Networking and telecommunications engineers and specialists are required to have a strong background in mathematics and computer science, which are completed in addition to any required general education courses. Networking engineers and telecommunications specialists must also interface with clients to provide computing solutions, so classes in communication, speech, and English are required to develop strong written and verbal communication skills. Technical networking and telecommunications training will include computer repair, local and wide area network design and implementation, networking and telecommunications hardware, systems administration, operating systems principles, wireless networks, internet protocols, and systems security and management. Networking and telecommunications schools require both traditional classroom courses as well as hands-on learning labs to provide practical work experience. Internships are also encouraged during undergraduate study to provide further job experience before graduation.
Popular career choices for graduates with networking and telecommunications degrees include network engineer or network architect, telecommunications network engineers, network and telecommunications systems administrators, computer systems analysts, and telecommunications specialists. Employers prefer graduates with four-year degrees from accredited networking and telecommunications schools. Accredited schools ensure that the training received meets industry standards. Although certification is optional, employers prefer applicants with systems-specific certifications or security credentials. Many programs provide training for completion of certification exams. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for network engineers and telecommunication systems administrators will grow 28% through 2020, which is more than double the estimate for all occupations.