Both undergraduate and graduate telecommunications degree programs can be completed fully online or in a hybrid format. However, bachelor's degree programs may require students to take on-campus examinations, since telecommunications work has some hands-on components. Master's degree programs require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree in a related field, although those who hold bachelor's degrees in other fields may be able to apply after completing additional prerequisite courses.
Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications
Bachelor's degree programs train students to develop, manage, repair and utilize all forms of audio, video and data communications. In addition, students explore delivery systems of electronic communications including wireless services, broadband Internet, television and radio broadcasts, podcasts and traditional landline services. This program is available to both new students, as well as transfer students who have already obtained a technical degree in a similar field.
Program Information and Requirements
Online Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications programs are generally 120-credit hours in length and can be completed in about four years. Programs are offered fully online; however, some institutions offer hybrid programs where the student must complete some courses and examinations on-campus. While most courses are structured to allow students to complete assignments and tests on a schedule, the online course material is available to students any time. Students access their course material through online learning platforms, such as Blackboard.
Students must have access to a computer with a high-speed Internet connection. Because some course material is delivered through recorded lectures, it is necessary that the student's computer have audio and video capabilities. Students also need a working e-mail address to send and receive assignments and exams, as well as ask questions.
Students in this degree program are required to complete general education requirements in subjects that draw from the social sciences and humanities. The core curriculum is focused around subjects such as data analysis, engineering technology, telecommunication transmission systems and networking.
Fundamentals of Telecommunications
This introductory course exposes students to the regulations and organizations that govern the telecommunications industry. Concepts include telephony, data transfer, ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), multiplexing and computer networks. Students also explore the identification, design and maintenance of computer and telephone networks.
Students in this course learn to design, analyze and maintain telecommunications networks from remote locations. Simple Network Management Protocol, or SNMP, is a fundamental concept this course is build around. Students use this protocol to gather data regarding the performance of networks, and then utilize that information to improve the network's efficiency.
Vocal Communication Technology
Online learners explore the technology that supports quality voice communication. They first investigate the acoustic properties of vocal sounds, and then analyze the technology required to support the communication of those sounds. Analog and digital encoding required to transmit vocal information across a variety of networks are included.
Master of Science in Telecommunications
An online Master of Science (M.S.) in Telecommunications program prepares students to be versatile leaders in their chosen field of the telecommunications industry. This program instills mastery over current telecommunications-related concepts, which include applications of the effects of the broadband revolution, legal regulations, content creation and the future internet-related technologies. Students must have a bachelor's degree in a related field; however, applicants who have degrees from non-related fields may take additional prerequisite courses or test out of those classes via an entrance exam.
Program Information and Requirements
An online telecommunications master's degree program usually ranges from 30-36 credit-hours in length, and can be completed in 1-2 years of full-time study. Programs are widely available and offered in both fully online formats, as well as in hybrid formats, where the student completes some courses on-campus. This program does not generally require the student to complete a thesis. Online courses are completed using online course management systems and communication tools.
In addition to an Internet connection, online learners may need access to a webcam and speakers. Many courses are delivered through recorded lectures, which the student may download, stream or play from a CD-ROM. Students may also be required to log into online discussion forums to converse in real-time with instructors and peers.
Online master's programs train student to design networks and create new technology. Students also have the opportunity to participate in high-tech research and establish relationships in the field.
This course presents students with information regarding the various types of cellular and wireless communications, as well as the specialized subgroups of each area. Concepts in high-speed radio communications are explored, including Wi-Fi, WiMAX, LTE, and cdma2000.
Students in this course receive in-depth instruction into the fundamental mathematical and physics theories that support telecommunications technology. These topics include attenuation, sine waves, calculus, trigonometric functions, logarithms, decibels, probability and physical units. Practical application of these concepts is also explored.
Wireless Network Design and Application
Analyzing, creating and maintaining wireless networks are the focus of this course. Other central concepts include network architecture, surveying, engineering and evaluation. Students also analyze troubleshooting techniques to develop and maintain wireless networks that perform on the optimum level.
Bachelor's holders may qualify for positions as computer systems analysts. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual mean wage for this occupation within the wired telecommunication carriers industry was $90,180 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov).
Students who graduate from a M.S. in Telecommunications Online degree program are eligible to be employed as a network and computer systems administrator. The BLS estimated that the employment rate for network and computer systems administrators would rise by 8%, as fast as the average for all occupations, from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Those who were employed in this position within the wired telecommunications carriers industry earned an annual mean wage of $82,200, according to the BLS as of May 2015.
Certification and Continuing Education Information
Graduates of a master's degree program can continue their education through a Ph.D. program. A Ph.D. in Telecommunications and Networking degree program is available for students who want to attain the highest level of academic achievement for research and academia positions in telecommunications. These programs are typically offered on campus.
Certification in the field of telecommunications is available through the International Association for Radio, Telecommunications and Electromagnetics, Inc (iNARTE). Certifications are also available in wireless systems installation, electromagnetic compatibility, electrostatic discharge control and product safety.
Online programs are available at the bachelor's and master's degree levels in telecommunications. These programs delve into the world of electronic communications, including wireless, broadband, television, radio, podcasts and landline delivery systems.