Many of the electronics and computer technology two-year programs require or encourage internships as a way to acquire experience. Most schools require a high school diploma or the equivalent for admission into the program. As students progress through the program, they explore advanced topics in micro-processing and electronic industrial controls. Students become familiar working with the electronics in traditional personal computers and mainframes found in industrial systems.
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Associate in Electronics and Computer Technology
The two-year program combines classroom lecture with hands-on practical experience in computer programming, software installation and hardware repair. Students must complete required general coursework, which includes classes in math, science, English, history and liberal arts. Courses within the program could include:
- Electronic drafting
- Digital circuits
- Microcomputer hardware
- Integrated circuits
Popular Career Options
Associate holders are qualified for entry-level positions in technology-related fields. Because computers and electronics are used in nearly every industry, including automotive, aerospace, government, hospital and hospital equipment, toys and digital media, graduates can work across diverse settings according to personal interests. Possible job titles can include:
- Field service technician
- Systems support specialist
- Commercial electronics technician
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the projected employment growth for computer user support specialists is 13% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov), with an associate degree required in many cases. A decrease of 2% is expected for electrical and electronics engineering technicians, who typically require an associate degree, the BLS says. As of May 2015, computer user support specialists earned an average annual salary of $52,430, while electrical and electronics engineering technicians saw a $61,870 average annual salary.
Certification can be gained through organizations such as CompTIA, Cisco and Microsoft. These organizations offer interested individuals the chance to broaden their credentials. Graduates can also pursue a bachelor's degree in electronics and computer technology or in a related field such as computer science, electrical engineering or computer programming.
Associate degree programs in electronics and computer technology prepare students for employment as field service technicians, commercial electronics technicians and systems support specialists in various industries. Continued education at the bachelor's level or certification through technology companies allows aspiring technicians to increase their knowledge.