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PhD in Telecommunications Degree Program Overview

Explore telecommunications programs at the Ph.D. level. Learn about program requirements along with course topics. Review a list of potential careers and check out career outlook projections and salary statistics for network systems and data communications analysts.

Essential Information

A doctoral degree program in telecommunications includes engineering, computer science and business, and is the most advanced telecommunications degree program. It requires the extensive study of digital communications, signal processing and network management.

Doctoral students typically must pass a qualifying examination after the first or second year of graduate studies to prove their academic knowledge and advance to doctoral candidacy. Telecommunications doctoral candidates must complete a dissertation based on an original research.

Education Prerequisites

Admission to a telecommunications doctorate program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, with an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) meeting the school's requirements. Some programs have applicants submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Competitive telecommunications doctorate programs may have applicants interview with admissions counselors.

Program Coursework

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. Telecommunications Ph.D.s can open employment opportunities in some of the following jobs:

  • Professor
  • Researcher
  • Communications consultant
  • Telecommunications executive
  • Network supervisor

Career and Salary Info

With a Ph.D in telecommunication, you could be employed in the fast-growing network and computer systems administration field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 28% growth rate for this field between 2010 and 2020. 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 systems and data communications analysts that worked for wired telecommunications firms earned a mean annual salary of $78,810 in 2012.

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 with major corporations and businesses.

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