Telecom FAQs. Answers To Your Telecom Questions
It's impossible to know exactly where the industry is headed, and no one can predict the millions of ways technology will change our lives. What we know for sure is that the future of telecom is bright. Here are trends to watch:
- The evolution from 1-1 communication to many people communicating with one-another simultaneously will continue. That’s good news for social networkers.
- Increasing demand for wireless Internet, data, cable television and mobile technologies will spur Wimax and 4G (and beyond).
- There will be decreasing demand for traditional copper land lines and we will see companies push to the realm of a full IP network.
- Telecom companies will shift their focus to quality of a customer vs. quantity of customers. The higher a customer’s appetite for data, the better.
- Companies will keep a close eye on what’s happening in related industries such as media and entertainment.
- Security will continue to be important as wireless capacity increases.
- Broadband will be a critical component used to improve our national healthcare system.
Despite increasing demand for telecommunications services, technological advances mean telecom companies need fewer workers. However, job opportunities will arise from the need to replace a significant number of workers who are expected to retire.
Communications companies largely promote from within. So if you’re already employed in telecom, keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities. If you’re new to telecom, prospects will be best for entry-level technical, customer service and sales professionals. In either case, rapid technological changes mean that up-to-date technical skills will serve you well. Adding new skills translates into job security and the opportunity to make more money.
As telecom workers transfer to other industries or leave the labor force altogether, overall prospects will be great for:
- Installation technicians
- Maintenance technicians
- Repair workers
- Customer service representatives
As telecom networks expand, investment in R&D grows, and computer technology gets more sophisticated, companies will need:
- Electrical and electronics engineers
- Computer software engineers
- Systems analysts
As more customers take advantage of more services, opportunities will also remain strong for more traditional business roles such as:
- Retail sales associates
- Advertising professionals
- Financial professionals
And because all these new workers will need help, prospects will be good for:
- Human resources specialists
- Training professionals
- Educational designers
While telecom hasn’t been completely recession–proof, the unemployment rate for telecom workers over the past year is roughly 2 points lower than the national average.
Employment projections are based off information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Telecom employers take care of their people. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that telecom employers pay an average of $26,268 (or 63%) more per year in wages than other industries.
In addition, the vast number of telecom employers (90% of companies) also offer their employees great benefits, some of which include:
- Medical, dental and vision insurance
- 401(k) savings plans or pensions
- Paid time off
- Tuition reimbursement
- Life and accident insurance
- Discounts on telecom products and services
- Flexible spending accounts
- Employee training
Increasingly, telecom employers require higher levels of education. In fact, employers now prefer that their employees hold 2- and 4-year college degrees. Check out our Education & Training section to find telecom-focused programs that will give you the edge you need for a rewarding telecom career.
You need to be:
- Flexible and able to adapt to change
- Good at troubleshooting and customer service
- Technology-centric with a basic understanding of telephony, voice and data communications
- Committed to self development and life-long learning
Check out the Communications Industry Competency Model for more detailed information.
Telecom employers are committed to investing in their employees. In fact, in 2009 employers spent over 40 million dollars to train their workforce. Both new and existing workers receive training through job-shadow programs, apprenticeship programs, leadership development programs, dedicated training departments and self-paced online learning.
Many large telecom employers have training facilities (campuses) located across the country where employees go to learn the ropes. These campuses include amenities like on-site all-suite hotels, cafeterias and state-of-the-art gyms. Employers want you to have everything you need for a great training experience so they provide you with all the comforts of home – and more.
While on campus, you’ll see both seasoned employees and new workers in traditional classrooms and in large labs. The labs are filled with sophisticated telecommunications equipment to give you hands-on experience.
You can rest assured that telecom companies want you to be well trained. Their customers demand high quality, great service and the latest-and-greatest technology which means that employers must invest in their people.
Like any industry, telecom jobs require hard-work, education and the right attitude. What makes telecom different is a focus on technology, a wiliness to provide the best customer service possible and an eye toward the future.
Find tips, tools and recommendations from telecom human resource professionals in the Advice section of this site.
Telecom is a mammoth industry, comprising companies that make hardware, produce software, and provide services. Hardware includes products that enable communication across the planet, from video broadcasting satellites to telephone handsets to fiber-optic transmission cables. Services include running the switches that control the phone system, providing Internet access, and configuring private networks by which international corporations conduct busienss. Software makes it all work, from sending and receiving email to relaying satellite data to controlling telephone switching equipment to reducing background noise on your cell phone call.
It’s big and telecom employers pay well, offer big-company benefits and are focused on training employees. Another great thing about telecom is the pace. Technology is always improving and customers keep demanding better, faster service. Translation – telecom is here to stay.
Approximately 60% of the nation’s telecom workers belong to the Communications Workers of America (CWA) or the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
They do this because unions and telecom employers engage in collective bargaining agreements to negotiate wages and benefits for technicians, customer service representatives and people who work in operator services roles.
The union/employer relationship is sometimes heated, but both parties have worked together for more than 100 years to make sure that telecom’s most precious asset—its workers—have good jobs, wages and benefits.
Telecom companies do their part in making the world a better place. Many have foundations that donate millions of dollars each year to literacy, education, safety, health and environmental programs.
In addition, almost all large telecom employers are focused on ‘green’ initiatives like reducing their carbon-footprints and recycling unwanted handsets and accessories. A good place to learn more about these efforts is on corporate websites. Look for annual reports or corporate responsibility reports to learn about specific employers.