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Degree Overview: Bachelor Degree Programs in Electronic and Computer Communications

Majors Overview February 9, 2015

Degrees specifically designed for electronic and computer communications are not offered; alternatively, those still interested can look into Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Computer Engineering, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Telecommunications Engineering, or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Electronics and Computer Engineering programs.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Programs in Computer Engineering

Students enrolled in computer engineering programs can expect to become adept at designing, configuring, and testing computer hardware, in addition to grasping the mode of manufacture of computer hardware. Network systems and embedded hardware are also covered in the curriculum.

Programs typically start with rudimentary electronics theory followed by its application in signals processing and digital computing. Computer engineering majors are also taught about data processing, operating systems, and programming.

Once they complete this study, graduates can seek entry-level jobs as a process or quality control engineer in computer hardware manufacturing plants. Communications companies may also hire these experts.

Coursework

Electronics subjects, such as electronic circuit design, troubleshooting, and fabrication, begin the program coursework within computer engineering programs. Students can apply this study, in addition to coursework in data structures and signals processing, in a senior project, wherein students can showcase their skills and knowledge in the field. Coursework may also include these subject areas:

•Microprocessors
•Operating systems
•System architecture
•Math for engineers
•Software engineering

Job and Wage Outlook

In May 2012, computer hardware engineers banked an average annual wage of $100,920; wages ranged from $65,000 to over $150,000 was earned respectively by the bottom ten percent and the top ten percent of these professionals (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

A job growth rate of seven percent has been predicted for computer engineers over the 2010 – 2020 decade. The increase is expected to be driven by the increasing demand for contract engineers (rather than employees) by hardware manufacturers. Employers expect candidates to hold at least a four-year degree.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Programs in Telecommunications Engineering

Students enrolled in telecommunications engineering programs can complete them in online or on-campus formats and can expect to become adept at creating telecommunications infrastructure and communications networks. Coursework includes lab experiences devised to give students a chance to work with telecommunications test software and equipment.

Graduates can seek entry-level jobs as telecommunications, field service, or software engineers, service analysts, data communications professionals, and network managers. They can also aim to become sales representatives in communications firms.

Coursework

Electronics coursework includes switches, data transmission, networking technologies, and signals processing. Communications transmission labs are also completed by students that are taught about numerous kinds of signals and how to transmit them. Telecommunications engineering majors cover subject areas such as:

•Differential equations
•Telecommunications network planning
•Communication systems
•Network management

Job and Wage Outlook

A high job growth rate has been predicted for the wireless telecommunications industry and electrical and electronics engineers over the 2010 – 2020 decade. In May 2012, electronics engineers employed with wireless telecommunications carriers banked an average annual salary of $91,080 while those employed with wired telecommunications carriers took home an average annual wage of $83,470.

Employers prefer engineers with prior work experience and four-year degrees and also seek experts in telephony, computer programming, and fiber optic transmission. Computer systems software developers employed with wireless carriers are among the highest paid in the industry and bank an average annual salary of $114,790 (BLS).

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Programs in Electronics and Computer Engineering

Students enrolled in electronics and computer engineering programs are taught about the electronics theory behind computer and micro-processing hardware, including the rudiments of creating digital and analog circuits, in addition to general practices in electronics manufacturing.

Graduates can expect to become adept at creating their own computer and electronic hardware and can seek supervisory or quality control jobs in manufacturing plants. Graduates from the program commonly seek positions as process, controls, or test engineers.

Coursework

Coursework entails the exploration of technical communication, circuits, and digital electronics. This instruction is reinforced by lab work, wherein students are given the opportunity to test and build their own electronic circuits.

Students are taught via computer courses about creating and using software programs in resolving engineering problems in the field. Network maintenance and installation are also included in computer classes. Coursework may include these subject areas:

•Calculus
•Electronics testing
•Integrated circuits
•Microprocessors
•Digital controls

Job and Wage Outlook

In May 2012, electronics engineers banked an average annual salary of $89,630 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). A slower-than-average job growth rate of four percent has been predicted for all electrical and electronics engineers over the 2012 – 2022 decade. Employers prefer electronics engineers equipped with a bachelor’s degree.

The slow growth rate predicted is owed to the expectation that many manufacturing industries could witness a decline in the coming decade. Some growth is made possible by electronics and electrical engineers’ adaptation to new technologies and assistance in developing them.

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