In these two-year programs, students choose from specializations such as computer electronics, communication electronics, telecommunications electronics technology, or general electronics. In addition to courses and lab studies, students may participate in supervised internships to obtain hands-on training. Applicants must have high school diplomas or GED certificates for admission.
Associate Degree in Computer Electronics and Telecommunications Technology
Students develop business, critical thinking and electronic maintenance skills. They might delve into courses like soldering technology, wireless communications, and programming. The curricula may combine theory with practice. Typical courses may include:
- AC & DC circuits
- Solid state devices
- Systems architecture
- Electronics fundamentals
- Digital electronics
Popular Career Options
Modern businesses cannot operate without computers and telecommunications systems. Graduates of computer electronics and telecommunications technology programs are trained to repair and maintain business computer systems and telecommunications equipment in a wide variety of industries. Possible career titles include:
- Electronics technician
- Telecommunications analyst
- Computer hardware technical specialist
- Telecommunications support specialist
- Computer service and electronics specialist
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that employment growth for telecommunications equipment installers and repairers is projected to decline 4% during the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). A 2% decline in employment is expected for electrical and electronics engineering technicians over the same period, according to the BLS.
Salary information provided by the BLS in May 2015 shows that telecommunication equipment installers and repairers earned a median annual salary of $52,920, and electrical and electronics engineering technicians earned a median of $61,130 per year.
Individuals who complete this program are qualified for immediate employment in the field. They may also choose to transfer to 4-year colleges and earn bachelor's degrees in an electronics or engineering field. Employment advancements often come with work experience and additional training. Professional certification can be obtained through product vendors or independent certifying agencies.
Some programs also offer courses that prepare students to take certification examinations. For instance, the associate program helps prepare students for the CompTIA A+ and the CompTIA Network+ certification exams. The Electronics Technicians Association International also offers several levels of certification for electronics technicians.
Graduates of an associate's degree program in computer electronics and telecommunications technology are prepared to work as electronics technicians and telecommunications analysts in various industries. Industry certifications and continued education at the bachelor's degree level may give technicians an advantage when looking for employment.