The Associates in Science in Network Systems Technology (NST) prepares students for careers in computers and network support. The program uses a combination of hands-on and state-of-the-art simulators to provide training in a wide range of skills valued by the IT industry. Students with different levels of experience and knowledge work together to create a learning environment conducive to mastering the latest networking technologies. Courses within the program prepare students for industry certification exams in a wide range of products. Polk State College is an authorized Cisco Networking Academy, Microsoft IT Academy, CompTIA Authorized Academy, VMware IT Academy, LPI Academy and a member of the EMC Academic Alliance.
The NST program provides the skills necessary to plan, design, implement, and administer Local and Wide Area Networks. Students gain skills in multiple desktop operating systems, network management, network troubleshooting, network operating systems, project management, security, server virtualization and network routing and switching.
The program begins by teaching a centralized core of 16 hours that includes microcomputer repair, entry-level network security, and foundations in network fundamentals. Students then select courses from one of four network specializations to major in. These include:
- Network Infrastructure Design
- Network Infrastructure Administration
- Network Server Administration
- Network Virtualization and Cloud Technologies
The program then allows students to customize their degrees by filling a group of electives from any course within the NST program.