Studies & Degrees in Networking
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Facebook, Twitter, Friendster, MySpace, Flickr – does any of these ring a bell? Sure, the people of today’s generation, young or old, are hooked by the power of these networking sites. It was once almost impossible to locate classmates from decades ago, especially when people are separated by geographical boundaries. Thanks to computer networking - nowadays, the answer is but a click away!
The evolving global economy and business trends paved the way for greater and bigger demand of sharing information. It is almost unimaginable how one person can actually work in one country as if he is in another country – able to access the computer facilities that are light-years away, able to speak to people as if they are in front of you. Networking makes banking transactions possible; seeing TV programs feasible; online tutorial available; online flight booking doable; and a whole LOT more! More than its economic and business benefits, Networking allows people to personally connect to one another, disregarding the physical distance. That’s why instant messaging facilities, emails, phones, text messaging, and video calling are there.
Networking can be seen from the interconnection of two devices that are 5 meters away from each other (e.g., printer to your personal computer) to sending signals in a device in the outer space. Cool, isn’t it? But what is this networking thing that is said to make all these great things happen? Simply put, computer network is the interconnection of two or more computers that is done for the purpose of sharing information; and Networking is the process and technology behind the said interconnection. Choosing the appropriate design, topology, and materials to be used actually considers several factors – (1) size and location of network coverage, (2) people who will use the network, (3) availability of network materials, (4) purpose of the networking activity, and (5) budget. Network Engineers have the following terms built in their vocabulary, so to speak:
- Local Area Network (LAN)
- Wide Area Network (WAN)
- Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)
- Virtual Private Network (VPN)
- Coaxial cable
- Terrestrial microwave
- Communication satellites
- Optical fiber
- Wireless LAN
- Radio waves
- Infrared signals
- Hubs, switches, bridges, routers
- Star network, ring network
- Client-server architecture and peer-to-peer architecture
- Intranet. Extranet, Internet
Despite its benefits, just like any other things, networking has its cons – it makes ways for computer virus dissemination (which can be really detrimental, depending on the extent of the power of the virus) and fraudulent online transactions. Nonetheless, it all boils down on how this technology will be utilized by people using it.
Computer Networking is available as a 4-year degree program in most IT institutions and major universities anywhere in the world. Aspirants have to be tech-savvy and into innovations. This degree program is typically designed to teach students the following:
- Designing a network
- Creating network based on approved design
- Choosing the appropriate materials, depending on several considerable factors as discussed above
- Implementing network security. This is a very sensitive and crucial aspect. Security is non-negotiable. How would you feel knowing other people have all-access pass to your bank account?
- Networking ethics. Students are taught about the ethical codes of designing and building networks.
IT-enabled companies are everywhere. Graduates of Computer Networking courses easily get employed in either IT companies per se or in IT-enabled industries (including government offices). Just as how the world needs accountants, doctors, and teachers, these industries need network engineers. The field of Networking will continue to expand its domain to serve the growing needs of the unstoppable IT and IT-enabled industries, of the global economy, of each individual of this generation, and of tomorrow’s folks.