Typically, students enrolled in degree programs for telecommunications technology will need to earn around 67 credits in four semesters of study to obtain an associate's degree in telecom technology. They usually must hold a high school diploma or GED to apply to one of these programs. Some degree programs also provide students with prospective internship opportunities. Other program fields include wired and wireless telephones, wireless computer networks, internet, television, satellite systems and convergence technologies.
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Degree Programs in Telecommunications Technology
Curricula in these degree programs primarily involve courses in specific telecommunications technologies, networks and systems. Programs could also offer basic courses in mathematics, science, electricity, business, composition, computer technology, software applications and communications. Students may explore the following course topics:
- Digital data communication
- Wireless telephony systems
- Telecommunications media
- Antenna systems
- Data cabling
- Wireless LAN technology
Popular Career Options
Skilled individuals who seek employment within the broad field of telecommunications will typically find work related to the installation, maintenance and repair of telecommunication systems. Because telecommunications technologies are commonly integrated into residential, commercial and industrial environments, technicians can work in a number of different environments, providing a variety of services. Some possible career fields are that of fiber optic systems, data communication, satellite transmission, microwave transmission, and international networks.
Job Outlook and Salary Information
Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers earned a median annual income of $54,570, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2015. Job opportunities are expected to decline for these professionals, with a 4% decrease projected from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
Employers may prefer to hire individuals with bachelor's degrees for positions that require more specialized expertise; however, within the telecommunications field, training beyond the associate's degree level typically happens through work experience. Some employers provide their equipment installers and repairers with training designed to keep them up to date on the latest technological advances. This training is provided by organizations such as the National Coalition for Telecommunications Education and Learning (NACTEL).
An associate's degree program in telecommunications technology prepares students for careers as equipment installers and repairers. Students will study the current technology and communication systems, and can pursue further education and training if they so choose.