Some Associate of Occupational Science (AOS) in Electronics Engineering programs offer coursework in telecommunications; however, more in-depth study can be found in Associate of Applied Science (AAS) programs in telecommunications. These two-year programs often focus on the design, installation, configuration and maintenance of telecommunications systems and computer networks. Students may learn about Cisco networking, fiber optics, asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), local and wide area networks and digital subscriber lines (DSL). Applicants must have a high school diploma or the equivalent.
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Associate's Degree in Telecommunications Technology
These programs offer education in telecommunications software, voice and data communications and electronic circuit applications. Students can discover the different transmission methods used in telecommunications today. Some topics may include:
- Cisco networking
- Physical layer transmission
- Network and computer security
- Local area network management
- Cisco TCP/IP routing protocols
- Digital switching systems
Popular Career Options
Graduates can find entry-level work in network administration, field service or technical support and design. This could include working for Internet providers, telecommunications companies, cable providers and various companies that use wireless communications. Job duties include installation of systems, maintenance and customer service. Some job titles may include:
- Telecommunications technician
- Network installer
- Cable installer
Job Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of network and computer systems administrators is expected to increase by 8% between 2014 and 2024; however, employment of telecommunications equipment installers and repairers is expected to decline by 4% during that time. The BLS also reported that telecommunications equipment installers and repairers made a mean annual salary of $54,510 as of May 2015, while network and computer systems administrators had an average annual salary of $82,200.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Although there are no formal education requirements for telecommunications technicians and workers, continuing education is necessary for these professionals. Aspiring managers or administrators may benefit from a more advanced degree. Beyond the associate's degree level, students can go on to study telecommunications at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. For individuals who want to advance as technicians, certification can be earned through the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers or the National Coalition for Telecommunications Education and Learning.
For students who want to work in telecommunications, AAS and AOS programs that cover the topic provide sufficient technological training for immediate entry into the workforce as technicians and installers. These programs can also prepare students to take professional certification exams or enroll in bachelor's degree programs.