May 24, 2024  
PUBLISHED 2024-2025 Credit Catalog 
PUBLISHED 2024-2025 Credit Catalog

Network Systems Specialist

Location(s): Blended (Main Campus & Online)

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In today’s interconnected world, robust and adaptable computer networks are essential for success across industries. Our Network Systems Specialist program is designed to equip you with the skills needed to thrive in this critical field.

Through classroom learning and hands-on experience, you will gain expertise in computer network design, maintenance and support, making you job-ready as a network systems specialist.

In this program, you will:

  • get cutting-edge training in cloud and server administration, virtualized infrastructure, and Linux administration
  • join Cisco Networking Academy, a leading program specializing in computer networking, troubleshooting and security, ensuring you’re well-prepared for the industry
  • learn practical problem-solving, allowing you to tackle technical challenges and deliver timely solutions within project scope, preparing you for a successful IT career.

As a graduate, you’ll be equipped to pursue roles such as network systems specialist, network or systems administrator, network support analyst, IT consultant or technician, network or technical support specialist, or related positions in various sectors, including public, private and community-based organizations.

Prior knowledge of computer operating systems, cloud technologies or networking gained through education, industry experience, certifications or online tutorials is highly recommended.

Join us to build the skills and knowledge needed for a thriving career in IT. 

Traits, skills and aptitudes

Those working in network systems analysis tend to be objective, methodical and directive. 

You need:

  • logical thinking skills
  • communication skills
  • people skills
  • the ability to study complex problems
  • the ability to be calm and efficient under pressure
  • the ability to ask the right questions to understand problems
  • a keen interest in keeping up to date with technology.

The ideal candidate for the Network Systems Specialist program is a motivated, mature learner interested in specializing in computer networking or upgrading their existing skills.

This intensive program requires a significant commitment of time and energy. Experience with computer hardware or operating and networking systems is an asset but not required.

To do well in this field, you should enjoy studying information and solving problems, taking a precise step-by-step approach to tasks, working with changing technologies and helping others.

Practicum, co-op and work integrated learning opportunities

You’ll participate in a practicum during your final semester, where you’ll put your skills to work in a real-world environment and connect with a potential future employer.

Accreditations, designations or certifications

By the end of the program, you’ll be prepared to challenge the Cisco Certified Network Administrator (CCNA) exams.

With additional work experience and exam preparation, you may also be prepared to challenge other relevant industry exams, including the CompTIA A+ and VMWare certifications. 


Upon successful completion of this program, you’ll be awarded a SAIT Network Systems Specialist certificate.

Program length

32 weeks

Accepts international applicants - PGWP-eligible

This program accepts international applicants and meets the eligibility criteria for the Post-Graduation Work Permit program, as long as the student is registered in on-campus classes or completes more than 50% of the courses on campus (for blended options). 

International students attending all classes online will NOT be eligible for a Post-Graduate Work Permit. International students are responsible for maintaining their eligibility throughout their studies. 


This program is eligible for the Canada Alberta Job Grant

Related careers

Our graduates may work in the following occupations. Some careers require additional experience and education.

Potential careers (NOC):

  • Computer and information systems managers (20012)
  • Information systems testing technicians (22222)
  • Computer network and web technicians (22220)
  • Web designers (21233)
  • Information systems specialists (21222)
  • Business systems specialists (21221)
  • Cybersecurity specialists (21220)
  • Data scientists (21211)

Admission requirements - Applicants educated in Canada

Applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency and completion of the following courses or equivalents:

  • a minimum grade of 60% in English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2 or equivalent, or,
  • a minimum of two years of post-secondary education from a recognized university, institute, or college.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission for applicants educated outside Alberta.

Admission requirements - Applicants educated outside of Canada

All applicants who were educated outside of Canada must demonstrate English language proficiency and provide proof they meet the program admission requirements with an international document assessment. Find accepted educational documents and assessment options

SAIT may also accept courses completed at certain international post-secondary institutions.

Program outline

The Network Systems Specialist certificate requires 33 credits (12 courses) to complete.

The program spans 32 weeks over three semesters (fall intake) or two semesters (spring intake.) 

Suggested schedule of study


You must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better each semester and pass the prerequisite courses to progress through the program.

To qualify for graduation, you must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Review our grading and progression procedure > 

Books and supplies

Books and supplies are approximately $1,000 - $1,500 per full-time year.

This is a bring-your-own-device program with a power-user computer hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page.

You may also be required to purchase hosted virtual lab tools.

Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore’s website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date. Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn’t receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you’re in luck; no textbook purchase is required this term.

Advanced Digital Technology program advising

For any questions or to set up an advising appointment, please contact our School for Advanced Digital Technology.

Phone: 403.284.8543

Program outcomes

  1. Communicate effectively with clients and end users about technical design, constraints, and implementation.
  2. Analyze business needs to provide an appropriate network design.
  3. Demonstrate technical competency in designing and building network solutions.
  4. Configure and manage virtualized server and storage systems.
  5. Employ appropriate tools and equipment to manage a network environment.
  6. Secure networks through the correct selection of hardware and software configurations.
  7. Display effective configuration skills in client, server, and network technologies.
  8. Conduct effective presentations linking technical solutions to business needs.
  9. Demonstrate professionalism, teamwork, and effective communication skills to meet industry expectations.
  10. Apply job search and employment skills for career development.
  11. Demonstrate problem-solving and troubleshooting skills in all aspects of network management.
  12. Develop appropriate documentation as required for network projects.

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