Telecommunications programs can lead to careers in a variety of industries, such as information technology and broadcast media. Programs at different degree levels lead to different jobs.
Schools with Telecommunications Degree Programs
The schools below offer a certificate or higher in telecommunications or related fields, such as computer networking:
|College/Institution||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*|
|Pennsylvania State University||University Park, PA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$17,514 (in-state), $31,346 (out-of-state)|
|San Joaquin Delta College||Stockton, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$1,104 (in-state), $6,312 (out-of-state)|
|Valencia College||Orlando, FL||4-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$2,474 (in-state), $9,383 (out-of-state)|
|Baker College||Flint, MI||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Associate's||$8,640|
|St John's University||Queens, NY||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Associate's, Bachelor's||$38,680|
|St. Petersburg College||Clearwater, FL||4-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's, Bachelor's||$3,352 (in-state), $11,607 (out-of-state)|
|State University of New York - Orange||Middletown, NY||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$5,128 (in-state), $9,614 (out-of-state)|
|Weber State University||Ogden, UT||4-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's, Bachelor's||$5,321 (in-state), $14,235 (out-of-state)|
|Anoka-Ramsey Community College||Coon Rapids, MN||2-year, Public||Associate's||$5,022|
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
When choosing a school, students interested in obtaining a degree in telecommunications should consider the following:
- Some programs emphasize the technical aspects of the field, while others focus on communications-related topics like policy and law. Prospective students can choose between them based on their interests in the field.
- When considering schools that include internship options or requirements, students should find out where they take place to make sure that they gain experience in a setting in which they might one day hope to work, such as a large company or an engineering firm.
- Since the field is so broad, prospective students who want to enroll in a research-focused PhD program should check to make sure that there are faculty members at the school with whom they share research interests, ads they may act as thesis advisors in the future.
- It can be helpful for students to get information about the school's computer laboratories in order to ensure that students gain experience working with the latest hardware and software.
Undergraduate certificate programs in telecommunications are available for students who want to pursue entry-level jobs as network administrators. Students take basic courses in computer programming and network management, and they gain hands-on experience with telecommunications technology installation and maintenance. In total, these programs typically take one year or less to complete.
Associate's Degree Programs
The curriculum of associate's degree programs in telecommunications and computer networking technology is similar to that of undergraduate certificate programs, but students must also fulfill general education requirements. They may also complete an internship in industry. Associate's degree programs take two years of full-time study to complete.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
At the bachelor's degree level, some programs focus more specifically on the technological and engineering aspects of the field, while others emphasize the media and social aspects of telecommunications technologies in today's society. In telecommunications engineering programs, students not only learn how to implement and service computer networks, but also how to design new types of telecommunications technologies. In telecommunication media studies programs, students learn about telecommunications technology and information systems, but they also take courses in law, policy, culture and history as they related to large-scale communications systems.
Master's Degree Programs
Master's degree programs in telecommunications are highly interdisciplinary. Students take advanced courses in computer science and engineering alongside classes in business management, legal considerations and the political implications of growth in this field. Graduates are prepared for leadership positions as network administrators or systems managers. At some schools, students may be able to choose a concentration in a topic such as security. In total, master's degree programs take two years to complete.
Doctoral Degree Programs
In PhD in Telecommunications programs, students choose a particular topic of interest within this broad field in which to conduct advanced research. For instance, they may be able to focus their studies on an economic or political aspect of the industry, or they may investigate engineering problems relating to broadband networking, wireless networks or cyber security. These programs culminate in a final, publishable dissertation, and graduates may go on to work as university professors or assume top-level positions in the telecommunications industry.
Obtaining a degree in telecommunications can prepare you for a number of career paths, so choosing the right program for your interests is vital. From an associate's degree in computer networking to a Ph.D. in the field, there is a school and degree program that can help you achieve your personal goals.