Rochester Institute of Technology

Academic Program Overviews

Student Skills & Capabilities, Salary Data, Career Information 

Networking and Systems Administration MS

Program Overview

The MS in Networking and Systems Administration program prepares students for careers as architects, implementers, administrators and technical managers of computing networks, networked systems/components, software systems/components, and databases.  This includes a focus on customer requirements and threats to the integrity of these systems and the software and data that uses them.  Both of these serve to build the students’ ability to develop strategic plans and function as network and system project managers. Graduates of the program can evaluate existing networks and computing systems, monitor such systems for faults, and lead in the strategic planning to facilitate system improvement and growth.  The program provides students a broad degree providing both breadth and depth of knowledge, with opportunities to pursue many different avenues for what they want to specialize in.  The degree focuses on five areas of computing: Web Development, Web Administration, Networking and Communications, Enterprise Administration, and Database Applications.  Graduates of IST degrees are the craftsmen that make it happen. They enjoy learning new things, working with people, solving problems, and building things. They use the tools out there to build the internet, the VoIP infrastructure, the cloud, and the virtual machine. The possibilities of what they can do are endless!Bachelor of Science; Master of Science

Degrees Awarded

  • Master of Science


  • About 75 MS students are enrolled in the Networking and Systems Administration degree program.

Cooperative Education & Experiential Education Component

  • Co-op is optional for MS students.

Salary Information

Co-op:     $23.88                     $14.00 - $40.21
FT:           $81,000

Student Skills & Capabilities

End of the Second Undergraduate Academic Year:
Basic LAN construction with some trouble shooting. Simple router configuration.
Understanding and deploying infrastructure protocols, including TCP/IP, PPP, RIP, STA, and Ethernet. Cable plant construction, verification and debugging. Scripting in Perl. Object-oriented application development using Java (two-course sequence) Declarative code using HTML5, CSS and JavaScript Major infrastructure services, such as DHCP, DNS, LDAP, NFS, Samba, Active Directory. Direct experience in a variety of computing environments on multiple platforms, including Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Basic system administration functions, including account creation and management. Basic computer and network security awareness as well as use of basic security features of the technologies taught throughout the program.
During the Third and Fourth Undergraduate Academic Year:
Intermediate to advanced administration, including wired and wireless networks. Project Management. Intermediate routing and switching tasks involving OSPF, EIGRP, etc. End User requirements gathering, solution design and deployment. Higher level skills dependent upon which concentration the student chooses.

Equipment & Facilities

Over 300 computers for student use are distributed over five specialty labs.  These labs include: the Networking Lab, the Systems Administration Labs, the Projects/Trouble Shooting Lab, the VoIP Lab, and the Systems/Network Security and Forensics Lab.  Each of these facilities is fully equipped with high-end Windows and UNIX based PC platform computers. The labs have a full array of networking equipment from a variety of vendors such as Cisco, Extreme Networks, and Nortel including hubs, over 100 switches, and more than 80 routers.  In addition, the labs are also equipped with wireless access points (802.11a,b,g), layer 3 switches, as well as network simulation, network data capture and virtualization software.  To complement these labs, the department provides twelve “Roll-Around” racks equipped with twenty-four Extreme layer three switches and sixteen Cisco layer two switches and image servers which allow the students to save their work in progress as well as select from a wide variety of operating systems. The security lab includes a full assortment of Cisco and Checkpoint firewalls, IDS, Cisco VPN bundles, Cisco layer 3 switches, Cisco routers, Encase forensics software, and various other pieces of security related software.  There are 14 other computing labs in the college to assist students in other areas of the curriculum.  These labs include programming studios, database labs, multimedia labs, audio labs, as well as general purpose computing labs.

Training / Qualifications

Entry-level network and computer systems administrators are involved in routine maintenance and monitoring of computer systems, typically working behind the scenes in an organization. After gaining experience and expertise, they often are able to advance into more senior-level positions, in which they take on more responsibilities. For example, senior network and computer systems administrators may present recommendations to management on matters related to a company’s network. They also may translate the needs of an organization into a set of technical requirements based on the available technology. As with support specialists, administrators may become software engineers, actually involved in the designing of the system or network and not just its day-to-day administration. 

Job Titles

System Administrator, IT Technician, Network System Administrator, Network Technician, Desktop Support Specialist.

Selected Employer Hiring Partners

Dickinson, Blackrock, BOCES Monroe #2, Box Inc, Cisco Systems, Cisco Meraki, Crestron Electronics, Datto Inc., Dell SecureWorks, Earthlink Cloud, EMC, RSA Security Inc, Federal Reserve Board, Fibertech Networks Inc, Fidelity Investments, Google, Hallmark Temps, Iberdrola USA Management Corporation, Interactive Intelligence, Inc., JPMorganChase, Liberty Mutual, LinkedIn, Lowe's Companies Inc., M&T Bank, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Monroe County - Water Authority, Mozilla, Oracle, Parker Hannifin Corp, PCC Structurals, PPL Corporation, Progressive Expert Consulting, RIT - Information Security Office, Rochester Software Associates, Saia Communications Inc, Sirius Computer Solutions, Sorenson Communication, Synacor Inc., Systems Engineering, The Hershey Company, University of Rochester Medical Center - Information System Division, US Air Force, Visual Technologies Inc, W A Krapf Inc,  Wegmans Food Markets, Wilmorite Management Group LLC, Xerox Corporation - Information Management

Contact Us

We appreciate your interest in your career and we will make every effort to help you succeed. Feel free to contact Stephanie Ryan, the career services coordinator who works with the Networking and Systems Administration program. You can access information about services through our web site at

Stephanie Ryan, Career Services Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 585.475.7823; 585.475.2301
Rochester Institute of Technology . Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education
Bausch & Lomb Center . 57 Lomb Memorial Drive . Rochester NY  14623-5603