Broadly speaking, telecommunications or telecoms refers to any time we utilise a network or telephone connection to send messages, be they verbal, audio or type, to another system. Once you start thinking of just how many devices operate this kind of technology, and how prevalent or necessary they are to modern life – you begin to realise just how big the telecommunications industry is. Likewise, you begin to realise the vast number and diversity of jobs are available in telecoms.
The basic system behind any telecommunication devise is a transmitter, a channel, a line and a receiver. Put simply, the message that is input into the transmitter is broken up into packets of code by the transmitter, which is then converted by the channel so that it can be transported by the line before being picked back up by the receiver, converted and decoded, and reprocessed into a full packet for display. Telecoms can be anything from simple radio systems, however more recently we think of telecoms as encompassing phone and email among many other methods of communicating.
Jobs within the telecommunication sector can focus on any part of the telecoms ‘process’ in designing the software code that breaks a message into code or reformulates it in the receiver, or in manufacturing the hardware that makes the software functional. To prepare people that are interested in pursuing a career in telecommunications there are many different courses and a variety of different levels, which can prepare an individual for working in telecoms. These may be basic certificates in telecoms, which will usually focus on a particular area, or issue within telecoms, or may be more advanced qualifications such as Bachelor’s degrees.
Advanced jobs that can be obtained within the telecoms industry include systems managers and programmers. Telecoms system managerial jobs typically focus on monitoring and tailoring telecommunication systems. These jobs typically involve keeping on top of recent advances in technology and implementing changes to a system. This may be for an organisation that utilises telecommunication equipment or directly for a telecoms company that manufactures hardware/software. Typically, a job as a telecoms manager is best suited towards someone with people skills and who is interested in tailoring systems for particular uses. A programmer on the other hand is at the forefront of new technology by coming up with new software or hardware designs. A job as a telecoms programmer requires skills in maths and creative thinking and it well suited towards someone with an interest in advancing telecommunication technology but without an interest in managing people.