Job Market Trends in Telecommunications

Telecommunications includes radio, television and computer networks including the Internet. The outlook for the telecommunications industry will improve in the next few years as telecommunications projects that received stimulus funding begin to make new hires.

Outlook

The Telecommunications Industry Association is predicting a rebound for the telecommunications industry in 2011-2012 with corporations spending money on projects that they couldn't afford during the recession and with a huge increase in usage of wireless personal devices like smart phones. Everyone wants an iPhone, or a similar device, but to get the most out of the device--the ability to download apps, media and data--the telecommunications infrastructure has to catch up. The spread of wireless is an international phenomenon, which means that international jobs will also be available in this field.

Since these devices will also transmit personal data, such as credit card numbers, commercial transactions and health information, security will remain an important issue in this sector of the industry. Stimulus projects that focus on the digitization of health records will also require security and infrastructure experts.

Wireless

It seems like everyone has a cell phone and that everyone wants their cell phone to act as a palm-sized computer. It means users want music, movies and to read their email immediately.

When compared to the cost of installing cable, wireless may be the solution for areas that can't afford to have the installation. For example, Africa has seen an enormous increase in the use of cell phones to help people communicate and to even offer healthcare at a distance. These innovations in telehealth will return to North America, especially with the delivery of health services to rural areas and aging Americans. Wireless devices and communications between devices, like household appliances and personal devices, like syncing your empty fridge with the grocery list on your cell phone, will make wireless pervasive for personal time management. This means opportunities for programmers, technicians for installations and computer engineers who will be engaged in designing new devices.

Security

Security in telecommunications is a major issue with many industries, such as government and healthcare, depending on the integrity of their systems when transmitting data. With more health data, in addition to other forms of personal data, stored on interlinked networks, such as those found in hospitals and insurance companies, these organizations will be looking for software companies that can close and lock the gates on their data, as well as assist in the safe storage of their records. Clearly, there will be jobs for programmers who specialize in security, as well as for certified technicians who can assist in the storage and protection of data.

An outbreak of computer viruses can open the door for employment in firms that specialize in patching and monitoring network security. This means jobs for programmers to create fixes as well as administrators and technicians to apply them, especially in organizations where security is key, such as commercial enterprises that handle financial or health-related personal information. In addition, the digitization of health records will require security specialists, programmers who can build interfaces to access and transmit records securely.

There are many telecommunications projects currently in planning, or already on the pipeline looking for talented technicians, installation experts, engineers and programmers.