Radio broadcasting at the associate degree level provides students with opportunities for practical learning, including teaching students to develop radio voices and personalities, as well as improve their articulation skills. The program may also cover the fundamentals of various communication systems. Students might expand their radio performance and writing abilities in a bachelor's degree program. All programs give students the opportunity to gain practical experience through course projects or internships.
Electronics communications or electronics technology programs are available at the associate's degree level. Radio broadcasting programs are available at the associate's and bachelor's degree levels. Prerequisites for these programs are a high school diploma or equivalent, and completed coursework may benefit those entering higher-level programs.
Associate of Applied Science in Electronics Communications or Electronics Technology
One degree option for students interested in radio communication is an Associate of Applied Science in Electronics Communications or Electronics Technology. These programs give students practical, hands-on experience and fundamental knowledge of current transistors and receivers used in AM and FM network communication systems. Students develop critical-thinking and problem-solving abilities while looking at computer and communication networks from a practical, operational and functional standpoint. The goal of an associate's degree program is to prepare students for internships, entry-level positions in the industry or graduate education.
An associate's degree program curriculum combines general educational requirements in the arts, humanities and sciences as outlined by the college with courses specifically designed for the electronics communications or electronics technology major. Students take a practical, hands-on approach to theories and principles and attend lecture courses on the following topics:
- Fundamentals of circuitry
- AC and DC circuitry
- Network cabling
- Basic programming logic
- Soldering and cable assembly
- Digital circuitry
Associate of Applied Science in Radio Broadcasting
Another degree option for students interested in radio communication is an Associate of Applied Science in Radio Broadcasting. Radio broadcasting programs focus on the performance aspect of being a radio personality, historical perspective of broadcasting, and fundamentals of modern radio production. This program seeks to merge theory with practical application in the form of projects and/or internship opportunities. An associate degree program in radio broadcasting equips students with the knowledge or skills to seek internships, professional positions in the industry, or further education at the bachelor's degree level.
Students must complete some general educational requirements as outlined by the individual college or university as well as pre-determined introductory and advanced courses in the radio broadcasting major. The curriculum often includes an internship component. Some course topics include:
- Introduction to broadcasting and radio production
- Fundamentals of developing a radio personality
- Voice and articulation
- Historical overview of radio personalities
- Mass communications and radio broadcasting
- Multimedia and radio broadcasting
Bachelor's Degrees in Radio Broadcasting
Students can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting. This degree program teaches students the fundamentals of effectively communicating current events to the masses. The curriculum also addresses broadcasting and the media from a business, marketing and sociological standpoint. Courses stress mastery of on-air communication with contemporary and historical perspectives.
A bachelor's degree program blends core institutional educational requirements with introductory and advanced courses designed for the broadcasting major. Course projects, field experience and informative lectures are at the heart of the program. Lecture topics include:
- Media and contemporary society
- Advanced radio production
- Writing for the media
- Advanced theory in radio performance
- Ethical and legal issues in the media
Popular Career Options
Graduates often gravitate toward careers in radio communication across a variety of fields, such as communications, government or education. Many pursue internships or entry-level employment in broadcasting or communications. Because learned skills are applicable to a wide variety of occupations, job prospects should be good. Some popular jobs include:
- Radio transmitter repair
- Communication systems installation specialist
- Technical writer
- Radio production assistant
- Voice over artist
- Disc jockey
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for radio and television announcers is expected to show a 14% decline for the years 2014-2024. Radio and television announcers earned median annual wages of $30,960 in 2015.
Students can continue their study of radio broadcasting at the bachelor's degree level. Students often choose to continue studies at the bachelor's degree level, even though an associate's degree may be sufficient for some entry-level employment. A bachelor's degree often allows graduates to pursue a greater number of job opportunities. Moreover, while 4-year undergraduate programs in electronics communications or electronics technology are rare, students might consider a bachelor's degree program in a closely related area, such as communications or computer science. Employers often prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree.
Students with an interest in radio can choose from more technical associate's degrees or all-encompassing bachelor's degrees to pursue careers in areas such as radio production and systems installation. Hands-on field experience and internship opportunities will help student's gain the necessary skills to work in the field of radio communication.