IT - Systems Administration Specialist

IT Technician Works on a Laptop in Big Data Center full of Rack Servers. He Runs Diagnostics and Maintenance, Sets up System.

IT-Systems Administration Specialist

Associate Degree

63 Credits | 2 Year

Financial Aid-Eligible

Ashland, New Richmond*, Rice Lake, Superior*

Full program available at the Ashland and Rice Lake campuses.

*First-year courses are held in-person at the New Richmond and Superior campuses. After the first year, you can choose to complete the remaining coursework online or attend in-person classes at the Ashland or Rice Lake campuses. 

Career Cluster: Information Technology 

As an information technology professional, you will work with exciting new technologies to implement, maintain, and secure servers, computer systems, and networks. IT professionals are in demand and you can typically expect to enjoy generous compensation packages while working in climate-controlled office environments. 

Program Overview

The first year of the IT-Systems Administration Specialist program provides you with a foundation in computer systems along with strong networking skills. These skills will allow you to support and manage computer systems and the networks connecting them. 

The second year of the program focuses on server administration, database administration, virtualization and cloud computing concepts. Students learn how to securely install, configure and manage servers in a virtualized environment. The curriculum provides skills to help prepare students for the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA), VMware Certified Professional (VCP), AWS Certified Solutions Architect, CompTIA A+, Network+, Linux+ and Server+ certifications. 

Program Outcomes

IT-Systems Administration Specialist graduates will be able to:

  • Support server operations
  • Manage virtualization technologies
  • Manage client operating systems
  • Manage services in a cloud environment
  • Develop scripts for IT automation
Northwood Tech student using a computer in a lab

As an IT-Systems Administration student you will learn by using the same technologies used by professionals in the field. You will be working on current equipment from industry leaders including Dell, IBM, and Lenovo virtualization servers, Cisco networking equipment, and EMC storage arrays. 

A professional in the industry working with the technology used in the field

Free access to industry software.

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Use industry-leading technology.

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Learn by doing.


The program is available at all four campuses. Full program available via On Site or Hybrid instruction at the Ashland or Rice Lake campus. First-year courses are held in-person at the New Richmond and Superior campuses. After the first year, you can choose to complete the remaining coursework online or attend in-person classes at the Ashland or Rice Lake campuses. 


Career Pathways

Earn a Network Technician technical diploma upon completion of the first year of the program. After graduating with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Information Technology-Systems Administration Specialist, take an additional year and earn a double major as an Information Technology-Cybersecurity Specialist.

Industry Partnerships

As a student, you'll have access to industry-leading software, hardware and curriculum for reduced or no cost through Northwood Tech's membership in the Amazon AWS Academy, VMware IT Academy, Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance, Cisco Networking Academy, and CompTIA Authorized Academy.


Prepare yourself for in-demand industry certifications. Most courses in IT-Systems Administration program align with popular certifications such as VMware Certified Profession (VCP), AWS Certified Solutions Architect, CompTIA A+, Network+, Linux+, and Server+. 

Required Courses

Program specific subjects include virtualization, cloud computing, database administration and storage components. The required courses also include networking concepts, Linux and LAN administration. 

Explore the Required Courses

Featured IT-Systems Administration Specialist Courses

| 3 CR
This course will examine how storage and virtualization technologies are making possible the enormous rise of cloud computing. The course will look at the impact that cloud computing is having on traditional datacenters. It will also discuss security and disaster recovery from a cloud computing perspective. PREREQUISITE: 10154141 VMware Certified Professional.
| 3 CR
This course is an introduction to Enterprise virtualization using VMware vSphere, ESXi and vCenter. Students receive hands-on experience in the installation, configuration and management of VMware. This course also covers storage and networking concepts important to virtualization. This course fulfills the "VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage" requirement to take the VCP certification exam. PREREQUISITE: 10150113 Cisco CCNA 2 Routing and Switching Essentials.
| 3 CR
Scripting technologies are used to automate system management tasks and create system management utilities. Students will learn basic programming logic concepts to develop scripts. Windows PowerShell is utilized to administer and automate tasks in Microsoft network environments. PREREQUISITES: 10150117 Server Administration 1 and 10154103 Linux Operating Systems.

IT-Systems Administration Specialist is Part of a Career Pathway

As an IT-Systems Administration Specialist student at Northwood Tech, you can earn credentials each step of the way!

This technical diploma is embedded in the IT - Systems Administration Specialist program.

IT - Network Technician

Technical Diploma
19 Credits / Less than 1 Year Part Time
Potential Careers
Computer Technician, Network Technician
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This is the program you’re looking at.

Associate Degree
63 Credits / 2 Years Full-Time; 3 Years Part Time
Potential Careers
Systems Administrator, Microsoft Server Administrator, Network Technician, VMware vSphere Administrator, Database Administrator, Cloud Technician
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Continue your education to earn a bachelor's degree.

Admissions and Tuition

Northwood Tech has an easy admission process that can be completed in one visit. Please see the details under the "Requirements and Application" section to get started.

Requirements and Application

Tuition and Fees

Northwood Tech breaks down the cost of education, so you'll have a good idea of how much your education will cost.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to help you pay for your education. It can come in the form of grants, loans, federal work-study, military and veterans benefits, division of vocational rehabilitation benefits, and scholarships. 

Learn More About Paying for College

Cost of Attendance

The Cost of Attendance (COA) is an estimate of the costs that you may incur while attending Northwood Technical College.

Learn More About Cost of Attendance

Estimated Total Program Tuition 2024-25*

IT-Systems Administration Specialist

63 Credits | 2 Years


*Tuition is an estimate and does not include any miscellaneous fees for various courses, tools, books, supplies or uniforms. Program book costs are in addition to tuition and fees and vary depending on course selection and where the books are purchased or rented. 

After the Northwood Tech IT-Systems Administration Specialist Program

Upon completion of the program, you will earn an IT-Network Technician technical diploma and an IT-Systems Administration Specialist associate degree. 

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Transfer Center

Transfer your Northwood Tech credits to a four-year college to earn your bachelor's degree and beyond. 

View Transfer Center


Career Outlooks

Northwood Tech's graduates experience success. Learn more about the types of careers you can get after graduation.

View Career Options

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Cisco Networking Academy Partner

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Cisco Networking Academy partners closely with educational institutions and instructors to develop and deliver a curriculum that gives students the digital, problem-solving, and entrepreneurial skills they need to get a job, earn a promotion, or start a business of their own. Students do more than gain technical mastery, they come away prepared to drive innovation and help companies meet the challenges of digital transformation. 70% of those who complete advanced courses obtain new or better jobs, take on increased responsibility, or earn higher pay.

AWS Academy Partner

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AWS Cloud computing curricula for higher education institutions to prepare students for industry-recognized certifications and in-demand cloud jobs. 


Choose a campus to view contact information, or for general assistance, please contact us.

Rice Lake Admissions Contact

Nicole Messicci

Admissions Advisor



Ashland Admissions Contact

Jennifer Bednarik

Admissions Advisor



New Richmond Admissions Contact

Sherry Rehnelt

Admissions Advisor



Superior Admissions Contact

Anna Kalin

Admissions Advisor



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