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Career Profile: Telecommunications Network Engineer

Why Is Telecommunications Network Engineering a Job of Tomorrow?
Technology has pervaded every aspect of modern life. It
has largely replaced cash with credit cards that can draw funds electronically from bank accounts, replaced beepers with handheld mobile phones that can not only instantly connect callers, but also act as a tiny web browser and gaming system, and pushed globalization into overdrive through the World Wide Web. The technological boom has not been confined to just personal gadgets. Many businesses are now using networking technology in their offices, implementing wireless networks, video conferences, and other communications technology to increase productivity. As a result, telecommunications network engineers will be in high demand to install and monitor these networks well into the next decade. Employment opportunities for telecommunications network engineers are expected to increase 53 percent by 2016, according to CNN Money. The average salary of telecommunications network engineers is $86,200 annually for experienced workers.

What Does a Telecommunications Network Engineer Do?
Telecommunications network engineers design, implement, and manage the various telecommunication networks used in an organization. These networks include data networks, such as the Internet, voice networks, such as conference calling technology, and video communication, such as video conference calls. Businesses often rely on more than one way of connecting with employees and clients to maximize efficiency, so telecommunications network engineers must handle all of these technologies. They are also responsible for troubleshooting any issues that may arise. With many businesses operating on a tight schedule, telecommunications network engineers must be well-versed in the technology so that any breakdowns may be remedied immediately to avoid delaying the organization’s day-to-day operations. The engineers work with clients to plan which networks need to be laid out. For example, if an organization deals primarily with locals and operates mainly on the Internet, the engineers would create a network plan that focuses on Internet communications. However, if an organization is large and operates on a global scale, telecommunications network engineers would plan to also integrate video and phone conferencing technology in addition to the Internet in order to increase the efficiency of meetings between the organization’s global branches.

What Kind of Training Do I Need to Become a Telecommunications Network Engineer?
There are no formal education requirements for telecommunications network engineers. However, the field is highly competitive, therefore those with an educational background in the field, certification, and working experience are more likely to advance in the job place than those who do not possess any of those qualifications. Prospective telecommunications network engineers should plan on earning a bachelor’s degree in engineering with a focus on telecommunications to remain marketable. A bachelor’s degree typically takes four years to earn, and courses cover computer language, mathematics, and other related topics. To further increase their value, engineers can earn certification.

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