Online associate's degree programs in the field of electronics are relatively common. While electronics and computer technology programs focus more on computer-related concepts, electronics engineering programs emphasize the theory behind electronics products. Programs may be taken entirely online or through a combination of online and on-site courses. Students will learn how to repair and install electronics items and computers using a variety of tools.
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Associate's Degree in Electronics
Students enrolled in online electronics associate's degree programs may learn how to install hardware and software, troubleshoot and test for problems. Students may also learn the skills they need to contribute to the development, production and quality control of electronics.
Program Information and Requirements
Some programs may allow students to graduate in as little as one year, while others may be completed in just over two years. Programs in electronics and computer technology usually take longer than programs in electronics engineering.
Students should have a computer with Internet access and a word processor. An online program may educate students through online audio and video streaming, which requires students to have a headset and QuickTime on their computer. Students are able to communicate with instructors through e-mail, chat rooms and message boards. While some programs allow students to complete assignments and exams on their own time, others may have deadlines throughout the semester.
In addition to courses related to electronics, students need to take general education courses as well, such as writing, social science and humanities.
A calculus course teaches students about limits, derivatives, functions, series and integration. Students may be required to have a graphing calculator to complete assignments.
Students explore the nature of electricity and circuit theory in this course. Lessons may include direct current, alternating current, parallel circuits, series circuits, circuit analysis, Ohm's law and network theorems. Students may be able to view circuits and other equipment online through pictures and step-by-step tutorials.
Students in a physics course learn about mechanics, heat, electricity, light and sound. The course educates students in Newton's laws, energy, motion, equilibrium, heat transfer, fluids, wave motion and circuits.
Students learn a computer language, such as C++, and apply their programming knowledge to solve technical problems. Some of the programming concepts taught may include variables, functions, loops, arrays, decisions and pointers.
Students in this course learn how to troubleshoot problems with digital electronics. Lessons covered can include logic families, circuit debugging, digital interfacing, circuit conversion and programmable devices. Students can ask questions to their instructor and other classmates through instant messenger and receive immediate feedback.
Some entry-level job titles that graduates are prepared for include field service technician, computer engineering technician, electronic engineering technician, computer support specialist, computer network installer, technical salesperson and industrial technician. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, due to the popularity of producing electronic equipment overseas, as well as more efficient manufacturing processes, the demand for electronic and electrical engineering technicians is expected to decrease by 2% during the 2014-2024 decade. The median salary for electronic and electrical engineering technicians was $61,130 in 2015.
Continuing Education Information
After graduating from their associate's degree program, students who wish to pursue certification options may want to take the Certified Electronics Technician examination. Receiving certification may open up more job opportunities since it signifies a certain level of training and skill. Students who wish to further their education may be interested in enrolling in an online bachelor's degree program in electronics engineering.
Graduates from an online associate's program in electronics have the skills to install and fix hardware and software, and contribute to the production process of electronic devices. Employment opportunities vary, but many work as technicians.