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Communications Technology Major

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Communications Technology

296 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
17 Master's Degrees Annually
#234 in Popularity
$52,430 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Communications Technology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many communications technology graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 296
Associate’s Degree 195
Basic Certificate 195
Undergraduate Certificate 141
Master’s Degree 17

What Communications Technology Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to communications tech and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Communications Tech Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

Skills for Communications Tech Majors

communications tech majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Abilities for Communications Tech Majors

As a communications tech major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

What Can You Do With a Communications Technology Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with communications tech:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Film and Video Editors 17.0% $62,650
Media and Communication Workers 10.0% $48,330
Sound Engineering Technicians 6.5% $52,390

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications Technology?

296 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
20% Percent Women
51% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 296 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications technology in 2018, making it rank #234 in popularity. This major tends to be male dominated. About 80% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of communications tech majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Communications Tech Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 8
Black or African American 64
Hispanic or Latino 68
White 121
International Students 13
Other Races/Ethnicities 22

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Communications Tech. About 4.4% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • India
  • Saudi Arabia
  • China
  • Mexico
  • Thailand

How Much Do Communications Technology Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in communications tech was $19,950 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $16,125 (25th percentile) and $23,775 (75th percentile).

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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a communications tech degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Communications Tech majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $46,770 to $63,500 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Communications Technology Major  ( 46770 to 63500 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with communications tech require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for communications tech careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 3.6%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 21.3%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 16.1%
Some College Courses 19.4%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 21.3%
Bachelor’s Degree 20.0%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.2%

Online Communications Technology Programs

In 2017-2018, 52 schools offered a communications tech program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 20 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 14 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 12 0
Bachelor’s Degree 3 0
Post-Baccalaureate 20 1
Master’s Degree 4 1
Post-Master’s 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Communications Technology Worth It?

The median salary for a communications tech grad is $52,430 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 31% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $250,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to communications tech.

Major Number of Grads
Audiovisual Communications 7,329
Graphic Communications 7,115
Other Communication Technology 381

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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