What Is Communication System Design?

A communication system design professional is knowledgeable in electrical engineering, computers and telecommunications. If you find sound, data and picture transmission interesting, perhaps pursuing a career in communication system design is right for you. Schools offering Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Communication System Design Defined

Communication systems are the networks that connect one technology to another. These networks can be both analog and digital. Some common communication systems that you might be familiar with include broadband or wireless networks, local area networks (LANs) or wide area networks (WANs), amplitude modulation (AM) radio and frequency modulation (FM) radio. Communication systems are connected together through cables, wires, antennas or electromagnetic waves. Designers of communication systems may be trained in electrical engineering, electronics engineering or a related discipline.

Important Facts About Careers in Communications System Design

Work EnvironmentsEngineering servicing firms, manufacturing facilities, federal government offices
ConcentrationsResearch and Development (R&D), defense/military, commercial technology, telecommunications
Key SkillsDesign, maintenance procedures, development of test plans, analyzing system requirements
Similar OccupationsMechanical engineering, information technology (IT) specialist, aerospace engineering, engineering technicians

Career Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment for electrical engineers is projected to grow 5% from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov), while jobs for electronics engineers is expected to grow by just 3%. Much of this slow growth is due to a decline in manufacturing and to companies that employ contract workers rather than hire their own engineers. The BLS said employment of computer hardware engineers is expected to grow by 7% during this period. That occupation would be impacted by the drop in manufacturing, but was less likely to suffer from outsourcing of their jobs.

Career Requirements

Communication system designers should have an exceptional aptitude for math and science. You must be able to solve problems creatively and think inquisitively. The minimum educational requirement for holding an entry-level position in this field is a bachelor's degree from an accredited engineering program. You might find a master's degree is needed, particularly for management positions or for staying current with new technologies. Courses often include circuit design, signal processing, communications systems and programming languages.

Licensure

While not required, licensure for electrical and electronics engineers is encouraged, especially for those who work with government contracts. The licensure process includes passage of the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, completion of four years of supervised experience and passage of the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam. Depending on the state in which you're employed, you may be required to earn continuing education credits to maintain licensure.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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