Students who are interested in developing their expertise in the field of digital communication may seek a doctoral degree in telecommunications. These programs integrate advanced studies in engineering, computer science, and business. They also involve extensive exploration of digital communications, signal processing, and network management. In most programs, doctoral students must pass a qualifying examination after the first or second year of graduate studies to prove their academic knowledge and advance to doctoral candidacy. Prior to graduation, they must complete a dissertation based on an original research. The program usually takes a minimum of four years.
In order to apply, students must hold a bachelor's degree and submit GRE scores. Many schools also have a minimum GPA requirement, and the most competitive programs require interviews with admissions counselors.
Ph.D. in Telecommunications
Ph.D. programs in telecommunications train candidates in advanced research, which is combined with formal coursework covering relevant topics in the field. Given the extensive nature of the requisite dissertation project, successful students become highly specialized experts in the field. In addition to the research and dissertation, typical doctoral degrees in telecommunications might include courses in the following:
- Network performance
- Queuing theory
- Digital transmission
- Telephone system management
- Photonic communications
Popular Career Options
With a doctoral degree in telecommunications graduates are ready for careers with manufacturing companies, cable providers and cell phone carriers. Possible job titles for graduates include:
- Communications consultant
- Telecommunications executive
- Network supervisor
Career and Salary Info
With a Ph.D in telecommunications, students are prepared for employment in the network and computer systems administration field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 8% growth for this field between 2014 and 2024, which is about as fast as average. Growth in this field can be attributed to the value that companies are placing on newer and more efficient technology. According to the BLS, network and computer systems administrators earned a mean annual salary of $82,200 in 2015.
Continuing Education Information
A doctoral degree is the most advanced telecommunications degree. Graduates with a Ph.D. in Telecommunications may choose additional graduate education in a related field. A Master of Business Administration can lead to employment in executive and supervisory positions within major corporations and businesses.
Overall, a Ph.D. in telecommunications provide students with the interdisciplinary knowledge and research skills they need for successful careers as academic researchers or business executives in the field.