Careers in Communications Technology
Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in communications technology. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary and education information.
What Are Career Options for Communications Technology Graduates?
Communications technology professionals perform tests to diagnose problems with computers, as well as help organizations maintain computer systems. They also help customers via telephone with technical issues. Some possible job options in this field include a computer user support specialist, computer systems administrator, and a telecommunications equipment installer, all of which will require proficient knowledge of computers. Computer support specialists diagnose problems with computer and internet connections and help users solve issues they may be having, as well as perform routine maintenance on computer networks to ensure they function properly. Computer systems administrators evaluate a company's existing computer systems, installing new technology as needed and training employees in how to use this hardware and software. Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers activate devices that carry electronic signals over distances, repairing and maintaining them as needed in residential, public, and private areas, explaining how to use them to their clients.
The table below outlines the general requirements for these career options.
|Computer Support Specialist||Computer Systems Administrator||Telecommunications Equipment Installer|
|Degree Required||Varies; some computer knowledge, associate's, or bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree usually required||Post-secondary education, or associate's degree|
|Education Field of Study||Computer science, information science||Computer science, computer engineering||Electronics, telecommunications, computer technology|
|Key Responsibilities||Troubleshoot internet systems, conduct regular maintenance on networks||Install hardware and software, train new users of hardware and software, evaluate what systems an organization needs||Install telecommunication equipment, replace broken equipment, evaluate new equipment to ensure functionality|
|Job Growth (2018-2028)||10%*||5%*||-6%*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$50,980 (for computer user support specialists)*||$82,050*||$56,100*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Jobs Can I Choose From in Communications Technology?
As a graduate of a bachelor's degree program in communications technology, you might find work as a computer support specialist. You could work on the technical end of the job, performing tests to diagnose problems, as well as regularly maintaining an organization's computer system. Another option is taking a position as a technician or installer of telecommunications systems, including wireless devices, telephones, cable TV services, and the Internet.
If you'd like to design and implement computer systems for a business, government entity, or other organization, you might choose to work as a network or systems administrator. As such, you would set up and maintain local and wide area networks, as well as Internet and intranet networks. If you're more interested in computerized methods to store and organize a group's data, in addition to finding the best ways to analyze and use said information, you might choose a career in database administration.
What Education Do I Need?
A bachelor's degree program in information and communications technology or a related field, such as electronics and communications engineering technology, can prepare you for a position in the field. Your studies are likely to focus on network design and security, data communications, and communications cabling. You also might take courses in wireless networking, e-commerce, Internet business technology, management, and satellite communications.
How Much Could I Earn?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that computer user support specialists earned a median annual salary of $50,980 as of May 2018, and telecommunications equipment installers and repairers made $56,100 (www.bls.gov). At the same time, network and computer systems administrators earned a median wage of $82,050 per year, while database administrators brought in $90,070.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Computer network architects create long and short range computer networks to ease communication between users and improve efficiency. Computer programmers write and edit code that instructs computers and software applications how to function when used. Computer systems analysts study the existing computer systems of an organization, offering solutions to information technology problems and recommending changes to current procedures in order to maximize efficiency within the company. All of these careers will require a bachelor's degree.