Cable Engineering Training and Education Program Information

Training and education are available for cable engineers in both undergraduate and graduate programs. The degree programs offered are in telecommunications engineering or telecommunications engineering technology.

Essential Information

Telecommunications engineering bachelor's degree programs focus on math, physics, electronics and systems. Many programs provide lab exercises for hands-on learning opportunities on equipment and systems. A master's degree program can prepare students for career advancement or doctoral studies in this or a similar field. Courses in math, physics and other sciences are as integral as classes focusing on specific communications technology, such as computer networking and voice communications. Professionals can opt to pursue certification.

  • Program Levels: Bachelor's, master's.
  • Program Fields: Telecommunications engineering; Electrical Engineering/Telecommunications Engineering; Telecommunications Engineering Technology
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED, as well as extensive high school coursework in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, chemistry and physics; undergraduate degree is required for admission to the graduate level, as well as Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores, letters of recommendation and a personal goal statement.
  • Online Availability: Commonly available online at the master's levels.
  • Program Specializations: Master's level specializations may include wireless and satellite communications or high-speed and broadband networks.
  • Program Length: Four years for bachelor's; five years for combined programs; 2-3 years for master's.
  • Other Requirements: Maintaining a minimum GPA and completing a thesis or final project (master's)

Bachelor's Degree in Telecommunications Engineering

The bachelor's level provides the education needed for an entry-level position in telecommunications. After students gain knowledge in these core subjects, more advanced telecommunications subjects are introduced, and some programs include a technology specialization. Graduates are awarded a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Telecommunications Engineering or Telecommunications Engineering Technology.

Some schools also offer a fast track bachelor's degree program combined with master's degree studies, and these accelerated programs take approximately five years of continuous studies to complete. Honors programs are also available to students meeting minimum grade point average (GPA) requirements in specific coursework. Undergraduate telecommunications engineering degree programs typically require advanced studies in calculus, statistics and other math topics. Physics, science, English and communications subjects are also a heavy concentration. Telecommunications engineering-related topics include:

  • Theory of circuits
  • Voice, data and network communications
  • Hi-frequency systems
  • Electronics
  • Telecommunications server programming

Master's Degree in Telecommunications Engineering

Telecommunications engineering master's degree programs typically take two years of full-time or three years of part-time study to complete, and some school programs are offered entirely online. Specific credit requirements in mathematics, physics and engineering vary by school, and some schools offer specialty areas of concentration such as wireless and satellite communications or high-speed and broadband networks.

Graduates are usually awarded either Master of Science (M.S.) or Master of English (M.Eng.) in Telecommunications Engineering. Other degree options are a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering/Telecommunications Engineering (MSEE) or a M.S. in Telecommunications Engineering Technology. The coursework for telecommunications engineering graduate students includes advanced study in electronics, networking and technology. Some schools provide practical curriculum through cooperating agreements with institutions with state-of-the-art telecommunications laboratories and equipment. Some topics of study include:

  • Telecommunications physical foundations
  • Computer network performance analysis
  • Random variables and processes
  • Estimation and detection
  • Telecommunications regulations and policies

Popular Career Options

Entry-level employment in the field usually requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree. A telecommunications engineering bachelor's degree prepares graduates for a variety of career options in the cable industry. Prospective employees without a degree normally enter the field as technicians, and a bachelor's degree can provide higher-level job opportunities. Some career options include:

  • Computer networking engineer
  • Telecommunications analyst
  • Network planning engineer

Graduates of telecommunications engineering master's degree programs have advanced opportunities in cable engineering employment. Most employers of more complex engineering positions typically prefer those with a master's degree. Also, a master's degree along with experience in the field can help cable engineers with advancement in the field. Some employment areas of specialization include:

  • Fiber optics
  • Digital signals
  • Multimedia

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that network and computer systems administrator positions were expected to grow 12% from 2012-2022, which was about as fast as average. These workers earned a mean yearly salary of $75,790 in May 2014. Telecommunications engineering specialists (which fell under the general category of computer network architects) earned a median annual salary of $98,430 in May 2014, reported the BLS.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Cable engineers can pursue additional education in doctoral degree programs. Ph.D. programs are available in related areas such as computer science and software engineering.

Certification is also available for cable engineers by The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE). Engineers must have comprehensive knowledge and training in telecommunications equipment technology and pass a required test to achieve the Broadband Communications Engineer (BCE) designation. Re-certification is required every three years.

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