Associate in Telecommunications
What is an Associate in Telecommunications?
Associate degrees are college programs which provide students introductory level training in a variety of topics. They are meant to serve as stepping stones into an industry at an entry-level position. An associate in telecommunications is a degree specific to this industry. Students will spend two years – the typical duration of associate degrees – learning more about the way this industry works and the skills needed to enter it.
Students can use this degree to learn about areas such as broadband telecommunications and electronics telecommunications. They can also opt for more generic degree programs in telecommunications to get a holistic sense of the field.
How can I enroll in these programs?
An Associate in telecommunications program is open to all high school graduates. Being in good academic standing, and having some background in physics and mathematics can help students understand the concepts involved. Additionally, having some experience with programming is beneficial, but not a concrete requirement.
What will I learn?
Coursework is split into mandatory and optional – called electives – components. Students will be able to diversify their learning experience by taking elective courses reflecting their professional goals. The course spread is designed to help students understand how telecommunication systems work. They will also help students understand how to plan a telecommunication network, and see it through to implementation. Some courses will also inform students of the ways to secure networks from hacking or any negative influence, and ensure that data transmission is efficient and free of distortion.
Some of the topics covered also include electrical circuits and radio frequency equipment systems. These help students learn the electrical component that goes into setting up a communication grid within a region.
Why is this field relevant?
An associate in telecommunications program will help students understand the fundamentals of such networks. Given the rate at which technology is advancing, the load on these networks is increasing. People rely on them for voice communication, video-calling, SMS, and even internet connectivity. There is a need for competent professionals who can develop strong set-ups to effectively handle the increased volume of data being exchanged between users. From setting up to maintenance and repair, this degree is quite important in the field.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted an average growth of 15 percent in this field between 2010 and 2020. Individuals with an associate's degree in telecommunication can become equipment installers and repairers, earning an average salary of $51,410 according to the May 2012 BLS report. Employers range from government telecommunication companies to private corporations looking for an internal network setup for communication and data transfer.
Alternatively, it is possible for students to enroll in undergraduate programs in engineering, computer science or information science. These fields complement the courses learned in the associate program, and increase the job opportunities in the professional world. It also allows students to assume more senior positions in the workplace. Degrees are also available at the graduate level, allowing students a chance to further their knowledge.