounter problems and difficulties in the computer network field. With patience and persistence, however, these individuals should be able to troubleshoot and work through most challenges.
How can you learn computer networking?
You can learn computer networking in networking bootcamps or more traditional programs, such as computer science degrees. You might also take individual networking classes or perform independent research.
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