Communication Engineering

Communication Engineering

Degrees offered: B.E /B.Tech, B.Voc., Dual Degree, M.E /M.Tech., M.S, Ph.D

What is Communication Engineering

Communication engineering deals with various systems like navigation, telephony, radar, satellites, and television etc. Today it is possible for us to communicate right away with a person who is thousands of miles away just by pressing a few buttons of the telephone; we can get instant access to the weather report of the whole universe from the satellites orbiting the earth, we can identify an enemy aircraft incoming in our area through the air route with the support of radar. All of this has become possible due to communication system engineering.

A communication engineer’s role is to carry out information transfer, research, designing, development, and be involved in the construction of communication equipment. A communication engineering course prepares students for any type of need like finding solutions to problems in network design, mobile communications, internet protocols, and networking protocols. The programme, therefore, helps them to execute the important duties of a communication engineer successfully.

At the postgraduate level, communication engineering is offered as a separate study discipline. Students who graduate in electrical engineering (EE), electronics and telecommunication engineering (ECT), computer science and technology, and other related disciplines can apply for this course. It is a specialisation taught in most bachelor’s degree programmes. Five-year courses usually require internships and apprenticeships. In the era of globalization, communication is a key aspect of resourcefulness. Hence, excellent career opportunities for communication engineering aspirants with prospects for higher earnings are increasing gradually.

Communication Engineering Courses- Degrees and Levels: 

Diploma level (3-years courses)- A diploma in communication engineering can be done after passing class 10 boards. The course furnishes students with basic skills in communication technology for performing fresher-level jobs in the industry.  Candidates can opt for following options:

  • Diploma in Electrical and Communication Engineering

  • Diploma in Electronics and Communication Engineering

  • Diploma in Telecommunication Engineering

Undergraduate level (4-year courses)

Postgraduate level (2-year courses) 

  • M.Tech or M.E. in Communication Engineering

  • M.Tech or M.E. in Communication System

  • M.Tech or M.E. in Electrical and Communication Engineering

  • M.Tech or M.E. in Telecommunication Engineering

  • M.Tech or M.E. in Electronics and Communication Engineering

  • M.Tech in Wireless Communication

  • M.Tech in Signal Processing

Integrated course awarding dual degree (5-year course): These are specialised communication engineering courses that provide a dual degree (i.e. BS + MS) to a student on his successful completion of the tenure. It offers specialisation in a sub field of communication engineering.

Postgraduate level (research-based): Master of Science in communication engineering or correlated fields can be attained later a post-graduate level research theory is done with least course work. The admissibility for registering in this postgrad degree course is the completion in any outlet having importance in communication engineering.

Doctoral programme (research-based): PhD with a specialist in communication engineering and interrelated extents can be attained only after scripting an innovative research thesis in that specific field. This is characteristically followed if an individual is zealous about research in developments of communication structures. An applicant must struggle to secure a position in a communications engineering college under the central university guidelines, in order to acquire a doctoral degree.

Communication Engineering: Maximum and Minimum Duration

  1. Diploma level: This course can be pursued after passing class 10 and boards. Diplomas are usually of 3 years duration, minimum. When pursued after class 12 it has a duration of 2 years.

  2. Undergraduate level: Graduation requires at least 4 years to complete.

  3. Postgraduate level: M.Tech. or M.S. Communications Engineering/ Communication Systems/ Electronics and Telecommunication is a 2 years programme, generally following the semester structure, i.e. a total of four semesters. This comprises certain milestones set separately for project work and research work.

  4. Dual degree: The combined degree is for usually 5 years.

  5. Postgraduate level (research-based): This is a research-intensive programme the duration of which is based upon the progress made by a scholar in his scientific research and publication. It typically takes 3 years to complete an M.S degree.

  6. Doctoral programme (research-based): This is out and out a research-oriented programme that can take 7-8 years to complete. A minimum of 3 years is required to complete a PhD programme in communication engineering. The duration, however, depends on the research circumstances, research advisor, challenges faced and the progress made.   

Eligibility Criteria (UG & PG) of Communication Engineering

The eligibility for the diploma course is qualifying 10+2 board examination in science stream with an aggregate of 70%. The candidate must have studied English as one of the subjects in class 10. For the undergraduate level, a minimum eligibility criterion of passing a 10+2 in the science stream is required. Moreover, candidates are also required to successfully qualify either of the relevant JEE exam or institute level entrance examination for admission in the respective course. Few of the communication engineering courses have the eligibility criteria of securing 60% in class 10 and 12 from a recognised board. Lateral entry or admission in the second year is also available for candidates who have completed a diploma degree in communications engineering.

The eligibility criteria for postgraduate courses include graduation with either a B. Tech or B.E degree. It is mandatory for the candidate to have a minimum of 60% marks (first-class) or 6.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) (out of 10.0) in the degree level from a UGC or AICTE approved institute. Maximum state institutes have the minimum eligibility criteria of an undergraduate (B.E./B.Tech) degree in communications engineering. The IITs have an added eligibility criterion of a valid GATE score, which is relaxed for those who have qualified their B.Tech from an IIT securing a CGPA of more than 8.0 out of 10. The selection procedure in a communications engineering postgraduate level course normally involves a written examination along with an interview thereafter. Direct admission to the course is offered to only those graduates whose score lies within a specifically high percentile range. But even they are given the choice of declining this in favour of sitting for the admission test so that they can opt for other specialisations. Other applicants must appear for a separate written test held by a particular institution.

Candidates wishing to apply for doctoral studies need to fulfil the following minimum eligibility criteria:

  • Post-graduation (M.Sc./ M.Tech.) in communications engineering or related stream, completed from a recognised university.

  • A minimum aggregate score of 60% at the level of post-graduation.

Most colleges and universities offering communication engineering courses admit students on the basis of their performance in the relevant entrance exam followed by counseling and interview. The admission process, thereafter, varies from institute to institute. A candidate who has cleared GATE is given more preference during admission. The cutoff percentage in the entrance exam is relaxed for candidates belonging to the SC/ST/PwD category. 

Admission Criteria for Communications Engineering after Class 12

The applicants must qualify the specific entrance examinations in order to enroll themselves in the course, apart from passing class 12. Different academies/universities agree to take scores of diverse entrance examinations for both UG and PG courses. Cited below is the details of the entrance examinations for communications engineering.

Entrance Examinations for Communication Engineering:

Entrance exams vary on the basis of the level one aspires to gain admission into. The admission for diploma course is carried out solely on the basis of the merit list.  For undergraduate communications and engineering courses, the score of the JEE Main is considered valid by most colleges and universities. The JEE Advanced is for getting admission in the IITs. Other private institutes like Vellore Institute of Technology, Birla Institute of Technology etc., conduct personal entrance exams like BITSAT, COMEDK, VITEEE, SRMJEEE, and UPSEE. Once a candidate has completed that, he can choose to enroll himself in any of the institutes offering communications engineering courses. One can even choose to do certificate courses from CISCO such as CCENT and CCNA.

Various engineering colleges in India also offer direct admission to ITI diploma holders in the second year of the communications engineering course. There are also some entrance exams for diploma holders which are called lateral entry entrance exams.  For postgraduate programmes, the major entrance exam is the GATE the score of which is used by almost all reputed colleges including IITs.

In a few private colleges, direct admission through management quota is also available while in most of the colleges, they have strict selection criteria for a communication engineering course. Government engineering colleges, for instance, do not provide direct admission. For taking admission in one of the IITs, NITs, and IISC, getting a valid GATE score is the only option 

Fees and Expenses of Communication Engineering Courses

  1. Diploma level: The total course fee falls in the range of Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 1,00,000. Many government and private colleges offer this course as well.

  2. Undergraduate level: It is typically between Rs.60,000 and Rs.10,00,000 for the 4 years of the programme. However, it varies from institute to institute.

  3. Postgraduate and research: The fee is often lower compared to most of the undergraduate courses. In some cases, especially in government colleges, the GATE-qualified scholars get a stipend of approximately Rs. 12000 per month. The fee, otherwise, ranges from Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 1,15,000 for the 2-year course. The MS and PhD students of communications engineering are also eligible to get a stipend ranging from Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 45,000 per month. 

Scope of Communication Engineering in India and Abroad

With greater advancements in modern technology and with the establishment of telecommunications standards, India has seen a rise in demand for communication engineers from the past. Opportunities in large numbers exist for communication engineers in the telephone and mobile communication, radio and television and IT and ITES sectors. Companies manufacturing consumer electronics goods and communication devices need qualified communication engineers in all their organisational levels- right from the R&D lab and workshop to the marketing and management. Exceptionally talented people with advanced degrees in communication engineering can also find jobs in space research agencies as researchers, engineers, and technicians. In academics,  work opportunities await for researchers, lecturers and professors.

Apart from that, this course also provides brilliant career opportunities with big multinational companies like Sony, Toshiba, Nokia, Ericson etc. These companies with offices in multiple locations across the world pick fresh graduate engineers from the campuses and place them in various entry-level positions. The electronics part makes a telecommunication engineer an all-rounder and a competitor for software-oriented jobs or IT jobs too. That has widened the spectrum of opportunities for a communication engineer in India as well as abroad. 

Course Fees Communication Engineering

Minimum Fees Maximum Fees
Private Government Private Government
6.71 Lakhs
Dual Degree in Communication Engineering at Shanmugha Arts Science Technology Research and Academy, Thanjavur
2.14 Lakhs
Dual Degree in Communication Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur
14.91 Lakhs
B.E /B.Tech in Communication Engineering at Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneswar
2.14 Lakhs
Dual Degree in Communication Engineering at Indian Institute of Technology Jodhpur
19.98 K
M.E /M.Tech. in Communication Engineering at NSS College of Engineering, Palakkad
7.90 K
M.E /M.Tech. in Communication Engineering at LD College of Engineering, Ahmedabad
8.77 Lakhs
M.E /M.Tech. in Communication Engineering at Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani
3.50 Lakhs
M.E /M.Tech. in Communication Engineering at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi

Course Subjects

Basic subjects taught at the undergraduate level of a communication engineering course are as follows:

  • Professional communication

  • Environmental studies

  • Fundamentals of mechanical engineering

  • Engineering mathematics 

  • Engineering chemistry

  • Fundamentals of electrical engineering

  • Technical communication

  • Fundamentals of electronics engineering

  • Fundamentals of computer

  • Engineering drawing

  • Probability and random process

  • Solid-state electronic circuits

  • Transforms and boundary value

  • Problems

  • Transmission line theory and

  • Network analysis

  • Signals & systems

  • Analog integrated circuits

  • Electron devices

  • Discrete mathematics

  • Telecommunication switching methods

  • Rf microcontroller design and interfacing

  • Digital communication principles

  • Microwave radio & optical fibre communications

  • Antenna theory & rf propagation

  • Data communication networks

  • Digital design and modelling using HDL

  • Spread spectrum and multicarrier techniques

  • Wireless & cellular telecommunications

  • Broadband communications

  • Multimedia signal processing

  • Two projects

  • Elective

  • Industrial training

  • Foreign language

Some of the important subjects taught in the communication engineering postgraduate level are:

  • Linear operators and generalized functions

  • Detection and estimation

  • Probability and stochastic processes

  • Microwave circuits

  • Microwave and MIC laboratory

  • Advanced digital signal processing

  • Analogue

  • VLSI

  • High-speed communication networks

  • Digital signal processing structures for VLSI

  • Wavelength signal processing

  • Designing with ASICS

  • RF Mems

  • Smart antennas

  • Advanced digital communication

  • Optical communication systems

  • Broadband wireless technologies

  • Spectral analysis of signals

  • Advanced techniques for wireless reception

  • WDM optical networks

  • Digital communication receivers

  • Mixed-signal circuit design

  • Analysis and design of planar transmission lines

One must note that these are only representative lists of subjects. The exact lists may vary from college to college.

Careers in Communication Engineering

Communication engineers can choose between administrative or different technical roles and those who enhance their skill in this arena can also choose to work as advisors or consultants on an agreement basis. Their work comprises the contribution to technical support, handling/working with a crew of engineer’s commission on surveys of different sites, testing structures, designing/adjusting designs, writing reports etc. Many posts in this field comprise handling of both administrative as well as technical errands. Communication engineers can pursue employment in the following domains:

  1. Technical services companies- This sector includes companies which have operations in legal, accounting, architectural, engineering, scientific and technical consulting services.

  2. Government departments- Communication engineers can seek employment in jobs at PSUs or work in DRDO, ISRO, and BARC etc.

  3. Equipment manufacturers and installers of communication devices/systems- Communication engineers have a favourable workplace in central offices or electronic service centres.

  4. Transport providers- Communication engineers also work with transport providers and help in forecasting the impact of new developments, write reports for planning authorities, and analyze and interpret the data gathered from transport studies.

Job Profiles and Top Recruiters

Some of the coveted job profiles offered in the communication engineering industry are as follows: 

  1. Electronics engineer: They conceptualise the design of an electronic equipment and develop a prototype of it. They play an important role in broadcast and communication system designing and developing devices fitted with Global Positioning System (GPS).

  2. Field test engineer: Their duties usually include inspecting and installing equipment and new technologies, directing crews of workers on-site, conducting research, and reporting on project status.

  3. Network planning engineer: They play a significant role in the maintenance of an internal and external network of an organisation. Their job is to help to plan the complete set-up of the network for an organisation to meet their satisfaction level.

  4. Electronics and communications engineer: Their job is to produce new innovations and developments in telecommunications, robotics, computing hardware, and power and electrical equipment.

  5. R&D engineer: They take leadership of projects in development, managing all team members assigned to projects to keep them moving forward on schedule. R&D engineers design detailed project plans with engineering, manufacturing, and sales and marketing teams to manage all aspects of product development and production.

  6. Service engineer: They are responsible for the maintenance of various types of machinery used in large industries. They are also known as field service engineers or even maintenance engineers.

  7. Consulting systems engineer: They organise, install, and support an organisation's computer systems, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), network segments, intranets, and other data communication systems.

  8. Design manager: Their job is coordinating the design work and to get the team involved in the entire system designing process.

  9. Senior communication services engineer: Such a person is responsible for resolving escalated service issues, coaching other engineers to resolutions, engineering and implementing complex projects, and for maintaining and overseeing the technology of their assigned accounts.

  10. Scientist: The title role of a scientist is very diverse from that of an engineering role, it involves one to work on different research developments that deliver outputs that can be further taken up by businesses and collaborators. It involves a doctoral degree or a postgraduate research practice, the problems resolved by researchers are frequently very new problems that have never been solved.

  11. Professor/lecturer: This job is characteristically appropriate for people who have completed their doctoral study is that of a professor or lecturer. In an academic atmosphere, the part is tasked with schooling college and also university students.

  12. Analyst: An analyst gathers information from various users, customers, and business or marketing tacticians. Based on this data, the analyst preserves a system’s network by monitoring performance and making deviations based on the data size or user quantity requirements.

Here are some reputed firms which hire communication engineers at various levels:

  1. BEL

  2. DMRC

  3. Siemens

  4. Texas Instruments

  5. Intel

  6. Nvidia

  7. Philips Electronics

  8. Motorola

  9. Samsung

  10. Conexant and Flextronics

  11. DRDO

  12. ISRO

  13. Infosys

  14. TCS

  15. Wipro

  16. Accenture

  17. HCL Technologies

  18. Tech Mahindra

  19. Cognizant

  20. GAIL

  21. Accenture

  22. ONGC

  23. Tata Motors

  24. Bajaj

  25. BHEL

  26. Rail Communication Systems

  27. Atomic Energy Commission

  28. Central Electronics Limited

  29. Hindustan Aeronautics

  30. VHEL, BSNL, ONGC, PSUs, etc.

In order to find the right spot in one of the companies like these, one should be adequately versed in all the concepts of communication engineering and the preparation for that should start right after class 12. 

Required Skillset for Communication Engineering

To be able to pursue communications engineering, candidates must possess the following set of skills:

  1. Good understanding of networks- A strong foundation of basic networking concepts is fundamental to a successful career in communications engineering. Networking technologies include all communications engineering activities and a strong comprehension of the hardware and protocols used to create networks is essential to future success.

  2. Technical knowledge and ability- A knack of understanding modern technology, its working and advances applied or reasoned with in any shape or form for any issues or applications is a key skill for communications engineers.

  3. Adaptability and the ability to learn new skills- Ability to think creatively and develop new and innovative solutions is a must skill in this course. In ambiguous environments, one should be confident in decision-making ability and should always be in a quest for new ways of doing things.

  4. Organisational skills- These abilities help one to handle different tasks simultaneously while maximising the use of time, mental ability, energy, and physical space, etc. As a result, the desired result is achieved within less time in a much effective way.

  5. Analytical and problem-solving skills- Communication engineers should possess the ability to examine information or a situation in detail in order to identify key or important elements, their strengths and weaknesses and use these to compile a persuasive argument, make recommendations or solve a problem.

  6. Ability to work in a team- A team that understands goals and is committed to attaining them is ideal in engineering. A clear direction and agreement on what you are trying to achieve is an essential part of teamwork.

  7. People management skills- Communication engineers who work in small corporations and companies must have people management skills to effectively perform their jobs. They include communication, leadership, delegation, motivation, training and even performance feedback.

  8. Strong IT skills- A communication engineer must have strong IT skills on topics like data analytics, networking, project management and cybersecurity.

  9. Interpersonal skills- These skills help employees develop and foster strong working relationships with each other and with their clients that contribute to the increasing team and organisational productivity

Course Curriculum for Communication Engineering

The course curricula of diploma and undergraduate programmes of communications engineering cover the following topics of science and engineering, which are mostly introductory but crucial in nature. The postgraduate course curriculum focuses on an elaborate theoretical understanding and practical training in any of the core subjects. The basic course curriculum followed by most communications engineering institutes, however, is as follows:

  1. Introductory science courses

  2. Basic engineering courses

  3. Introductory mathematics and applied mathematics

  4. Electrical circuit analysis

  5. Introduction to other fields like mechanical engineering and electrical engineering

  6. Industrial and digital control systems

  7. Electrical power

  8. Analyzing Communications Signals and Systems

  9. Technical communications

  10. Communications Systems 

  11. Semiconductors

  12. Stochastic Processes

  13. Fourier transform

  14. Transmission noise

  15. Sampling theorems

  16. VOIP systems

  17. RFID systems

  18. Probability theory

  19. Antenna and wave propagations

  20. Network analysis & synthesis

  21. Semiconductor devices and circuits

  22. Fields & waves

  23. Electromechanical energy conversion

  24. Electronic instrumentation and measurements

  25. Data structures

  26. Basics of industrial sociology, economics & management

  27. Analog communication

  28. Signal and systems

  29. Computational techniques

  30. Digital electronics

The curriculum for a particular postgraduate programme of communication engineering depends mostly on the subject of specialisation chosen. In general, it includes advanced level topics of the subjects taught at the undergraduate level. There are other advanced concepts of communication engineering too included in the course.

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