The word ‘telecommunications’ has evolved dramatically over the years. While it may sound quite archaic, potentially conjuring images of telephone operators in the early 20th century connecting callers across the country, it is now a highly sophisticated industry.
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What is the Telecommunications sector?
In the modern sense of the word, the telecommunication industry encompasses all telephone operators – mobile and landline (yes, some people still use landline) – as well as internet service providers. This means a mix of voice calls, but also increasingly text and images. Most of the services we use every day, including our mobile phones, laptops and connected devices, fall under the Telecommunications industry umbrella.
Now this is a biiiiig sector, with many sub-sectors within it. It is at the heart of many other industries too, enabling growth, innovation, the sharing of data and worldwide connectivity between people. The Telecommunications industry has been described as the world’s biggest machine, connecting everyone and everything. So it’s pretty all encompassing.
It has evolved dramatically in the last century – from sending telegrams, we have now developed near-instantaneous methods of communication, something many businesses and individuals would find hard to cope without. Because of this, getting involved in the Telecommunications industry places you at the beating heart of modern life.
The Telecommunications industry has been described as the world’s biggest machine, connecting everyone and everything
Job roles in the Telecommunications sector
There are many sub-sections within the Telecommunications industry, from wireless communications, to physical communications equipment, to domestic and foreign telecom services and more. As you would probably guess, the main bulk of the Telecommunications industry in the 21st century falls into wireless communications.
Here are some of the main roles available within the Telecommunications industry:
Qualifications for a job in Telecommunications
For many of the jobs listed above, there are no specific degrees required – rather a passion for the industry – although degrees in Engineering, Computer Science and Telecommunications (obviously) can work well in your favour.
You can also gain what is known as an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in telecommunications, which can act as a qualifier for roles such as a network engineer, telecoms specialist and more.
Skills you need for a job in Telecommunications
Well first things first, you really need to get the Telecommunications industry. You need to be able to demonstrate an understanding of the sector and show a real passion for it, remaining updated on industry developments and key talking points.
More specifically, a knowledge of wide-area network (WAN) and local-area network (LAN) infrastructures is desirable, along with familiarity with some vendors (such as Cisco, Juniper and Ciena), cloud computing and programming.
Cabling skills and knowledge of cabling standards and the National Electric Code can also come in useful.
More broadly, having an aptitude for problem solving and an analytical mind is also highly desirable. Similarly, an ability to recognise and address issues swiftly is a must, as if something goes wrong it will most likely need fixing immediately .
Along with this is an ability to communicate clearly and a strong team working ability, as roles within this industry will often require speaking to people off-site or remotely to understand the needs of customers and deliver the best service possible.
From connected homes to smart cities, joining the Telecommunications industry now is a sure-fire way to be at the centre of game-changing developments.
This industry is booming. It is expanding and affecting our daily lives a little more every day – from smartphones to wearable tech, telecommunications products and services are vital to modern life. One of the big talking points is the Internet of Things (IoT), which is developing slowly but surely, and is another aspect of the industry due to alter the way we work and communicate forever; from connected homes to smart cities, joining the Telecommunications industry now is a sure-fire way to be at the centre of game-changing developments.
Work experience in Telecommunications
Many telecommunications businesses are happy to provide students with work experience and industrial placement opportunities. Whether it be out and about with engineers in your local town, or in the marketing hub of a multinational corporation, get in touch with different companies and try to gain experience across a number of different branches within a business. Taking part in work experience will help exponentially when it comes to future career planning.
Pros and Cons of the Telecommunications sector
It’s one of the biggest and most exciting industries to work on at the moment.
There are constant industry updates to stay on top of.
The average graduate starting salary falls between £20,000, to a maximum of £30,000.
It can be a very high-pressure environment if something goes wrong.
Telecommunications lies at the heart of almost every industry, so allows for cross-industry work.
Some people believe the advancement of telecommunications is to the detriment of human contact.
And there it is! An everything-you-need-to-know guide to the Telecommunications industry.
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