Employment of electrical and electronics engineers and computer professionals within the telecommunications industry is expected to grow faster than other occupations within the industry. The expansion of communications networks and the need for telecommunications providers to invest in research and development will create job opportunities for these workers. Job openings also are expected to arise as a result of the growing number of retirements and the continuing need for skilled workers.
Salary & Wages
Workers in the telecommunications industry earned an average weekly salary of $1,038 in 2008, significantly higher than average. Network systems and data communications analysts in the telecom industry earned more than any workers in the industry except for electronics engineers.
What is a Telecommunications Specialist or Electronics Engineer?
The telecommunications industry delivers voice communications, data, graphics, television and video over wires, wirelessly, via Internet, and through cable and satellite.
Computer and information systems workers who are telecommunications specialists have many titles. They can be computer programmers, computer software engineers, and network systems and data communications analysts. These workers collectively design, develop, test and debug software products for the industry.
In the telecom industry, these professionals design, build, maintain or administer computer-assisted engineering programs for schematic cabling projects; modeling programs for cellular and satellite systems; and programs for telephone options, such as voice mail, e-mail and call waiting. Telecommunications specialists coordinate the installation of these systems and may provide follow-up maintenance and training.
Education & Degree Path
While there is no universally accepted way to prepare for a job as a computer professional in telecommunications, most employers place a premium on at least some formal college education.
Computer software engineers usually hold a degree in computer science or in software engineering. For systems analyst, computer scientist or database administrator positions, many employers seek applicants who have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information science or management information systems.
It is important to keep up in this rapidly changing field. Several major companies and the telecommunications unions have created a website that provides free training for employees, enabling them to keep their knowledge current and helping them to advance.
As with computer-related jobs in other industries, specialists in telecom can sometimes be certified on specific software or hardware products.
Entering the Field:
An associate degree in electronics and applied technology is one popular entry-level degree. Another route is to seek a bachelor’s degree with a focus on telecommunications or network administration. Some applicants earn a bachelor’s degree in computers, then find an employer who trains them on specific telecommunications and systems technologies on the job.
If you are already a computer software engineer, systems analyst or programmer in another industry, you may be able to switch to the telecommunications industry or to a telecommunications-specific job within your own industry by learning on the job.
Find online degrees for Computers and Electronics here. >>
National Coalition For Telecommunications Education and Learning, CAEL
Society of Cable and Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE)
CIO Insight magazine
Best Buy Online Masters Degrees in Computer Science & Information Technology
Source for salary and growth data is the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For more information on careers as a computer systems telecom specialist, salaries, and job prospects visit: U.S. Department of Labor, Career Guide to Industries, 2010-11 Edition, Telecommunications.