Information Technology and Computer Networking


What is Information Technology and Computer Networking?

Information technology is the development, maintenance, or use of systems -- especially computer systems, software and networks -- for storing, retrieving and sending information. Computer networking is the process of electronically linking two or more computing devices to exchange information through data connections.

Information technology and computer networking has changed the lifestyle of people all over the world: 

  • Just about everyone has some type of computing device – a smartphone, tablet or computer. 
  • People can work from home from just about anywhere in the world. 
  • Companies can conduct video conferences and share software without losing time and money to travel.
  • Information on just about any subject one can think of is available at the click of a mouse.

With all of this exciting and fast-moving technology and communications capability, there is a downside -- hackers routinely try to break into personal and company files, information is stolen from computer networks and the networks themselves can have technical problems or crash completely. As a result, trained computer networking specialists are being called upon more and more to protect individual, company and government information through constantly changing security processes. 

Why Study Information Technology/Computer-Networking?

5 reasons to study Networking Technology Now

  • Opportunities abound – people with this skillset are in high demand around the world
  • You don’t have to be a math wiz – Networking starts with basic logic and connections, along with basic math and reading comprehension.
  • Every workplace needs a few friendly geeks – careers in nearly every industry exists, so if you have an interest in a particular field (finance, education, health care, retail, government, retail, hospitality, etc.), technology is probably part of it.
  • Get connected to the most connected people – there is a worldwide community of people just like you that you can connect with on LinkedIn or the Cisco Networking Academy Facebook page.
  • The places you’ll go and the things you’ll do – networking standards are global, which means your skills and certifications are recognized anywhere in the world that you career takes you.”
    Gary Coman, Cisco Corporate Affairs, The Huffington Post.

Computer networks are critical parts of almost every organization. A career that barely existed a generation ago has become one of the more high-profile jobs in the world today.   

"The IT/Networking program has been all I could hope for and more. The unique hands-on learning environment lets you really understand what you are learning and allows you to be very comfortable when you enter the professional networking environment."
Nicholas Romanzo, ECCA Class of 2017, Saratoga Springs City School

“…employers are looking for people who stand out and exceed expectations. They want people who think, and understand the 'why' rather than just the 'how', a skill that is developed through our courses."
Trent Delor, ECCA Class of 2017, Schuylerville Central School

“I get to interact with innovative technology and challenge myself every day. This program is exciting, innovating, and inspiring.” 
Madeline Pepin, ECCA Class of 2017, Hudson Falls Central School

Employment Outlook

Projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that employment in Computer Networking will continue to grow up to 8% between now and 2022. Approximately 42,000 new networking positions will be hired for across all types of industries in the U.S. and abroad. 

The ever-increasing use of network technology, combined with the complexity of that technology means that trained specialists will be walking into a growing field that promises to continue to provide challenges and demands for many years to come.

For more information related to Career Opportunities, visit CareerZone and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Program Overview

This two-year program is based on the IT Essentials and CCNA Routing and Switching curricula provided by the Cisco Networking Academy. Topics and skills covered involve assembling, disassembling, and repairing computers; troubleshooting hardware and software; designing, installing, and maintaining wired and wireless computer systems; configuring switches and routers; designing network infrastructure; troubleshooting network design and installation; customer service and technical support.

By the end of the program students will have had the following experiences and opportunities:

  • complete a cornerstone project.  Students complete the program with a comprehensive project involving technology purchase recommendations and network design.
  • participate in real world projects and industry challenges. Just as is done in the real world, students will often work in teams to design and develop novel solutions to class projects and industry challenges that are mentored by the program’s business partners.
  • work with industry professionals.  The program enjoys strong ties with industry partners who host students in a variety of job shadowing experiences, classroom projects with partners on specialized assignments, and guest lecture in our classes, which result in lasting relationships and future employment opportunities.
  • use cutting edge technology.  The IT Computer Networking students are provided with a laptop.  The state-of-the-art learning lab contains the following equipment: PCs  -  Laptops  -  hand tools for assembly/disassembly, repairs, and cable production  -  network cables and cable testing equipment  -  Cisco switches and routers
  • earn internationally recognized certifications.  Students will have the opportunity to earn three industry-recognized CISCO and CompTIA certifications.
  • earn up to 28 college credits. Students will have the opportunity to earn up to 27 college credits.

The ECCA Program Catalog contains the names and descriptions of the courses in the IT Compuer Networking program, as well as a Plan of Study.


Opportunities and Next Steps

1. Stay at SUNY Adirondack and complete degrees in IT: Computer Networking AAS or Cybersecurity AAS.
2. Transfer to another 2 or 4-year college. Transfer Counseling available
3. Join the workforce. Career and job search assistance is available! 

In the News

Karen Woodard participated in a Cisco Beat event on Oct. 17, 2017.

Cisco honors networking professor

Karen Woodard, associate professor of networking technology, received special recognition from Cisco during the October Cisco Beat meeting, which was broadcast to all company employees worldwide.

The meeting marked the 20th anniversary of Networking Academy and the more than 10,000 educators in over 170 countries teaching in the Cisco program. Woodard was selected to represent her peers alongside Cisco’s CEO and Senior Vice President during the presentation, which was broadcast live from California. She also gave an Instagram Live presentation as part of the anniversary.

“I was the one instructor selected to participate in the announcement. I don’t have the words to express what that means to me. I don’t believe ‘honored’ can adequately express how I feel,” Woodard said.

Stephanie Kelly, Cisco’s manager of global marketing for Networking Academy, said Woodard was chosen because of time spent as an instructor and her participation in special student development programs.

“Her history and level of partnership gives her a unique perspective of the program and what Cisco is doing for education, and we believe she shares our passion and enthusiasm in changing lives,” Kelly said.

Since becoming a Networking Academy instructor, Woodard has earned the privilege of leading four IT Networking dream teams -- two for Cisco Live and two for the NBA All Star games; achieved global instructor trainer status; represented the State of New York at the 10th anniversary of Cisco Networking Academy in Washington, D.C.; earned a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching; developed as part of the ACM CCECC IT Project global IT AAS degree outcomes; and co-authored and won a SUNY High Needs grant expanding new course offerings for the college and implementing a new CyberSecurity AAS degree. She has taught for more than 16 years at the college, and this is her fourth year teaching in the Early College Career Academy program.

Woodard stresses the importance of the college's continued relationship with Cisco.

"Due to Cisco’s pervasive reach in the networking field, companies around the world purchase their product line," she said. "Students participating in Cisco Networking Academy (Netacad) have an advantage of learning how to manage and deploy Cisco products according to IT industry standards. Talent bridge serves as a conduit between these students/alumni and the 88,000 Cisco Channel Partners seeking skilled talent worldwide."

More news stories about the ECCA IT Computer Networking program and other interesting industry articles.

CTE Students Showcase Work to Woerner, Saratoga TODAY, 10/7/16
High schoolers get a jump on college at SUNY Adirondack,, 9/30/16
Students Earn College Credits, Saratoga TODAY, 6/24/16


Contact Us

To learn more about the SUNY Adirondack College Academy programs, contact:

The Office of Extended Programs
Wilton Center
696 US Route 9, Wilton, NY 12831
Fax: 518.584.0896