Things are finally looking up in the telecom market, with employees upbeat about their jobs, salaries and prospects.
In fact, 72% of those in the industry are satisfied with their current employer, and nearly 70% expect to make more money next year, according to Light Reading's latest global salary survey.
This is the fourth year we've conducted the survey and, this year, nearly 1,200 of you, including representatives from 326 telecom service providers, chimed in on what you're making, how the headcount has changed at your company, and how you feel about the future (your own and that of your company). (See Salary Survey: What's It Worth to You?)
Here are some key findings:
- NFV/SDN is not yet having an effect on most companies' recruitment policies, but many are still hiring 4G/LTE skills, albeit it at a slower rate than last year. The good news is that the shift to next-gen mobile broadband and the introduction of telco network virtualization isn't leading to any significant layoffs (yet).
- Our respondents are fairly satisfied with their current company and pay, but they're more optimistic for raises and advancement next year.
- A much higher percentage of people indicated this time round that they would be prepared to leave their current employer for reasons such as more money, or greater stability.
It's refreshing to see a return to positivity. We began conducting the salary survey in 2010 when the telecom industry was still clawing its way out of the recession. At that time, it was no longer in a trough, but the labor market was in a bad state, as was employee moral.
Dr. Peter Mueser, professor of labor economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia, told us at the time that most weren't thinking beyond the fact that they have a job. Since then, he says, it's been a slow climb out of the recession. Unemployment rates are still around 6% to 7%, but the economy, in general, is much healthier.
"We're not where we'd like the economy to be, by any means," Mueser says. "It's a very slow recovery. Looking back in history, you do find recessions with very slow recoveries, but in the last 30 years, the recoveries have been much faster than this."
Other dynamics are at play, too. Many big operators are investing significantly in their networks through programs such as AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s Project VIP, Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s Network Vision, and Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD)'s Project Spring. (See AT&T Puts Up $14B to Boost Broadband, Sprint Hunkers Down for Network Vision, and Vodafone Ups 'Project Spring' Capex to $11B+.)
At the same time, the move towards virtualization and automation is making a few positions redundant. And, as always, consolidation typically leads to more layoffs -- and more money for upper management -- something Sprint employees have realized recently. It makes for interesting dynamics in terms of hiring, firing, and money matters. (See Sprint Lays Off 800 Customer Service Reps and Sprint Axes More Clearwire Employees.)
Against this backdrop, we've broken down the salary survey into demographics, numbers, changes, and expectations. To find out and learn more, click on the table of contents below.
- Service Providers in Our Survey
- What Do You Do?
- Are You Experienced?
- How Much Do You Make?
- Is Your Pay OK?
- Compensation Comparison
- Next Year's Checks
- Headcount Roll Call
- Job Satisfaction
- Where the Grass Is Greener
- Most Admired Companies
- Impact of New Technologies
To revisit Salary Surveys from the past four years, click on the links below (and use "Next Page" at the bottom of each to navigate).
- Light Reading's 2012/2013 Salary Survey
- Light Reading's 2011/2012 Salary Survey
- Light Reading's 2010/2011 Salary Survey
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading