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Career Info for a Degree in Communication Technology

Communication technology training is generally offered in certificate and degree programs with hands-on preparation. Continue reading for an overview of these programs and some of the careers available in communication technology.

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Strong computer skills are required for a career in communication technology. A degree in communication technology focuses on networking computers and establishing computer systems that can be used for effective communication. A degree in this field can prepare individuals for a career as a network systems administrator, database administrator or computer support specialist.

Essential Information

A degree or certificate program in communication technology teaches students the skills and knowledge to implement computer systems, networks and other tools for technological communication. Holders of a degree or certificate in communication technology might find work as network systems administrators, database administrators, computer support specialists or related workers.

Career Network Systems Administrators Database Administrators Computer Support Specialists
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Certificate or bachelor's degree
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 8% 11% 12%
Average Salary (2015)* $82,200 $84,250 $52,430 for computer user support specialists

Source: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

A degree in a communications technology field, like computer networking, information technology (IT) or computer science, can lead to numerous IT career options. In some cases, earning only a certificate in one of these fields may prepare students for entry-level employment. Check out the following descriptions for three potential career paths related to communications technology.

Network Systems Administrators

Network systems administration is one possible career path for individuals earning a communication technology certificate or undergraduate degree. Network systems administrators are responsible for planning, implementing, troubleshooting and maintaining networks for organizations and companies. They work on local-area networks, called LANs and wide-area networks, called WANs, intranets and database systems. Systems administrators also provide support and diagnostic services for network users. Network security is another vital component of system administration.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2015, network systems administrators earned a mean wage of $82,200 annually. Jobs for these professionals were expected to increase 8% from 2014 to 2024, per the BLS.

Database Administrators

Database administrators oversee the design, maintenance and development of an organization's database systems. They ensure that authorized users have access to databases, provide modifications to network systems and provide for adequate security measures. Database administrators may need to coordinate or oversee other workers during the process of updating systems or repairing bugs. According to the BLS, in 2015, database administrators earned a mean annual salary of $84,250. Employment in this area was expected to grow at a rate of 11% from 2014 to 2024.

Computer Support Specialists

Computer support specialists work at help desks, online, or over the phone, providing technical support and advice to computer, network system or software users. Many computer support specialists, known as technical support specialists, provide services solely to fellow employees of a given organization or company. Other support specialists, called help-desk technicians, assist the outside users of a company's technological products with problems or questions that they might have. According to the BLS, the required education a computer support specialist needs depends on the position and may range from a certificate to a bachelor's degree.

The BLS reports that the average salary for a computer user support specialist was $52,430 in 2015. Computer support specialists in general were projected to experience job growth of 12% from 2014 to 2024.

A degree in communication technology can prepare network systems administrators, database administrators or computer support specialists for careers in the IT field where they create, establish and maintain computer systems. Support specialists may advise customers over the phone about how to fix issues with their computer, while network systems administrators establish and maintain the computer networks for businesses and organizations. A certificate may be enough for an entry-level position in the field of communication technology, and the BLS predicts strong job growth numbers for these professionals through 2024.

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