The telecommunications industry is responsible for a broad range of services such as landlines, internet, pay television and mobile telephone services. The widespread take-up of high-speed digital transmission methods such as fibre optic cabling, and the reliance on mobile telecommunications services, has resulted in rapid change and evolution in the industry. In addition, the Australian telecommunications industry has been heavily deregulated in recent years, and the traditional monopolies have been challenged.
The two largest professional groups represented in the telecommunications sector are electronic/electrical engineers and information technology professionals. Newer specialists in the field include laser and fibre optic engineers, who undertake research and design for the complex equipment required for fibre optic data transmission. Software and computer systems engineers, marketing professionals, project managers and accountants also find work in this field.
The industry is expected to provide substantial employment growth in the near-future for skilled, technologically competent staff. The expansion of existing urban and regional networks, government discussions of a National Broadband Network, the switch to digital TV broadcasting, and the need for continued research and development are all resulting in increased opportunities in the sector.
Due to its central role in facilitating internet usage and rapid digital information exchange, the telecommunications industry has been dubbed the backbone of the so-called ‘new economy’. Recent growth in the use of telecommunications services for data transportation has been significant, with data transmission expected to provide an ever increasing proportion of the revenue generated in the sector.
What you need
- IT, business, information systems, engineering, computing, human resources and marketing degrees are valued
- skills required vary with particular occupational groups
- ability to work in a highly competitive industry
- willingness to keep skills and knowledge up to date
- willingness to work irregular hours in some cases.