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Telecoms and the IT industry have come a long way in the last few years…

The industry is not immune from the economic climate, but there remain jobs with telecommunication companies, internet service providers, broadcasters, equipment manufacturers and IT consultants. Opportunities for engineers also arise for in-house work with most major organisations, as they strive to use their computer systems and software more effectively. The NHS, government departments and the defence industry are all major users of IT and telecommunication systems.

One of the key issues surrounding the sector is the development of the common digital platform that will serve these industries, as well as the provision of the next generation of very high bandwidth for telecommunication, so that large quantities of data can be transmitted with speed. Security of information is another important issue.

The industry is truly international, and it has therefore not been immune to the recent effects of the economic climate. Regulatory action and fierce competition has led to price reductions. A decrease in TV advertising has hit the broadcasters, all resulting in the laying off of staff. Yet as the economy brightens, this progressive industry will be among the first needing to recruit additional expertise.

The range of services now offered, from satellite navigation to films on demand, social and business networking to the secure storage, management and transmission of data.

Software and electronic engineers are essential for the efficient running of networks and the development of new products for telephone service providers. Mechanical and structural engineers are among those designing masts and aerials, telecommunication satellites and laser optical fixed lines. The use of old copper networks has been extended to the maximum.

Equipment manufacturers provide the computers and peripherals, mobile phones and systems for networks. They need computer scientists, electronic and mechanical engineers.

Software and telecommunication systems are, of course, essential to the running of any organisations. There are opportunities with organisations that provide software consultancy, many of which feature on the website of the technology industry’s professional body, Intellect.

From manufacturers and consultants to providers of telecommunications and internet services, the opportunities are incredibly diverse.

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