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Sky is the Limit in Telecom

India has about 920 million telecom subscribers, adding about twelve million subscribers on a monthly basis. So telecom is clearly one of the fastest growing industries in India. Does one still need a better reason to make career in telecommunications engineering? -- Diksha P Gupta

Kabra explains, “We have a setup where students undergo real training. It is not possible for the colleges to tie up with companies for hands-on training of their students. We come in as a solution for colleges which want to bring industry-ready products.”

K.P. Unnikrishnan, marketing director (Asia Pacific), Brocade, endorses such trainings by saying, “India has the benefit of having one of the youngest and most skilled workforce coming into the industry. With some of the best universities and colleges around, this is taken care of. But what the academia and students should ensure is that they are up-to-date with latest technologies like cloud.”

Sky is the limit
Experts call telecom the second IT industry of India.

Sinha highlights: “If you look at the larger picture, the number of engineers coming out of the colleges and the number of vacant positions even out. But if you break down the figures, that’s where the problem is. Like, if you say “I have 5000 engineers coming out,” 1000 out of 5000 will be in hardware engineering. Now if you ask whether I have jobs for a thousand hardware engineers, I will say ‘no’ because perhaps only a hundred of them are familiar with telecom business operations.”

India has been a growth market for telecommunication companies from across the globe. Employees having the desired skillset are valued by companies in the business.

Reema Malhotra says, “Nokia Siemens Networks is viewed as talent incubator by the telecom industry. We continue to drive innovation and serve India’s telecom industry. We provide our employees opportunities to engage with people from around the world, providing valuable opportunities to share and exchange ideas, values and cultures. Through the use of advanced tools and applications supporting virtual teaming, collaboration and remote working, Nokia Siemens Networks provides more opportunities to create an ideal work environment and facilitates the development of global work teams. Our employment policies give employees the support as and when they need. We give the training that employees need to meet the challenges of a dynamic industry. We aim to provide employees with the tools and materials that will help develop their career and encourage personal development.”

Companies in telecom work to imbibe a culture in their organisations where employees are encouraged to take cross-functional roles. This proCareer www.efymag.com Electronics For You | July 2012 123 vides them exposure to every aspect of running a telecom organisation. Some companies continuously invest in imparting new skills and education to their employees to keep them abreast with the latest in the industry.

There is money too
The engineers in telecom sector get packages depending upon the nature of their job, type of organisation and industry environment.

Sinha explains, “There are many segments within the telecom world. One is a vendor company, another is an OEM company and then there is a service provider company. So they all have different kinds of pay packages to offer. For a fresher, the package may vary dramatically from as low as Rs 100,000 per annum to as high as about Rs 500,000-600,000 per annum. It depends upon the location, the type of company and the type of job you are doing.”

“The telecom world is also penetrated by the IT world. So there are other people also who can get into these jobs. There is enough competition, but there is no limit of financial growth for the right kind of people,” he adds.

How to begin?
The industry hires people from various engineering and management disciplines. For example, a telecom infrastructure provider (tower company) would need engineers from disciplines such as electrical, civil and mechanical. However, the bulk of technical requirements for the active telecom infrastructure are fulfilled by electronics and communications engineers, who work on a large number of electronic elements that form part of a telecom network.

Usually, these engineers know the basics of telecommunications engineering. But, they can be groomed further to specialise in individual job functions through on-the-job training or through some focused vocational training provided by institutions like Cognitel.

With technology shifting towards an all-IP network and the growing need for mobile applications, you need to look for ways to complement your existing curriculum with courses in new technologies like advanced data networking and applications development. These can be explored as electives if offered within the same institute or as a specialised training outside.

Last but not the least is the requirement for managerial talent. There are a few MBA schools offering specialised courses in telecom management, which can be considered as a starting point for those keen to join the industry in managerial cadre.

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