Online Telecommunications Degree Programs

Telecommunication covers a wide range of technologies used to transmit data, from television, cable and satellite to wired or mobile telephones and the Internet. It also provides the basis for a number of different careers and degree programs. For instance, some professionals install and maintain telecommunications systems, while others might specialize in a telecommunications discipline, such as engineering or management. In either case, the right training can help one perform their job responsibilities more effectively. Oftentimes, that training starts with a formal education.

Telecommunications Technology

Spotlight: Telecommunications Degree Programs

The College Board lists a number of different telecommunications majors available for those interested in communication technologies. Some are more technical, focusing on installation and maintenance, while others are more communications- or business-oriented. Here are a few examples of majors available in the field:

  • Telecommunications management - According to The College Board, telecommunications management majors specialize in designing, implementing and managing voice, video and data networking systems. They typically study telecommunications technologies and concepts, as well as regulations, policies and general business practices that impact the field. Telecommunications management degrees are often offered at the bachelor's and graduate levels.
  • Telecommunications engineering - Telecommunications engineering majors generally learn how to maintain and repair devices that transmit data. Coursework may include computer networking, circuits and fiber optics. The College Board states that telecommunications engineering students often move on to graduate degree programs.
  • Telecommunications technology - This major strives to teach students the technical skills necessary to design, build and install telecommunications systems, such as wireless networks and telephones. Data networking, programming, and digital signal processing are all examples of topics commonly found in this concentration. As noted by The College Board, schools generally offer degree in telecommunications technology program at the associate and/or certificate level.
  • Telecommunications - Some colleges also offer general programs in telecommunications, covering such aspects of the field as broadcast journalism and online media. These programs may help students gain the skills needed to work in production, broadcast journalism, sales or electronic media.

These majors may vary in specialty and scope. Interested students can learn more about specific programs by contacting prospective schools directly.

Potential Careers for Telecommunications Majors

Telecommunications careers span a variety of disciplines, ranging from highly technical to more vocational occupations. The following are examples of careers one could pursue with a telecommunications degree, along with recent data on career and education trends from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

  • Telecommunications equipment installer or repairer - As their title suggests, telecommunications equipment installers and repairers -- sometimes called telecom technicians -- set up and maintain telecommunications devices and equipment, such as telephone lines or Internet cables. These professionals typically need some postsecondary education in electronics, computer technology, or telecommunications. Some employers require an associate degree for positions such as headend and central office technicians, while others require industry certification.
  • Broadcast or sound engineering technician - Broadcast and sound engineering technicians set up, run and maintain equipment used for concerts, radio and television broadcasts and sound recordings. Specific responsibilities depend on one's specialty. For example, sound or recording mixers produce soundtracks for films or television programs, while transmission engineers supervise other technicians and maintain broadcasting equipment. Education requirements also vary by specialty. According to the BLS, most broadcast technicians need an associate degree, whereas sound engineering technicians may only need a non-degree postsecondary certificate or award for entry-level work.

Students can learn more about any of these careers by visiting the BLS online. Those looking for information on specific telecommunications degree programs should contact prospective schools directly to speak with an admissions adviser.

"Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/broadcast-and-sound-engineering-technicians.htm
"Major: Telecommunications Engineering," The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/engineering-electrical-electronics-communications-engineering-telecommunications-engineering
"Major: Telecommunications Management," The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/business-telecommunications-management
"Major: Telecommunications Technology," The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/engineering-technologies-telecommunications-technology
"Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers Except Line Installers," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/telecommunications-equipment-installers-and-repairers-except-line-installers.htm

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