Home Programs & Courses Network Systems Specialist

Network Systems Specialist

New Program!

Open for Fall 2021

Closed for Fall 2021 (International)

Open for Fall 2022

Open for Spring 2022

Length: 32 Week Fast-Track Credential: Certificate Delivery: Full Time Classroom

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Next information session

There are no events scheduled for this program. Please visit the link below to see all upcoming and on-demand information sessions.

Upcoming Information Sessions

This program will be delivered in a blended format (OA, OS, and OR) for the Fall 2021 semester.
Learn more about our course delivery options


In our interconnected world, strong, resilient and scalable computer networks are critical to industry success. Through classroom training and practical application, this program will help you develop skills and competencies in computer network design, maintenance and support, to get you career-ready as a network systems specialist.

During this intensive 32-week certificate, you will develop skills in leading-edge technologies including cloud and server administration, virtualized infrastructure, and Linux administration. You'll also become a member of the Cisco Networking Academy to specialize in computer networking, troubleshooting, and security.

As a result of the practical focus of this program, you will gain valuable experience solving technical problems and providing solutions that are on-time and within scope. This experience is further bolstered by a mandatory 8-week practicum that completes the program, preparing you for a successful career in the information technology (IT) field. 

Is this the right fit for me?

This is an intensive program requiring a significant commitment of time and energy. Students who are successful in this program typically:

  • Have higher secondary and/or post-secondary grades
  • Make their education a priority (including engaging in consistent self-study throughout the program)
  • Have experience with computer hardware and/or operating and networking systems (an asset, but not required)


By the end of the program, graduates will have the knowledge to challenge the Cisco Certified Network Administrator (CCNA) exams.

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


After successfully completing this program, graduates will be awarded a SAIT Network Systems Specialist certificate.

Read more


Want to learn more about this program?

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Career opportunities

Graduates can pursue job opportunities as a(n):

  • network systems specialist
  • network support analyst
  • help desk analyst
  • network support specialist
  • IT consultant

Related careers include:

  • network systems administrator

Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $14,819

Year 1 (International): $22,596

Full costs
Tuition and financial aid

Canada-Alberta Job Grant  This program is eligible for Canada-Alberta Job Grant funding.


You will be offered admission to this program through direct entry if you meet the admission requirements and space is available.

Admission requirements

When can you apply? 

Applications are accepted until the program start date but are subject to change.

  • Applications for spring 2022 open June 14, 2021.
  • Applications for fall 2022 open on Oct. 6, 2021.
Classes begin Year start date Year end date
Fall 2021 Nov. 1, 2021 June 30, 2022
Spring 2022 May 9, 2022 Dec. 16, 2022
Fall 2022 Sept. 6, 2022 May 5, 2023

How to apply

Admission requirements

Admission and selection

Applications are accepted until the program start date but are subject to change.

  • Spring 2022 start: applications open June 14, 2021.
  • Fall 2022 start: applications open Oct. 6, 2021.

Admission requirements

  • At least 60% in English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2 or equivalent, OR
  • A minimum of two years post-secondary education from a recognized university, institute or college. 
  • All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission. If you don't meet the requirements, consider Academic Upgrading.

SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you've applied, consider our international document assessment service if your education is from outside of Canada. 

Due to the tight integration of the courses in the Network Technician (NT) program, credit for prior learning is not available.

Direct Entry: four step process

Please complete these steps to learn more about the program you have chosen and confirm that this is the right training for you for your chosen career path.

Step 1: Read the program information on the website and review this program presentation to learn more about student expectations during the program.

Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed.

Step 3: Apply for the program.

Step 4: Continue to monitor changes to your application status through mySAIT.ca.

Previous computer operating systems, cloud technologies and/or networking experience gained through education, industry experience, industry certifications, or completion of online tutorial related to computer operating systems or networking is strongly recommended.

Communication during admissions

Email is the primary source of communication during the admissions process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications.

We recommend you add fast-track@sait.ca and the sait.ca domain to your safe senders' list or you risk missing critical email messages.

Ideal applicant

The ideal candidate for the Network Systems Specialist (NSS) program is a motivated, mature learner with an interest in computer networking, who wants to specialize or to upgrade their existing skills. You are technically proficient and detail-oriented. Your approach to problem-solving is both creative and logical, depending on the circumstances. You work well as part of a team and enjoy interacting with others. You possess a good working knowledge of operating systems and computer hardware. You are probably the person your friends and family go to when they have computer problems.


Program outline

The courses listed are not shown in the instructional order. Due to the nature of the fast-track programs some courses may be modified or replaced.

This is a 32-week fast-track certificate offered over multiple semesters.

Looking for course descriptions and requisites? Visit the course catalogue 

Fall program start

Semester 1

Course code Course name Credit
CMPH-239 IT Essentials 3.0
CMPN-276 Internetworks Level I 3.0
CPLN-240 Career Planning and Management 1.5
NETT-270 Linux Installation and Administration 1.5

Semester 2

Course code Course name Credit
CMPN-277 Internetworks Level II 3.0
CMPN-287 Internetworks Level III 3.0
CPNT-209 Network Resilience and Scalability 3.0
CPNT-216 Virtualized Infrastructure 3.0
CPNT-223 Network Security 3.0
NETT-262 Network Design and Implementation Project 3.0
NETT-275 Cloud and Server Administration 3.0

Semester 3

Course code Course name Credit
NETT-350 Network Systems Specialist Practicum 3.0

Spring program start

Semester 1

Course code Course name Credit
CMPH-239 IT Essentials 3.0
CMPN-276 Internetworks Level I 3.0
CMPN-277 Internetworks Level II 3.0
CMPN-287 Internetworks Level III 3.0
CPLN-240 Career Planning and Management 1.5
CPNT-216 Virtualized Infrastructure 3.0
NETT-270 Linux Installation and Administration 1.5
NETT-275 Cloud and Server Administration 3.0

Semester 2

Course code Course name Credit
CPNT-209 Network Resilience and Scalability 3.0
CPNT-223 Network Security 3.0
NETT-262 Network Design and Implementation Project 3.0
NETT-350 Network Systems Specialist Practicum 3.0


Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Transfer options

The opportunity to advance your education through transfer to, within or from SAIT is available with the following universities and colleges:

  • Rocky Mountain College
  • SAIT

To learn more, visit transfer options.


2021/22 Domestic Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2021/22 total
1 $13,486 $793.20 $287.77 $152 $14,819

2021/22 International Tuition and Fees*

Check back for updates on the 2021/22 fees and program total. 

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2021/22 total
1 $21,263 $793.20 $287.77 $252 $22,596

*Fees and tuition are based on a two-semester full course load structure. There may be additional fees for practicums and terms held outside this time frame. 


Campus athletic and recreation: $183.20
Universal transit pass (UPass): $310 - Check eligibility here.
Student support fee: $150
Student technology fee: $150

Health and Dental Fees

Domestic Students 

  • Health Plan: $122
  • Dental Plan: $130
  • For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the Saitsa website for information on opting out.

International Students 

  • Health and Dental Plan: $252
  • For more information on Health and Dental Benefits for International students please contact the International Centre.

Books and supplies*

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

Find out about  tuition and financial aid.

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.

Next steps for incoming students

Have you been accepted to this program? Here's what you'll need for your first day of classes.

Fall 2021

Your program orientation will take place on Nov. 1 online. Check your schedule in mySAIT for the time and location details.

Learn more about your orientation.

How to register for classes

You'll follow a fixed block registration process to enrol in your classes. Learn how to register on our registration and schedules page.

Computers and laptops

This is a bring your own device program with a Power User hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page

Students may also be required to purchase hosted virtual lab tools at their own expense.

Preparation courses

To support your success, you’ll be automatically registered in two short courses to prepare you for the academic year:

PERS 050: Student Rights and Responsibilities

This course is designed to introduce you to student rights and responsibilities at SAIT. You will learn about SAIT's rich and diverse community, become familiar with guidelines and procedures that create a safe, respectful learning experience for you, and gain practical tips for how you can engage in the SAIT community in a positive and responsible way. PRES-050 must be completed within 30 days from the start of the semester.

PREP 100: The SAIT Experience

Get tips and insider information on time management, exam preparation, effective notetaking and more through this free, online short course for new students. Plus, learn about discussion boards, online communication and submitting assignments online. Course completion is recommended by the end of your first semester.

Both courses can be accessed through Brightspace D2Lbefore the first day of classes.

Required textbooks

Find your booklist on the SAIT Bookstore's website. The booklist will be available closer to the program start date.



Academic chair

Blake Kanewischer, Academic Chair

Next steps for all students

Here's what else you'll need to do to get ready!

Next steps for accepted students

Important dates and deadlines

Find important dates applicable to all students, including your transcript and tuition payment deadlines on our Important Dates page.

Important Dates

Student Guidelines

Review the student guidelines to learn about the School of Information and Communications Technologies' expectations before you start your studies. 

Download Guide

Have questions about this program?

Contact us at

School of Information and Communications Technologies

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