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Schools with Broadcast Engineering Programs: How to Choose

Broadcast engineers record, edit and produce television, radio and Internet broadcasts. In 1- and 2-year vocational programs, prospective broadcast engineers and technicians gain knowledge of the broadcast industry along with a set of practical skills with audio and video recording equipment, production software and relevant electronic systems.

How to Select a Broadcast Engineering Program

Broadcast engineering and broadcast technology certificate and degree programs are typically found in community colleges and vocational schools that offer up to two years of study in the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an associate's degree in broadcast technology is the most commonly required degree for broadcast and sound engineering technicians (www.bls.gov).

List of Considerations for Choosing a Program

  • Variety
  • Internships
  • Certification readiness

Variety

Candidates should look for a broadcast technology program that offers instruction in a wide variety of audio and video production techniques, including courses in computer software and the use of recording equipment. Regardless of the program's length, students need to acquire fundamental knowledge of broadcast equipment, as well as production and post-production techniques and skills.

Internships

Candidates may also wish to seek programs that offer school-sponsored internships with local television and radio stations. Internships can provide valuable professional experience and industry connections. Ample access to well-equipped studios, computer labs and updated software is another important consideration for prospective students.

Certification Readiness

Some broadcast technology and engineering programs qualify the successful candidate to obtain professional certification from the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE). In these programs, the graduating student is eligible for the Certified Broadcast Technologist (CBT) credential, in addition to his or her degree or certificate (www.sbe.org).

Broadcast Engineering Program Overviews

Certificate of Achievement in Broadcast Engineering or Technology

Certificate programs in broadcast technology can take 6-12 months to complete. Many have specialized concentrations, such as broadcast journalism or video production. These programs focus mostly on practical, hands-on courses in the use of video and audio software, technology and equipment. Coursework may include:

  • Radio production
  • Television studio production
  • Electronic news-gathering
  • Video editing

Associate's Degree in Broadcasting Technology

In addition to technical skill-building courses, associate's degree programs offer courses in written and oral communication and the broadcast industry, such as broadcast writing and broadcast law. Some programs offer areas of emphasis, such as news or technical production. These programs also require the completion of general education requirements. Courses can include:

  • Radio production
  • Oral communication
  • Writing for radio and television
  • News writing and reporting
  • Television field production

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