Katz holds the rank of Professor II, Rutgers’ highest professorial rank and which is reserved for those who have achieved national and international eminence in their field. Prior to his tenure at Rutgers, he served as a Senior Scientist directing the social science research unit at Bell Communications Research (Bellcore). Among the schools at which Katz has taught is University of Texas, Austin, where he also served as chair of the Austin World Affairs Council.
Since receiving his Ph.D. in Sociology from Rutgers University in 1975, he has published over 15 books on topics ranging from government and scientific policy to museums, mobile devices and the use of social media. His books have been translated into many languages including Italian, Spanish and Japanese. Along with Rutgers colleague Mark Aakhus he developed the concept of Apparatgeist, related to how people develop relationships with their technologies, and how they seek to find transcendental ways to communicate. His recently published "Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies" (2008) has been a top-seller in the category of Computer and Internet books on Amazon. The book consists of 32 edited chapters that discuss the range of mobile phone usage around the world, much of which was originally presented at a conference held at Rutgers University in 2005. His co-edited volume, Perpetual Contact, has been described by "Work, Employment and Society" as a 'collection that will promote further debate in fields concerning the social construction of technologies, communications and media.'