Electronics engineering is the merging of electron science and gadgets to create the multitude of devices used in modern everyday life, including televisions, radios, cell phones, microprocessors in computers, and computers themselves. Students can complete online electronics engineering technology degree programs at the associate and bachelor's degree levels.
Students may be able to complete degree programs in electronics engineering technology fully online, although some programs require students to complete a portion of the coursework, like laboratories, on campus. For the online portions, students will likely need DVD or CD compatible technology and a webcam. Students investigating online programs may want to look for degree programs accredited by ABET to ensure that their education will meet industry standards.
Students should be aware that electronics engineering technology and electronics engineering are two different fields: electronics engineering technology prepares graduates to perform applied practical tasks, like building, testing, installing, repairing, and maintaining electronic systems. Associate degree graduates become technicians, and graduates from bachelor's degree programs become technologists. Electronics engineering programs at the bachelor's degree level, which focus more on research and design, help prepare graduates for work as engineers but are rarely available online; as such, they are not discussed here.
Associate of Applied Science- Electronics Engineering Technology
An associate degree provides a comprehensive education in both electronics engineering theory and practical application, and includes studies of microprocessors, electrical circuits, and digital electronics. Graduates will be qualified to work in systems maintenance, manufacturing, sales, installation, and field service. Prospective students are encouraged to take math classes before enrolling, since algebra and trigonometry are part of the curriculum.
Information and Requirements
Online courses feature lectures, group discussion, and projects. Programs may follow a term schedule of two years or offer independent study at the student's pace. Although degree programs are available fully online, there are sometimes options to attend classes on campus.
Students must have a computer with high-speed web access, graphics and sound cards, e-mail, and DVD/CD capabilities. A webcam may be needed. Some programs also include print textbooks.
In addition to core electronics courses, some of which are listed below, math and science classes are an important component of this program.
Concepts of Programming
Students in this online course learn advanced flow-chart language. They are exposed to the use of logic for systems programming and controlling structures, and practice technical problem solving.
Router protocols and configurations are presented, with practical exercises in configuring wide area and local networks. How to troubleshoot routing problems and maintain routing systems is also examined.
This class focuses on solid-state equipment and its uses. Students learn to build power supplies and work with integrated circuits.
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Bachelor of Science- Electronics Engineering Technology
Bachelor's programs teach the evaluation and maintenance of electronic devices. Through hands-on lab projects, students gain expertise in designing or modifying electronic devices for specified uses. Digital and analog systems are covered in depth, as are applications for microprocessors and circuitry. The bachelor's program is open to freshmen, and available for entrance at the junior year level for those already holding an associate degree in electronics.
Information and Requirements
Online bachelor's programs take about four years to complete. Courses are available fully online or in hybrid form with optional time on campus. Students learn through online lectures, discussions, and group projects. Computer requirements include high-speed Internet and e-mail, a browser such as Firefox or Internet Explorer, and free, downloadable plug-ins. A webcam may also be needed.
Education at the bachelor's level emphasizes the application of electronics theories and concepts to practical problem solving.
This online course focuses on the control of mechanical systems using electronics. Devices studied include actuators, transducers, sensors, and controllers. Transfer functions and dynamic responses are both discussed as part of system models.
Perspectives on both digital and analog communication systems are introduced through examination of the time and frequency domain relationship, noise effects, and bandwidth modulation methods.
Ethics and Engineering
This course presents a framework for considering the responsibilities of technological design, making ethical decisions, and the importance of professionalism.
Although it is possible to learn electronics engineering skills on the job, success in this profession will be greatest for those with a college degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an associate degree is the typical entry-level education required to become an electrical or electronic technician.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics there were 139,080 electrical and electronics engineering technicians working in 2015 (www.bls.gov). Employment is expected to decline by 2% through 2024. This is due in part to increased automation of work currently done by engineers and global outsourcing of jobs. In 2015, the BLS reported an annual median salary of $61,130 for workers in this field.
Continuing Education Information
Although not available online, master's degrees in electronics engineering are available for those who wish to take their careers to the next level. In addition, continuing education courses are sponsored by professional associations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Fully and partially online associate's and bachelor's degrees in electronics engineering technology are available, teaching students about working with and creating the various machinery and technology in our daily lives. Traditional master's degrees in the field are available to graduates of bachelor's programs, with continuing education from professional organizations to supplement education and keep students up to date in their knowledge.