Top Online Electronic Systems Technology Schools
Electronics systems power the gadgets, vehicle, machines and utilities that modern life depends on. The scale ranges from tiny consumer devices to enormous industrial systems. Engineers design these electronic systems, and skilled technicians keep them running.
Electronic systems technology schools help students pursue potential careers as electronics technicians or as electrical or electronic engineers. Professional certificates and degree programs at various levels are available for an array of specialties, from security alarm systems to wireless communications.
Comprehensive school rankings are not available at this time, but as of June 2012, Wall Street & Technology ranked the following institutions among "Wall Street's Top Technology Schools":
1. Carnegie Mellon University
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
3. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
4. Stanford University
5. Georgia Institute of Technology
Wall Street & Technology also awarded honorable mentions for technology programs at schools like these:
1. Brown University
2. Rice University
3. Stevens Institute of Technology
4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Technology students can choose from various specializations: computer networking, communications technologies, automotive electronics and more. Learn more about the wide range of courses available from online electronic schools.
Depending on the program, classes could include installation, maintenance and repair of electrical and electronic equipment for telecommunications, transportation, utilities and other industries. Potential subjects include standards and safety practices, wiring and installation, tools of the trade, and the properties of electricity. Courses may focus on one area, for example, satellite systems, audio-visual and home entertainment equipment, or remote monitoring systems.
For electrical and electronics installers and repairers, projections for employment growth vary by specialty, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov, 2012). The best opportunities are likely for applicants with a degree in electronics, professional certification or experience. The BLS expects up to 5 percent growth in the U.S. (between 2010 and 2020) for electric motor and power tool repair professionals as well as powerhouse, substation and relay electrical and electronics installers and repairers (BLS.gov, 2012).
The BLS reports national salary information for electrical and electronics repairers of commercial and industrial equipment: The median annual wage was $52,320 nationally in 2011 (BLS.gov, 2012).
For computer support specialists, the BLS forecasts up to 18 percent job growth nationally between 2010 and 2020, with a favorable outlook for applicants having a bachelor's degree and a technical background (BLS.gov, 2012). In 2011, computer support specialists earned a median annual wage of $47,660 nationally (BLS.gov, 2012).
Electrical or electronic engineering
Engineering coursework may explore digital systems design, differential equations, electrical circuit analysis, electromagnetics, semiconductors and the study of signals. Other classes may introduce computer programming languages, nanotechnology, and testing procedures and devices for electrical equipment. Programs may require laboratory studies and/or proctored exams in addition to online coursework.
For electrical and electronics engineers, the BLS expects a competitive job environment nationally, 2010-2020, with limited growth in manufacturing but expansion in fields related to mobile technology, like computer systems design and wireless telecommunications (BLS.gov, 2012). In 2011, electrical engineers earned a median annual wage of $85,920 nationally in the U.S., with the lowest 10 percent earning $54,710 nationally and the top 10 percent earning $131,660 nationally (BLS.gov, 2012). Electronics engineers (not including those in the computer industry) had median annual earnings of $91,500 nationally in 2011 (BLS.gov, 2012).
Learn more about online electronic schools
Prospective students seeking electronic systems technology schools can browse through academic programs and course descriptions. Online electronic schools allow students to work at their own pace, although hands-on laboratory experience may also be required. Institutions should be accredited by organizations that are approved by the U.S. Department of Education, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or both.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer Support Specialists (OES)
Wall Street & Technology (Wall Street's Top Technology Schools, 2012)