Technology drives nearly every aspect of our daily lives in both obvious and more subtle ways.
At work, computers and information technology systems help us stay productive while we do our jobs.
And when we’re off the clock, our devices let us stream music and movies, browse social media, and communicate with far-flung friends; video game systems and TVs offer even more outlets for entertainment.
Keeping this technology optimized and running smoothly requires the specialized expertise of trained professionals: technological troubleshooters who stay up to date with current systems and trends.
It’s no surprise then that workers with strong IT skills are in high demand: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these industries are poised to grow 13% by 2026 and add an impressive 557,100 new jobs.
For those looking to get into this booming profession, an associate degree in electronics and computer technology at Eastwick College in Nutley can open the door to a wide range of valuable career paths.
What courses do students in the electronics and computer technology program take?
For those on a full-time track, the associate degree takes 18 months of day classes to complete. The part-time track takes 24 months to finish, via evening classes.
Students take a combination of lecture and lab classes throughout the program, starting with several semesters of coursework covering basic and advanced electronics theory and PC technology.
Later in the program, students start taking more specialized courses in communication electronics and mobile technology, computer security, computer networking and servers, fiber optics, and digital technology.
Alternating classroom work with hands-on, immersive experiences reinforces the information that’s being taught and helps students learn the material faster.
The associate degree program prepares students for life outside of school.
Students in the electronics and computer technology associate degree program are also prepared for a number of industry certifications, helping to expand their career opportunities after graduation.
Students looking to specialize in computer or network support can pursue A+, Network+ and Security+ certifications through CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association). Those interested in high-speed communications can obtain the Certified Fiber Optic Technician certification from the Fiber Optic Association.
Graduates interested in electronics can pursue all four of the certification exams offered within the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians’ Electronics Systems Associate program: DC, AC, semiconductor and digital.
Having these certifications makes students more attractive candidates as they begin their job search after graduation.
What is the jobs outlook for these degree-holders?
Students who graduate from the associate degree program are prepared to become entry-level electronics and computer technology technicians.
Through their coursework, they’ve learned how to install and maintain the electronic and computer systems in equipment found in the medical, navigational and telecommunications fields.
Thanks to the technical and challenging nature of this work — and the proliferation of technology — these occupations are growing.
For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there will be approximately 16,400 more computer network support specialist jobs available in 2026, an increase of 8%. (Electrical and electronics engineering technicians are facing more modest growth, as there will be almost 3,000 more jobs in this field in 2026 than there were in 2016.)
These positions also pay well. The median annual salary for computer network support specialists in May 2018 was $62,770 per year, while electrical and electronics engineering technicians were paid slightly more during that time frame, as their median wage was $64,330.
Both of these figures are well above the May 2018 median overall wage of all workers, $38,640.
The New York-New Jersey metro area is a particularly good place to be working in both jobs. As of May 2018, the mean wage of a computer network support specialist in the region was $86,100, the second-highest salary in the entire U.S., while electrical and electronics engineering technicians took home $70,970.
Obtaining an associate degree in electronics and computer technology takes hard work and time. However, those who have an aptitude for STEM subject matter and a strong work ethic will find a career that’s steady, lucrative and intellectually challenging.
The associate degree program in electronics and computer technology at Eastwick College in Nutley prepares students for entry-level electronics and computer technology technician jobs via a combination of rigorous coursework and hands-on lab training. Call the admissions office at 201-989-1131 to learn more about why earning an advanced degree in this field can lead to an exciting and fulfilling career.