Program Overview

Information Technology (IT), and therefore, computer networking, form the backbone of business and industry today. You will have hands-on experience in all areas of the computer networking field, from programming to software applications to general networking, network management and administration. Like our other career-focused degree programs, this cybersecurity, and network engineering associate degree helps you specialize in either software engineering and web development or cybersecurity and network engineering.  You develop programming skills in languages currently in demand in the workplace, and you learn to tackle real-life cyber incidents and computer networking issues. A part of our degree programs, this associate degree arms budding computer network engineers with the skills to identify, assess, analyze, and handle potential cyber threat landscapes.

We offer one of the best engineering degrees around. The Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency have designated NEIT as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE-CD), adding credence to our network engineering and cybersecurity degree programs.


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Home to Central Rhode Island’s only Cyberbit Simulation Range

NEIT is home to Central Rhode Island’s only Cyber Simulation Range. The NEIT Cyberbit Range is a state-of-the-art virtual simulation tool will that will provide the critical hands-on training and confidence that Cybersecurity students will need to stand out and meaningfully contribute to a real-world cybersecurity team beyond graduation. Through a partnership between New England Tech and Cyberbit, the simulation platform trains students and IT professionals through exercises that are virtually identical to the technically complex and high-pressure situations they will face in the real world.

Full Description

The Associate in Science in Cybersecurity and Network Engineering degree introduces core concepts in hardware, software, computer science, and computer network engineering fundamentals layered on cybersecurity concepts.

Our computer network engineering students apply practical cybersecurity theory to real-life cyber incidents and computer network or system issues in hands-on scenarios. The curriculum focuses on providing students the skillset they need to properly deploy and secure information technology systems in a wide range of environments. Our network engineering students learn how operating systems like Linux and Windows, along with core networking technology, play a critical role in cyber operations.  Our cybersecurity and network degree students learn about the current cyber threat landscape and taught how to assess and plan for threats in both the business and personal realms.

From multinational corporations to local small businesses, cybersecurity defense for its computer networking is an integral part of an organization’s strategy. The information and the technology infrastructure it resides on are two of an organization’s most valuable assets, and these are often continuously threatened or under active attack. Successful defense and protection of these computer network assets require a trained cybersecurity and computer networks professional who understands the technical aspects. This computer engineering professional is also aware of strategic business interests.

An internship course for budding computer network engineers is available in Term VI of our degree program, during which students work off-campus in an organization. To help get started in their chosen area of interest, they practice and enhance their technical computer network engineering skills. Students are also prepared to take Microsoft MCP, Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) Security Fundamentals, CCNA Cyber Ops, and the CompTIA A+ exams.

Graduates of this program are ready for entry-level positions. They can handle computer networks and their issues as computer security specialists, information security analysts, systems administrators, and many other jobs in the computer network field. An associate degree graduate in Cybersecurity and Network Engineering can continue in the NEIT Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Computer Network Engineering program to further their career.

Through input from a Technical Advisory Committee, professional cybersecurity organizations, and local businesses, this computer networks related degree program sees continuous updates. It ensures that the current cybersecurity and computer network needs and those that may arise in the next several years, are met.

Potential Career Opportunities

The Cybersecurity and Network Engineering degree provides students the skills to work with information technology systems in a wide range of industries and computer networks. A fresh graduate with this degree can get started in an entry-level position as a network administrator, computer engineering or network engineering trainee. As you gather career experience in the computer networking and cybersecurity field, opportunities open up at a national level.  Like our other AS degree programs, this associate degree program in cybersecurity and network engineering also provides students with the base to prepare for a bachelor’s degree or other certification in their preferred computer engineering specialization.

Computer Network Architect

Computer Network Technician

Entry-level Computer Network Engineer

Network and Computer Systems Administrator

General Networking Associate

Computer Systems Analyst

Cybersecurity Professional


  • What does a computer network engineer do?

    Network engineers design, implement, monitor, optimize and manage an organization’s LANs and WANs (local area networks and wide area networks). A computer network engineering professional’s job focus is to ensure the best computer uptime for all the connected users.

  • Is network engineering a good career?

    Industry projections, supported by individual reports from groups like Dice, say computer network engineering is a growing career option with good prospects. Figures show that network computer engineering salaries in 2019 rose by almost 4 percent compared to those in 2018.

  • What are the skills required for being a network engineer?

    To get started, a computer network engineer’s required skillset may include being able to design system or network configurations, document and manage new network installations, troubleshoot, maintain, and level-up existing computer and security systems as needed.

  • How do I start a career in network engineering?

    To begin planning a network engineering career, you have to earn a high school diploma, or a recognized equivalency diploma (GED), or meet the federal home school requirements. These are the basic requirements by schools that offer network engineering and other computer science degree programs. You start with our associate degree level program in Cybersecurity and Network Engineering — typically a six-term curriculum that you can complete in as little as 18 months (provided you fulfill all the other terms).

Related Programs

Program Mission, Goals, and Outcomes

Program Mission

The Cybersecurity and Network Engineering associate degree program mission is to prepare students to pursue an entry-level career in Information Technology and prepare them to further their education in our Bachelor of Science degree program in Cybersecurity and Network Engineering.

Program Goals

  1. Provide appropriate opportunities for the degree students to acquire knowledge, applicable skills in handling computer networks and security issues. We aim to arm them with the professional attitude necessary to get started and function as entry-level security analysts, computer network engineering professionals, and IT professionals via experiential learning.
  2. Introduce students to some of the objectives for various entry-level industry certifications and help prepare students to acquire those certifications.
  3. Endeavor to cultivate each Cybersecurity and Network Engineering student’s ability to analyze security problems efficiently and correctly troubleshoot those problems.
  4. Strive to instill in each degree student a sense of professional commitment and integrity for computer network security; to ensure they appreciate the importance of the security and privacy of clientele and information, the rights of copyright holders, and the inherent responsibilities of license users.
  5. Provide an environment that encourages self-learning and the continuation of each associate degree student’s education beyond graduation to further each Cybersecurity and Network Engineering student’s ability to adapt to and incorporate new concepts, ideas, and evolving technologies.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of our AS in Cybersecurity and Network Engineering degree program will be able to:

  1. Follow and meet the project plan’s objectives and recognize the need for adaptation, adjustments, and restructuring of the cybersecurity and network plan, both as an individual security professional, network administrator, and in a team environment. Assessments use exams, performance reviews, projects, and reports.
  2. Acquire proficiency with and provide support for security principles, computer hardware, operating systems, software, Internet/network connectivity based on legacy, current, and state of the art technologies.
  3. Analyze digital evidence to determine user and intruder activity on networks and systems.
  4. Demonstrate effective oral and written communications with supervisors, team members, and clients. In particular, these Cybersecurity and Network Engineering degree students should exhibit lucid, clear, and concise technical and professional communication and be able to communicate complex technical ideas in layman’s terms to non-technically trained people. This assessment is via reports, self-assessments, instructor observations, peer evaluations, and technical documentation.
  5. Research, formulate, and critique security policies regarding the collection, preservation, safeguarding, and disposition of log data and personally identifiable information.

For the latest listing of courses offered, please review our University Catalog here.

Q&A and Technical Standards

Questions & Answers

  1. When do my classes meet?
    Day Classes:  Technical classes normally meet for at least three hours a day for up to five days a week. Classes normally begin in the early morning (7:45 a.m.), late morning (usually 11:25 p.m.), or mid-afternoon. A technical time slot may vary from term to term.
    Evening Classes:  Technical classes meet on the average of three nights a week, although there may be times when they will meet four nights a week. Classes normally begin at 5:45 p.m.In addition, to achieve your associate degree, you will take a total of approximately eight liberal arts courses, which will be scheduled around your technical schedule over the course of your entire program. Each liberal arts course meets approximately four hours per week. Liberal arts courses are offered days, evenings, and Saturdays.At the beginning of each term you will receive a detailed schedule giving the exact time and location of all your classes. The College requires that all students be prepared to take classes and receive services at any of NEIT’s locations where the appropriate classes and services are offered.When a regularly scheduled class falls on a day which is an NEIT observed holiday (Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Memorial Day), an alternate class will be scheduled as a make up for that class. The make up class may fall on a Friday. It is the student’s responsibility to take note of when and where classes are offered.
  2. How large will my classes be?
    The average class size is approximately 20 to 25 students; however, larger and smaller classes occur from time to time.
  3. How much time will I spend in lab?
    Almost half of your technical courses consist of laboratory work. In order for you to get the most out of your laboratory experiences, you will first receive a thorough explanation of the theory behind your lab work.
  4. Where do my classes meet?
    Students should be prepared to attend classes at any of NEIT’s campuses: either at the Post Road, Access Road, or East Greenwich campus or at an off-campus clinical/fieldwork/internship location.
  5. I have not earned my high school diploma or GED: can I enroll in an Associate Degree Program?
    A candidate for admission to an associate degree program must have a high school diploma, have earned a recognized general equivalency diploma (GED), or meet the federal home school requirements.
  6. How long should it take me to complete my program?
    To complete your degree requirements in the shortest possible time, you should take the courses outlined in the prescribed curriculum. For a typical six-term curriculum, a student may complete the requirements in as little as 18 months.To complete all your degree requirements in the shortest time, you should take at least one liberal arts course each term. Students who need more time to complete their curriculum may postpone some of the liberal arts courses until after the completion of the technical requirements. Students are provided up to two additional terms of study to complete the liberal arts requirements without any additional tuition assessment fee. During these additional terms of study, students are required to pay all applicable fees.Students may also elect to complete some of their liberal arts requirements during Intersession, a special five-week term scheduled between Spring and Summer Quarters. Students will not be assessed any additional tuition for liberal arts courses taken during the Intersession but may be assessed applicable fees.Students wishing to extend the number of terms needed to complete the required technical courses in their curriculum will be assessed additional tuition and fees.
  7. Is NEIT accredited?
    NEIT is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Accreditation by NECHE is recognized by the federal government and entitles NEIT to participate in federal financial aid programs. Some academic departments have specialized professional accreditations in addition to accreditation by NECHE. For more information on accreditation, see NEIT’s catalog.
  8. Can I transfer the credits that I earn at NEIT to another college?

    The transferability of a course is always up to the institution to which the student is transferring. Students interested in the transferability of their credits should contact the Student Affairs Office of the institution that they are transferring to for further information.

  9. Can I transfer credits earned at another college to NEIT?
    Transfer credit for appropriate courses taken at an accredited institution will be considered upon receipt of an official transcript for any program, biology, science, and mathematics courses in which the student has earned a “C” or above within the past three years and for English or humanities courses in which the student has earned a “C” or above within the last ten years. An official transcript from the other institution must be received before the end of the first week of the term for transfer credit to be granted for courses to be taken during that term. Students will receive a tuition reduction for the approved technical courses based on the program rate and will be applied against the final technical term of the curriculum’s tuition amount. No tuition credit is provided for courses which are not a part of the technical curriculum.
  10. What is the “Feinstein Enriching America” Program?
    New England Institute of Technology is the proud recipient of a grant from the Feinstein Foundation. To satisfy the terms of the grant, the university has developed a one-credit community enrichment course which includes hands-on community enrichment projects. The course can be taken for a few hours per term, spread over several terms. Students who are already engaged in community enrichment on their own may be able to count that service towards course credit.

  11. How many credits do I need to be eligible for Financial Aid?
    In order to be eligible for the maximum financial aid award, you need to maintain at least 12 credits per academic term.

  12. What does my program cost?
    The cost of your program will be as outlined in your enrollment agreement, along with your cost for books and other course materials. Students who decide to take more terms than the enrollment agreement describes to complete the technical courses in their curriculum will be subject to additional fees and possible additional tuition costs. Students who elect to take the technical portion of the degree requirements at a rate faster than the rate prescribed in the curriculum and the enrollment agreement will be assessed additional tuition.Students who require prerequisite courses will incur additional tuition and fees above those outlined in their enrollment agreement.If a student elects to take a course(s) outside of the prescribed curriculum, additional tuition and fees will be assessed.Remember, students who withdraw and re-enter, one time only, pay the tuition rate that was in effect for them at the time of their last day of attendance for up to one year from their last day of attendance. Second re-entries and beyond pay the tuition rate in effect at the time they re-enter. The most economical way for you to complete your college degree is to begin your program now and continue your studies straight through for the six terms necessary to complete your degree requirements.
  13. Are there any minimum grade requirements in the program?
    Yes. A minimum grade of C is required in MA 100/110 Introduction to College Math for IT, SE or NE courses that have a MA 100/110 prerequisite.
  14. What kind of employment assistance does NEIT offer?
    The Career Services Office assists NEIT students and graduates in all aspects of the job search, including resume writing, interviewing skills, and developing a job search strategy. Upon completion of their program, graduates may submit a resume to the Career Services Office to be circulated to employers for employment opportunities in their fields. Employers regularly contact us about our graduates. In addition, our Career Services Office contacts employers to develop job leads. A strong relationship with employers exists as a result of our training students to meet the needs of industry for over fifty years. No school can, and NEIT does not, guarantee to its graduates’ employment or a specific starting salary.
  15. Where will job opportunities exist?
    Graduates have obtained employment in the local area. However, one of the most exciting aspect of this program is the ability to look nationally for employment opportunities.
  16. What kind of jobs will I be qualified to look for?
    Generally jobs will exist in the entry-level positions in the computer industry. Entry-level programmer, entry-level network administration, computer technician, database specialist, or web developer may be some of the job choices available to a graduate with an associate degree. Upon completion of a bachelor’s degree at NEIT, positions on the management level become attainable.
  17. What is an MCP?
    Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) certification validates IT professional and developer technical expertise through rigorous, industry-proven, and industry-recognized exams. MCP exams cover a wide range of Microsoft products, technologies, and solutions.When you pass your first qualifying MCP exam, you automatically become a Microsoft Certified Professional.
  18. Am I automatically an MCP when I complete the coursework at NEIT?
    No. Upon completion of the coursework, students are eligible to pursue certification as an MCP. Tests for certification are given locally. However, a student may apply for positions as a computer network administrator without the MCP certification.
  19. What is a MCSA?
    Microsoft offers courses to install, configure, service, and support Microsoft networks. These courses are offered to IT bachelor’s degree students who have successfully completed the associate degree courses. The objective of these courses is to demonstrate the skills needed to install, maintain, and update a Microsoft Windows network. A student completing these courses is eligible to take the required tests for Microsoft certification as a Microsoft Certified System Administrator (MCSA).
  20. Am I automatically an MCSA when I complete the coursework at NEIT?
    No. Upon completion of the coursework, students are eligible to pursue certification as an MCSA. Tests for certification are given locally. However, a student may apply for positions as a network administrator without the MCSA certification.
  21. What is a Cisco Local Academy?
    NEIT is proud to be a Cisco Local Academy. This agreement allows NEIT to offer authorized Cisco training courses to our matriculating students.
  22. What is a CCNA?
    Cisco offers training courses to maintain and administer their local area networks. These courses are offered to NEIT Information Technology Associate Degree students. The objective of these courses is to acquire the mastery of installing, configuring, and operating simple-routed LAN, routed WAN, and switched LAN networks. A student completing these courses is eligible to take the required tests for Microsoft certification as a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).
  23. Am I automatically a CCNA when I complete the coursework at NEIT?
    No. Upon completion of the coursework, students are eligible to pursue certification as a CCNA. Tests for certification are given locally. However, a student may apply for positions as a computer network administrator without the CCNA certification.

Technical Standards

These technical standards set forth by the IT department establish the essential qualifications considered necessary for students admitted to the program. The successful student must possess the following skills and abilities or be able to demonstrate they can complete the requirements of the program with or without reasonable accommodation, using some other combination of skills and abilities.

Cognitive Ability

  • Good reasoning and critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to learn, remember and recall detailed information and to use it for problem solving.
  • Ability to deal with materials and problems such as organizing or reorganizing information.
  • Ability to use abstractions in specific concrete situations.
  • Ability to separate complex information into its component parts.
  • Ability to perform tasks by observing demonstrations.
  • Ability to perform tasks by following written instructions.
  • Ability to perform tasks following verbal instructions.
  • Possession of basic keyboarding skills and knowledge of computer programs.

Communications Skills

  • Ability to speak in understandable English in a classroom situation on a one-on-one basis as well as before a group.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with faculty and other students.
  • Ability to demonstrate and use the knowledge acquired during the classroom training process.
  • Ability to verbally express technical concepts clearly and distinctly.
  • Ability to express thoughts clearly.
  • Adaptive Ability
  • Ability to remain calm in the face of computer lab equipment and/or software failure.
  • Ability to maintain emotional stability and the maturity necessary to interact with members of the faculty and students in a responsible manner.
  • Ability to tolerate the differences in all students, faculty, and administration.
  • Ability to follow instructions and complete tasks under stressful and demanding conditions.
  • Ability to adapt in a positive manner to new and changing situations with an open mind and flexibility.
  • Ability to think clearly and act quickly and appropriately in stressful situations.

Physical Ability

  • Ability to sit continuously at a personal computer for long periods of time in order to learn and become proficient in computer programming and networking.
  • Ability to perform learned skills independently, with accuracy and completeness within reasonable time frames in accordance with classroom and business procedures.

Manual Ability

  • Sufficient motor function and sensory abilities to participate effectively in the classroom laboratory.
  • Sufficient manual dexterity and motor coordination to coordinate hands, eyes and fingers in the operation of computers and business equipment.

Sensory Ability

  • Visual
    • Acute enough to see clearly and interpret the contents on the computer screen.