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Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate

The job climate in the telecom industry has improved since last year, but that’s not saying much, according to Light Reading’s Work Poll this month.

Based on the responses so far, 62 percent of our readers think the job climate is better than in 2003, compared with 29 percent who think it’s the same. Better doesn’t necessarily mean good, though -- 47 percent rate this year as "weak" and another 42 percent as "so-so."

The results also show:
  • Sixty-one percent of respondents are employed in telecom, and 17 percent are unemployed; 23 percent have left the industry but are still nostalgically taking Light Reading polls.

  • A general economic recovery would help save the industry, according to 41 percent or respondents, although it wouldn’t hurt to throw in some innovation and reform as well, say another 39 percent. Five percent reckon telecom is beyond help.

  • Not surprisingly, the hottest emerging growth area is seen as China, with 49 percent of votes, followed by India with 32 percent.



Click here to take the poll yourself and see the latest results.

– Nicole Willing, Reporter, Light Reading

marc_goofy 12/5/2012 | 1:32:17 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Hi ST (i still don(t know if you do only multimodes ;-)


> Andos are damn good test equipments. Like Honda car... How > many Honda in France?

I guess the actual figure is something like 5% marketshare - for both Ando and Honda France.
Hondas : mainly SUVs and the Accor (We do better Civic' class cars ;-)


> They got "burned" too many times in north america.

Good point. Thanks for the hint.


> Good luck next time...

Well, the next one will certainly not be from Japan : North America still *attractive enough* for us !


> May be you should indicate you are learning Jap style? (some
> of Japan co. provide 1 year duration of "change position"= Let
> Sr. staff take 1 year at lower position (low stress) to prevent
> burn out).

"Burn out" ? What's that ??? (bad joke...).
One year to prepare the move : funny, when you compare with the week you get with US companies !


Thanks very much for the discussion,
Take care,
_Marc

st0 12/5/2012 | 1:32:27 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate "I recently applied for the Sales Director France position at Yokogawa/Ando. Mission = rebuild image & business from scratch, as Ando litteraly disappeared from the European marketplace two or three years ago."
====
Andos are damn good test equipments. Like Honda car... How many Honda in France?

Agree, they should put on distributor face... It may be the fast way to enter the market, but may not be the best for the company. Promote within provide a lot of benefit. Japanese Co. provide extensive training, even at high level. No wonder they see the frequent "flyers" are not suited for the position... They got "burned" too many times in north america.

Good luck next time... May be you should indicate you are learning Jap style? (some of Japan co. provide 1 year duration of "change position"= Let Sr. staff take 1 year at lower position (low stress) to prevent burn out).

-st
optoslob 12/5/2012 | 1:32:32 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate NetDiva,
I'm still based in the US, but I travel so much that it is kind of arbitrary where I call home. The family calls the US home.

It is also not important where I work, because there are a lot of companies in both Taiwan and China that are doing really well and want to hire experienced engineers. I had plenty of offers once I decided that working in Asia was an option. The trick for me was finding a start-up that I liked.

I'll give you a few examples of why they want to hire senior engineers.

1. Patents are a major head ache for the new guy on the block. Problem is that 9 out of 10 US patents should never have been issued, because prior art clearly exists. The easiest way to defeat patents is with prior art, the trick is to find someone who remembers what was common knowledge, in say 1987, and can provide documentation to support this. It also helps if they have a good relationship with the "Experts" who will be called to testify.

2. Standards bodies should be called "old boy's clubs" can you guess how little, the opinion of a Chinese Startup counts at most standards setting bodies. Yet add a couple of Industry Veterans to the payroll and suddenly they can shape opinion disproportionate to their size. Their ideas are now forming the standards and as such it is their IP which is written into the standard.

3. Many target customers are still in the US and the accounts need to be "managed" such that the customer experience is very positive. Lets face it everyoneGÇÖs product has bugs, the question for the customer is, Was the debug and support process managed correctly? The reason this is important is that technology direction is still perceived to emanate in the US. So before a Chinese company can sell into a Singapore Telco it needs to sell to a US telco.


optoslob

marc_goofy 12/5/2012 | 1:32:33 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Hello ST (you work on multimode only ? ;-)


> It is different world there....Even in Telecom...

Damn true, unfortunately. Just an example, from the real life (not Real TV, unfortunately, otherwise I'd be rich now ;-)
I recently applied for the Sales Director France position at Yokogawa/Ando. Mission = rebuild image & business from scratch, as Ando litteraly disappeared from the European marketplace two or three years ago.
Typically, my job since ten years, especially over the last seven ones with some of the largest T&M vendors.
Business in not an issue (well, there are some customers here at the moment), image is another topic (go to your telecoms fellows and say 'Hi, I am with Yokogawa' : they gonna look at you like you come from Mars).
I passed the filters, been short-listed, and interviewed by Yokogawa Europe. Not hired. The reason : my 3 different positions in 6 years with my last US employer (although they were all in the same segment/business/division).
Japanese hate flexibility, adaptability, and... latin/american style !!!

And when you think about, it is raining in Japan, more often than in California.

HTH,
_Marc
st0 12/5/2012 | 1:32:40 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate "The boom is not over it just moved continents!!"
==
true and sad. I took a look at NTT yearly report (april 2003 to march 2004), something stands out:

(1) black and white statement without any color picture or ads. < 50 pages.
(2) number of employees =3056, average age = 37.6, ave. working years = 13.7!
(3) board of directors: (a) 1964 entered NTT (b) 1969 entered NTT (c) 1973 entered NTT (d) 1973, (e) 1972, (f) 1972, (g) 1973... you got the picture.

It is different world there....Even in Telecom...

-st
NetDiva 12/5/2012 | 1:32:45 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Where do you work optoSlob ?
marc_goofy 12/5/2012 | 1:32:48 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Hi There,

> There is no shortage of jobs in telecom, just a shortage of
> telecom jobs in western countries!

That is correct, from the headcount standpoint.
Middle East and Asia are the places to be at the moment (i mean, for Telecoms...). Problem : in those regions, if you are not native/local or not sponsored by a local firm/VIP, you can't get a job easily.


> The boom is not over it just moved continents!!
> I like to think of it as the California gold rush, but just in
> reverse.

You may be right. If so, then better be prepared for the forthcoming crash of the Asian/Chinese economy.


> Now if a self proclaimed "slacker" like me can get a great job
> than just think what the rest of you can do

What I can do ? No : what YOU can do ! Send us an email with more details on your company/business, together with the HR contact name !!!
My email, in case...: [email protected]

Take care, and enjoy then,
_Marc
brahmos 12/5/2012 | 1:32:48 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate where are you located Optoslob ?
optoslob 12/5/2012 | 1:32:52 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate There is no shortage of jobs in telecom, just a shortage of telecom jobs in western countries!

I now work for a booming company with more telecom opportunities than it knows what how to staff. I took a heck of a salary hair-cut but I figure my options are worth over 3 times what my US salary was. The other interesting thing is that we have investors begging us to take some of their money. Only problem is that we have positive cash flow and therefore dont need the VC money.

The boom is not over it just moved continents!!
I like to think of it as the California gold rush, but just in reverse.

Now if a self proclaimed "slacker" like me can get a great job than just think what the rest of you can do.

optoslob


optoslob 12/5/2012 | 1:32:53 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate There is no shortage of jobs in telecom, just a shortage of telecom jobs in western countries!

I now work for a booming company with more telecom opportunities than it knows what how to staff. I took a heck of a salary hair-cut but I figure my options are worth over 3 times what my US salary was. The other interesting thing is that we have investors begging us to take some of their money. Only problem is that we have positive cash flow and therefore dont need the VC money.

The boom is not over it just moved continents!!
I like to think of it as the California gold rush, but just in reverse.

Now if a self proclaimed "slacker" like me can get a great job than just think what the rest of you can do.

optoslob


atmguy 12/5/2012 | 1:33:57 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate >>Even prayers are outsourced to India

BANGALORE - With Roman Catholic clergy in short supply in the United States, Indian priests are picking up some of their work, saying Mass for special intentions in an unusual version of outsourcing.

This is not new but has been so for a long time. Back in 1977, I know priests who came on GreenCard due to shortage of priests and nuns. It is not just from India but they came from all over. I think they just need a sponsorship from a parish in US.
Anyway, what does this have to do with "Telecom Job Climate"?
marc_goofy 12/5/2012 | 1:34:07 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate > Thanks,

My pleasure !


> Once the economy in China gets going "consumer" (by issuing
> credit cards - now happening en masse) the demand for oil
> (for gas to heat the home and drive the car) will skyrocket, so
> will debt.
and basic salary levels. This will then create a vicious circle, with increased labor costs, therefore manufacturing costs, therefore outsourcing & offshoring costs : foreign companies will start to pull out, to move somewhere else (where ? maybe back home or Middle East).
After a while, Chinese companies will start to offshore themselves, to lower their own costs. Then, Chinese economy will stall, as do the European at the moment (thanks to those)...

> That will force China to lower the 8.2 :1 exchange rate, or face
> super inflation. That's when the investments in China become
> worth something, and the foreign investors sell out and make
> a killing.
Killing is the right word. They will kill the Economy. At least, "that" economy.

But who cares, in this real-world Simm City...
Maybe should we become investors ourselves !

Carpe Diem,
_Marc
marc_goofy 12/5/2012 | 1:34:12 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Hi There,

> Vote against Bush in November.

You think I can ? A french guy voting from France, i am not sure that W. would really appreciate the joke. Hum, no : in fact, he even doesn't know about our existence ;-)

About your comments : all absolutely correct.

Take care,
_Marc
whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 1:34:12 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Thanks, I forgot one factor re investment. In China, arbitrage brings in the money. In other words, the bet is the investment (which is usually a joint venture with the government) will make some money thanks to arbitrage (read cheap labor) and more or less guaranteed business due to outsourcing and offshoring. Once the economy in China gets going "consumer" (by issuing credit cards - now happening en masse) the demand for oil (for gas to heat the home and drive the car) will skyrocket, so will debt. That will force China to lower the 8.2 :1 exchange rate, or face super inflation. That's when the investments in China become worth something, and the foreign investors sell out and make a killing.

That's more or less the plan.

-Why
marc_goofy 12/5/2012 | 1:34:13 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Hey Man !

> Having jumped in fact I fell onto a tropical beach with free
> drinks and naked women.

What's the company name again, so i can send them my resume ?!!!
Oh, i forgot to warn you : I am a marketeer. That means *danger* for you : after a while, maybe you'll have to pay for the drinks ;-)

Carpe Diem,
_Marc
meanstoanend 12/5/2012 | 1:34:13 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate We are so consumed with our jobs as being central to our lives that it is too easy to become depressed by the changing fortunes of telecom/datacom. I decided it was time to move on and was fearful of the icy orca-filled waters of the unknown job market (or so I thought). Having jumped in fact I fell onto a tropical beach with free drinks and naked women.

Don't be unhappy about the demise of the industry, there is far more to do in life.
brahmos 12/5/2012 | 1:34:20 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate
http://straitstimes.asia1.com....

Even prayers are outsourced to India

BANGALORE - With Roman Catholic clergy in short supply in the United States, Indian priests are picking up some of their work, saying Mass for special intentions in an unusual version of outsourcing.

American, as well as Canadian and European churches, are sending Mass intentions, or requests for services like those to remember deceased relatives and thanksgiving prayers, to clergy in India.

Advertisement

About 2 per cent of India's more than one billion people are Christians, mostly Catholics.

In Kerala, a state on the south-western coast with one of the largest concentrations of Christians in India, churches often receive intentions from overseas.

The Masses are conducted in Malayalam, the native language. The intention - often a prayer for the repose of the soul of a deceased relative, thanksgiving for a favour received, or a prayer for a newborn - is announced at Mass.

The requests are mostly sent through the Vatican, the bishops or through religious bodies. A significant number arrive via e-mail, a sign that technology is expediting this practice.

In Kerala's churches, memorial and thanksgiving prayers conducted for locals are said for a donation of 40 rupees (S$1.50), whereas a prayer request from the US typically comes with US$5 (S$8), the Indian priests say.

A bishop from Cochin, a port town in Kerala, said his diocese received an average of 350 Mass intentions a month from overseas.

But critics of the phenomenon said they were shocked that religious services were being outsourced, a word normally used for office jobs that migrate to countries with lower wages. -- New York Times
whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 1:34:32 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate VC funding in EU is non-existant, and it is not due to lack of entrepreneurs, nor lack of capital to invest.

Clearly Siemens, Alcatel, Thomson, you name it, have venture arms which invest heavily in the US, and lately, China. Same goes for Japan.

It is the near complete lack of individual middle class investors...aka: cannon fodder, sheep...that makes all the difference. EU, Japan: a few large corporations or families.

It's all those middle class (aka: working class professionals) investors that make it worth venturing.

The other side of this is we are now quite heavily into screwing the middle class in the US. Offshoring takes away their jobs and income. With no income, there is no investment. Expensing options is a clear move by the established companies to squash start-ups.

But the crowd in DC now is SUPER greedy. Never give a sucker a break. They WILL bring down the middle class to make themselves richer. It's all 'apre's moi le deluge'- after me the deluge. They really couldn't give a crap.

Vote against Bush in November.

-Why
marc_goofy 12/5/2012 | 1:34:35 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Hello Dreamer (What a nice nickname! Mine should be something like 'CarpeDiem' ;-)


Thanks for this crisp & clear expos+¬. To be honnest, I have been also thinking of these two markets : *traditonal* vs. *embedded* as you say, with the same conclusion than yours. Think about the Automotive market, it is a huge one, right ? Medical as well, with those optical patchcords used in laser surgery for instance, etc. And all those new "consumer-oriented" technologies like BlueTooth, WiFi etc. Think about the Apple G5 with its optical Ethernet port, for instance. So, you are definitely right, *embedded* telecoms offer much broader perspective than traditional long-haul and al.
Now, let me explain you *my* problem, as an optical communications veteran and fiber optics testing pioneer : i am damn french, and I live in France. What does it mean ? Simple : have you heard of VC over there ? have you seen any new start-up in *embedded telecoms* so far ? have you ever seen any big player investing in those new areas ? Even when looking outside the virtual borders (thanks God, EC is a reality), in the UK, in Germany, in Switzerland : nowhere to go, because there is nothing to do but apply for an already filled position at DaimlerChrysler or Bosch or Thomson... And if you don't have those 5-years experience in the Automotive sector or Aerospace or whatever which is not your field since the begining of your career, forget it : even if you are the most creative marketing guy, the best salesman, or the most efficient business developer, you will not get the job because you never worked in this environment before. That is the typical european mentality (which is a bit smoother than the japanese, i agree with you ;-)
The only solution we *high-tech/telecoms fellows* do have if willing to pursue objectives in this direction is... to cross the Atlantic, one-way ticket for San Fran, Seattle, or Boston, see what i mean ? Uh-Oh, Houston, we have a problem : US Citizen first (which is fine with me, of course, on the *political* point-of-view). So, at the end of the day, except if you do not already work for a US-based firm or have enough dollars yourself to invest and attract VCs to create your own start-up on the US territory, you do not have even 1% chance to get your green card. Dead-end.


> This is the begining of a very exciting time for people with
> imagination...

Correct. If it is only imagination, I am your man. If it is also about capital, please call the next one !!!

Thanks again for the message,
Shall you want to continue the discussion *off-line* : [email protected]

Take care,
_Marc
stephenpcooke 12/5/2012 | 1:34:38 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate NWorNano,

Here are a couple of datapoints that you might consider:

- Network Security is a big thing right now for small and medium-sized businesses, especially in Europe where broadband Internet is just starting to gain acceptance (most are still dial-up based). The difficulty with this is reaching these customers because they are all so diverse, there are no ubiquitous advertising avenues that provide any guarantees either. SPAM is bad so don't even think of advertising this way. Carriers are starting to implement partnerships with statefull Firewall (basically they take a quick look at the packets while they traverse the network routers) software companies and are selling this as a value-added service. The protection offered by these services is not nearly as good as a dedicated firewall/VPN appliance for a number of reasons but it also does not need any consultants to set up and maintain.

- Nanotechnology is getting some serious VC investment at the moment. As that was also true of telecom a few years ago you shouldn't use this as your deciding parameter.

Some have suggested that you find something that you enjoy and make a career of it somehow (unfortunately I am too old to become a professional hockey or soccer player and have never been nearly good enough anyway). If this works for you, great! Before you jump, pray, and go with your heart.

Good Luck,

Steve.
sgan201 12/5/2012 | 1:34:43 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Hi Marc,
This is the best of time and it is the worst of time. It depends on how you look at things. Yes, if you look at traditional telecom market, it is all doom and gloom. But, if you look beyond the traditional telecom market, communication capabilty is getting embedded into all kinds of consumer electronics. Stereo systems have fiber optic connector. Speaker system is working on WiFi connection. DWDM/CWDM stuff is cheap enough for enterprise to deploy. Telecom is getting invisible and integrated into a lot stuff. So, it is time to branch out/away from traditional telecom market. But, your experience in telecom industry will server you well in the industry that had just adopted telecom as part of its function. This is the begining of a very exciting time for people with imagination...

Dreamer
marc_goofy 12/5/2012 | 1:34:44 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Hi There,

Heard this morning at the Economy news : BP claims the global/worldwide oil reserves to be only 40-years, and says it's time to seek for new energies.
I guess US investors and VCs will see tons of business plans coming within the next few months. Stay tuned, folks, maybe your future is in hydrogen and no longer in silica ;-))

Take care,
_Marc
marc_goofy 12/5/2012 | 1:34:44 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Hello Folks,

I'd like to thank you all for the actual debate, which is to me extremely useful : being at the edge of *THE* decision - should I stay or should I go, as the song says - your posts and comments on the situation in the US help us European a lot.
Why ? Simply because, as everyone knows, US drives the industry : anything happening in North America does appear in Europe six to twelve months later. That is the case with the job market in Telecoms, for instance : I've seen openings with US firms in my field of interest/business popping up in late summer last year, followed up by the same positions in Europe in late winter this year. Now, the issue is that there is a factor 10 between our respective territories : 10 x more firms in the US, 10 x more start-up companies, 10 x more jobs, 10 x more opennings, etc. Means for us European 10 x less chances to get something on the Telecoms marketplace in Europe.
That is why I sincerely believe that our future (including mine, unfortunately ?) resides outside the Telecoms. Which is a pitty : a 20-years unique experience thrown into the trash-can, I feel a bit sad...

Thanks again,
_Marc

ps : any comment/critic, feel free to drop me a line [email protected]
NWorNano 12/5/2012 | 1:34:47 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Hi! I am new here, and find your posts are very helpful. I lost the job in Telecom for a while and try to get something new, Choices are Network security or Nanotechnology, and can't decide, from the post it seems that Nano has better future, is it true? Like to get some information.
seen_the_light 12/5/2012 | 1:34:47 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate
There are plenty of jobs, but you have to be good at what you do. Neigh... excellent at what you do. It's an election year, vote with your feet if you don't like where you are!
stephenpcooke 12/5/2012 | 1:34:51 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Tekbabe,

If you would care to post a link to a job advert with more information on what you are looking for I am sure that you will get many responses from many seasoned engineers.

Thanks for the ray of sunshine in an otherwise depressing landscape.

Steve.
keelhaul42 12/5/2012 | 1:34:52 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate There you have it: a positive data point.
Things will be so much more pleasant if this all comes to pass -- but please forgive me for not holding my breath!

>>>>>
So hang tight... it's not coming back with a vengenance, but my prediction is that by January we'll be seeing more activity. I am pushing retention and raises...because it is coming and those who don't pay attention will see an exodus of good people.
>>>>>
And richly deserved it will be for some of the "managers", "VP's", and "CEO's" who have made Simon Legree look like Ozzie Nelson.

-kh
tekbabe 12/5/2012 | 1:34:54 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Hi All,

Here's the scoop... yes, people are hiring. I'm one of them. I am looking for Sr. seasoned people, only. We have only a few Jr's...no time to babysit.

I have doubled headcount in 1 year and will add an additional 1/3 by the year end. (We are still small... under 100.)

The catch... contract to hire, initially.(Although for key hires, dept. heads, this may be waived) Try-buy... I want to know someone is here because they WANT to be... not 'cause they HAVE to be.

The market is tightening. For the first time in 3 years I have had engineers (yes,engineers) decide that the distance was not something they'd consider. (We are outside the valley.)

So, either gas prices are too high and they drive honking SUV's, or they feel there are other opps closer to home. A key hire, who was offered a position just recently has only been out of work since the end of April and has had 3 offers and plenty of interviews. I've been doing this long enough to wade through the b---s---, not to mention I know people at the other co's who could substantiate.

So hang tight... it's not coming back with a vengenance, but my prediction is that by January we'll be seeing more activity. I am pushing retention and raises...because it is coming and those who don't pay attention will see an exodus of good people.

Don't count on companies who are looking at the US or Europe for sales revenue... look to those who are focusing on Asia.

My husband faced the same lack of opps in your list , st, however he chose to do something totally different. (Not to mention 2 people leveraged in telecomm is not a good idea) When push comes to shove the market will face a huge shortage of seasoned people.

I am trying to avoid the recycled "good old boys" like the plague...been through the drama... don't need anymore... only high quality engineers whose resumes are actually factual need apply here!

Tekbabe
keelhaul42 12/5/2012 | 1:34:59 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Don't know about telecom but the headline for this one is "US hiring plans near boom levels"
http://story.news.yahoo.com/ne...

For those looking a new job can't come soon enough, your ship may be coming in.

I'm still waiting for the forecast of a "shortage" of engineers. Carly? Craig?
C'mon, please?

-kh
keelhaul42 12/5/2012 | 1:35:05 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Well, the answer to all of this is: move on to something else.
Yes, the going can be (is) tough. But, as another poster has already observed, the industry is weak and will be for years to come. I do see some signs of improvement [in telecom] but they are modest and slow.

Jobs in many other industries don't pay as well? How do they compare to going years with some combination of pay cuts, no pay increases, layoffs, et al? It looks like a safe bet that these will be the norm for many years.

Take stock of your situation: is this what you want to be doing (and complaining about) for years to come? Will it pay the bills? What are the alternatives and how much time/effort will be required to utilize them?
It's an engineering problem, you're an engineer ...

st0 12/5/2012 | 1:35:17 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate "Now, you say you found something in another sector : can you tell us which one, at least the industry ?"
=====
(1) sales: commision only job (no kidding, check hotjobs or monster)
(2) teaching community college as part time at 4,000 per course (full time course, two course per term)
(3) male nurse - significant shortage
(4) call center - midnight shift with friendly atitude required
(5) technician job need skill with design of medical instrument, R&D, Master degree minimum (no kidding... it is one of the ads said)
(6) etc.etc.
As for Telecom, the infrastructure of north america is far inferior than Japan and Korea. It should have many jobs to fix it in order to become the world leader again. The money is issue.... too many black holes in the gov. industry and wall street sucked it dry (amount of money spent in the past is far more than Japan and Korea... the inefficiency is killing the industry... start from the CEO pay, did you think it is efficient for share holder? 25% of the workforce in US is in the "managerial role", bean to bean counter ratio is out of control...just take look at all the models "how to counted the beans"...).

-st
marc_goofy 12/5/2012 | 1:35:18 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Hi Folk,


Very pertinent comment, of course. Charlatans-managed and Wall Street-driven, that is the exact description of the Telecoms industry today. What a disaster...
Now, you say you found something in another sector : can you tell us which one, at least the industry ? I have been looking for jobs in the Automotive : no chance, 20-years of Telecoms behind, they do consider it's too much (maybe I should wait the next german jewel, with embedded optical LAN and integrated Bluetooth gadgets ;-). Aerospace/Defense : same. Nanotechnologies : here in Europe, you have only two options. a) work for a japanese firm (forget it, I'm a pure mix of Latin/American style ;-) b) work for a start-up company (forget it, where is the budget ?). Computing : well, if you're "Applemaniac" like myself, you won't find something easily !
So, the only solution we have, all of us the old farts, is to radically switch : tourism, healthcare, education, wherever your technical background won't be an issue...

Anyway, carpe diem,
_Marc
marc_goofy 12/5/2012 | 1:35:18 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Hi There,


I totally agree with you, *cyberspace* Buddy. For all of you who are still employed and working in the Telecoms, please start thinking out the box, and get the most out of your inner-deeper intimate goals. Don't expect to find an other job in an other firm in the same sector : it is dead-end. They all do temporary employment, either as trial-period, consultant, or... nothing but gentleman agreement for a fixed position later in the year, as they say.
Look at me (yes, the guy with the blue shirt and the blue eyes on the other side of the ocean, it's me !) : I've had 6 months to get ready leave my former job/employer/company. Then, I've been working a couple of dead-end projects (by the end of the day) in the Telecoms. One year after, unemployed, no more resources, no consulting contract (hey, where's the budget ?), and one unique goal : find something else somewhere else as quickly as possible. Food & Drinks, Tourism, Sports, whatever close to the real life and the daily contacts with people. You know what ? Should I have decided to leave the industry when I thought about it a year ago, I would be working today. Maybe for less money than before, maybe w/o international contacts and frequent business trips, but I would be proud of myself. And more, I would be a normal guy, with a normal life, and i would make my family (and my wife first) happy...

Think about it : time and money go very fast. Better spot the right stuff at the first attempt.

HTH,
May The Force Be With You All,
_Marc
marc_goofy 12/5/2012 | 1:35:19 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Hi There,

> What raise, there is not even appreciation of one's hard-work
> anymore.

Ever heard of the *New Slaves*, coming after the *New Economy* ? :-((


> What in ordinary times will be done by 3 people, one enginner
> is handling it.

You're damn right, unfortunately. It is the ratio in each and every branch of the Telecoms industry I know of, from NEMs to Telcos, even new entrants (there are some, especially in the Middle East and Asia). A nightmare.


> I will be intrested as to who is hiring and whether they are
> looking for just junior people. Where can we get information
> on salary scale now? I heard it has gone down by 20%.

I'm a job seeker, since almost 6 months now. Previous "fixed" job : *Product Marketing* Manager with a strategic Division at one of the largest US companies in this field. Guess what : each and every similar position I've been applying for since last year is paid roughly the same salary than the one I got back in... 1998 when I started with this US firm.
Here in Europe, you can count something like 50 to 70k$ for a Regional Business Development Manager job, and roughly the same for a Marketing-related position. C-Level (e.g. VP) at *small* players : 100-150k$.
A 20-years experience, expertise in some strategic areas of optical networking, outstanding record track of successful new technologies/products/companies introduction, business expert in a booming region of the Globe : that's me. Impressive, huh ? Guess what : i'm *too* something. So, the job always goes to a junior : same basic salary (ah, i forgot : the new method is a fix+commission on sales, even for a Marketing-related job), but the guy is going to be more *flexible* compared to a 43-yo senior manager, who's also more dangerous : with such an experience and those expertises, it's *easy* to take over your manager's job, and that is exactly what this guy do fear the most, you taking his job after a while...

Who's hiring in Europe: service providers first (pan-european operators, large alternative telcos), then system integrators (not NEMs, except in R&D and Prod), then vendors (T&M manufacturers, distributors). Actually, very few open positions compared to the market, so an amazing number of candidates for the same job. For instance, the BICSI recently hired its European manager, mandatory french & english fluent : 1,000+ candidates. Good luck, folks...

So, by the end of the day, there is only two options : a) wait for the real recovery (when ? US out of Iraq ? W. out of the White House ? Everyone out of business ?...), b) seek for another job in another sector, and cross the fingers you won't compete against your former colleagues.

HTH,
Take care, and good luck,
_Marc

marc_goofy 12/5/2012 | 1:35:20 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Hi There,

You may be right, indeed. Personally, I've been thinking of starting my own business with buddies of mine and a bunch of *experts* in Industrial Design & Product Marketing (kind of).
A widely open window of opportunities in our sector.
Guess what : prospects were highly interested, ready to sign un contracts, but... w/o budget. "We'll pay you if it works", that is the motto.
Better switch for a carwash garage : at least, customers do pay before the job...

Take care,
_Marc
whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 1:35:21 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate The issue is over supply, not under-demand.

Businesses get the politicians to do whatever they want: H1-B, offshoring, arbitrage.

When it (fill in the blank from above) was a margin play, it made sense: it gave US business an edge, and didn't really hurt anyone. In fact, it was truly an economic stimulant. Win-win-win.

But like all stimulant drugs, it is subject to abuse. And abuse leads to addiction / tolerance and high dose, which leads to serious health problems. Economic health problems. Like death due to overdose.

And as soon as one company got something from "it", they all wanted something form "it".

Which is where we are now. But is anyone in congress or the news media listening? Nope. They are going nuts falling all over each other to try the same drug, thinking it worked once, it will again. Wrong! So wrong!

It's like we used the needle so often it got blunt, and our veins are so scarred over, it really hurts to take the injection. But instead of taking the hint and stopping, we inject more.

Shix, think that blood coming from our eyes, nose and ears means anything?

Death spiral for the US.

Best country / government / news media money can buy.

Nobody, literally nobody gives a damn.

-Why
sgan201 12/5/2012 | 1:35:22 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Hi,
This is Economic 101. You judge the supply and demand by the price that the market willing to pay. In 1982, the average starting pay for freshly graduated Electrical Engineer is 26K. Now, it is 40K. The starting pay has not keep up with the inflation. The American job market had decided that Electrical Engineer is not worth the money for at least the last 20 years. There is nothing new here. To add salt to insult, an Electrical engineer probably earn much less than a plumber or an electrician since we are not entitled to over-time pay. If you do not beleive me, take you annual salary and divided by the actual 60 to 80 hours per week that you have to work. It is less than the amount of money per hour that you have to pay a plumber or an electrician to fix anything.

I had met a former Electrical Engineer manager that transitioned into an electrician. He is happier and he makes a lot more money with less responsibility. He no longer has to work over-time without pay.

Dreamer

just_a_nerd 12/5/2012 | 1:35:23 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate I agree.

I've been in this business for over 10 years, and have enjoyed the technology and work. I've been through the 80's when it sucked to be an engineer. I think it's worse now.

I would not recommend anyone to enter electrical engineering or computer science. I looks like engineering jobs are going to be commodity jobs that will be sent overseas, with exception of defense work.



networking_legend 12/5/2012 | 1:35:24 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate I'm not sure that the equipment makers still standing will be able to lure top graduates to their companies after all the shananigans in the last three years. Once the economy begins firing on all cyclinders new grads will have more attractive opportunities elsewhere. Also, all college students do not live in a beer haze and know very well what industries have the better opportunities

This is very true, and very sad for the industry.
The best university students are aware of the dim prospects that fields like telecommunications. The hype is gravitating towards nanotech and biotech, and that hype has filtered down to the university undergraduate students.

The best (tech-oriented) students in this country are now starting to major in things like bio-engineering, chemical engineering, and materials science. They no that is where the future lies.

Electrical Engineering & Computer Science will suffer subsequently suffer here. For these two fields, most of the world's new graduates are coming from Asia. Therefore, I suspect much of the future innovation in these two fields will be driven from the other side of the Pacific. Now might be a good time to send your resume to Huawei.
whyiswhy 12/5/2012 | 1:35:24 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Any US high school student / recent graduate who would for a moment consider an engineering / technology ccareer should have his/her head examined.

Like it or not, law and medicine are the only college degrees / careers worth pursuing for US high school students. Meaning US engineering graduates best gear up and learn Mandarin, or take either LSAT or MSAT and change their majors.

The irony is they (the US engineering and technology schools) have nobody to blame but themselves for admitting so many foreign and/or out of state students for the last twenty years. Guess what? They learned and don't need you anymore.

And with nobody here in the US wanting to pursue engineering / technology education / careers, I guess we will have to issue more H1B visas and admit more foreign students!

Talk about a stuuuuuuupid downward spiral!

-Why
keelhaul42 12/5/2012 | 1:35:27 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Good points: growth opportunities are bleak - at least inside the US. China et al are another story but participation is not open to most of us here.
There are other industries which are in better (not great) shape but - as you point out - there will be same adaptation required.

I wonder when we'll get the next prediction of a shortage of engineers from our captains of industry? Can hardly wait ...

-kh
lightbeer 12/5/2012 | 1:35:28 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate I think the more pertinent question is "Will the people who were forced to leave the industry want to come back?" I for one will probably look back with fond memories of my days in Telecom but will not come back. The industry was exciting and somewhat ethical before the bubble, now it is still too closely associated with Charletans and sleezy Wall Street types. The RBOCs are still way to bloated and will be laying off for years to come. The equipment makers are in a little better shape but they live and die by their customers and there customers are still weak and facing brutal competition.

I'm not sure that the equipment makers still standing will be able to lure top graduates to their companies after all the shananigans in the last three years. Once the economy begins firing on all cyclinders new grads will have more attractive opportunities elsewhere. Also, all college students do not live in a beer haze and know very well what industries have the better opportunities.

As far as the old farts of the industry who were pushed out, there are other opportunities for you too. It might take two or three years to get back on your feet but with luck you will be better paid in a job with better working conditions. I for one do not miss the long hours and crappy management that I found in Telecom.

Cheers,

LightBeer

phuturex 12/5/2012 | 1:35:34 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Fist of all I think all of us who still make a decent wage (subjective of course) to feel very blessed that we still have employment. However, with all that we have been through and all of the carnage that we have stepped over, we must now be wiser and a little more realistic (even paranoid)when looking at the telecom landscape. I think that most of us can agree that our current positions might be a means to end and that's it. We now have the luxury of time with regards to really trying to figure out where our next move may be. My advice to those who are still employed is to quickly figure out where your passions lay and figure out a way to make some good coin doing it. You must know by now that what you have may not last for long so start spending some time with colleagues, family and friends to help figure out where to go from here. All we have a little time -- make the most of it.
PastTense 12/5/2012 | 1:35:41 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate You're wrong. However, you may be right in describing the general trend. I said you're wrong because you asked me to. Also because I was very lucky to get back into telecom after a brief stint in the software industry. Not only that, I am paid more than before. I was seriously underpaid before and now am only a little bit underpaid. No raises this year, but I still consider myself very lucky to be working.

One thing I have noticed lately is that people are starting to move between jobs again. We are experiencing higher turnover from those leaving on their own to take new jobs. That's a good sign in my eyes. Maybe we'll get raises next year. Maybe not. Either way, having survived the telecom crash, I consider myself very lucky.

I hope all of you are starting to see positive changes in your career and in the industry.
st0 12/5/2012 | 1:35:50 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Trulight1 said:
"Yes ,they will."
=====
agree, most likely in terms of a contractor or a consultant or a temp ....

-st
Truelight1 12/5/2012 | 1:35:55 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Yes ,they will.
atmguy 12/5/2012 | 1:36:00 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate >>One other observation:
>> companies are running very lean on staffing.

You can say that again. I for one, have'nt had a raise in nearly 4 years. What raise, there is not even appreciation of one's hard-work anymore. What in ordinary times will be done by 3 people, one enginner is handling it.

I will be intrested as to who is hiring and whether they are looking for just junior people. Where can we get information on salary scale now? I heard it has gone down by 20%.

Thanks.
PO 12/5/2012 | 1:36:12 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Subject says it all. My belief is that the guys that the industry "let go" - gawd I hate that phrase - will never really make it back. If and when hiring starts again, it'll be for folks just out of school. Salary compression rules.

I'd have to agree. One major player posts jobs for "alumni", and lists a number of new-grad positions on that site. Other opportunities I've heard about have wanted to promote from within (and backfill at the lower level) rather than re-hiring experienced and capable talent from outside.

I've also seen at least one company enact a retroactive pay cut just before laying off a large percentage of their team - not exactly professional behavior, and not something that inspires loyalty to the field.

But there's more to high-tech than just telecom r&d, and plenty of folk are applying themselves in new fields already.
OpticOm 12/5/2012 | 1:36:23 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate A microscope?
Ha-not even Hubble telescope would be enough...
DarkWriting 12/5/2012 | 1:36:29 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Make your own job and still do the thing you love. Almost 20 years ago I was predicting that groups of engineers would band together to start their own "product development companies" (as opposed to unions). The group would offer their services to larger corporations for a known fee with a contract that lets them out if they have to deal with piss poor management at the corporation.

This has happened to an extent but not nearly as much as I would have expected. Talk with your fellow engineers, the ones you get along well with and who you know are highly competent. Take some businesses classes or hire MBAs with technical undergrads and go for it. The last place I worked had a group like this and they wound up running the engineering department. It can be done and you will have more stick as a group. Think about it.

DW
Richard Hatch 12/5/2012 | 1:36:30 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate I agree with the career stall factor and have seen that with practically everybody I know from startup to very large companies. I lateraled into a startup in mid-2000 expecting career growth as the company grew. Then it finally tanked in late 2002. Joined another company 5 months later at same wage as 2000, basically at the trough (in my perspective!). Company short-sightedly was hiring people selectively and screwing them because they could. But now those same people have started leaving for other jobs in droves and company just instituted "retention bonuses" where we get 10% of total salary if we're still there in 6 months. So a recognition on their behalf that they're paying under-market, and a good sign that the tide is turning. One thing is for sure, you'd need a microscope to find the loyalty anybody has anymore after being b-slapped around for 4 years.
optical Mike 12/5/2012 | 1:36:31 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate We have been off shoring many manufacturing positions for years now, next the call centers/telemarketers, and software programmers, now high tech and hardware positions.
So what will be left in this economy, there are only so many service positions
bocaIP 12/5/2012 | 1:36:31 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate The telecom company I work at has been very good about transferring workers to NGN products and rehiring a non-trivial amount of laid off employees. However, the future seems to be a question of when our jobs will go offshore not if.

flam 12/5/2012 | 1:36:32 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Subject says it all. My belief is that the guys that the industry "let go" - gawd I hate that phrase - will never really make it back. If and when hiring starts again, it'll be for folks just out of school. Salary compression rules.

Please tell me I'm wrong.
testdude 12/5/2012 | 1:36:33 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Since the peak of 2000, I have remained employed with 2 startups and 1 major equipment provider. I have seen a 20% decrease in salary and stock options, well I would say are considered only paper retainers and nothing more. I'm happy to still be employed although the companies today think they can still have people work 60 hour weeks/weekends at reduced salaries.

The industry appears to be on the rebound so when things really do pickup companies will need to get back to reality
diag_eng 12/5/2012 | 1:36:33 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Whether you like it or not, offshoring has proven to be a viable alternative and is here to stay.

Yeah, so what village are you from?
networking_legend 12/5/2012 | 1:36:34 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate If you are not based in China or India, job growth potential has been bleak for the last few years. And to be frank, there doesn't seem to be sign of improvement.

Now, in this increasingly global economy, you are going to be competing for the same job with engineers from all over the world. And so long as a major salary arbitrage exists between engineering jobs in your country vs another one, it will be harder and harder for a company to justify keeping the job here.

The fact is, contrary to many media reports, most (not all) company executives are happy with the results they are getting from their offshoring ventures. Whether you like it or not, offshoring has proven to be a viable alternative and is here to stay.
optical Mike 12/5/2012 | 1:36:34 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate I would be pleased with a bonus of $2K this year, we have also not had any pay increase since 2000 and I am thankful to be employed knowing that our company staff is less than half of what it was 3 years ago.
optical Mike 12/5/2012 | 1:36:35 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate I would be pleased with a bonus of $2K this year, we have also not had any pay increase since 2000 and I am thankful to be employed knowing that our company staff is less than half of what it was 3 years ago.
zoinks! 12/5/2012 | 1:36:35 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Career stalls is an excellent one!

Using my own experience as a data point, I've been doing the same job for the past four years at my current company and two years at my prior one. No place to move up, nor laterally. Part of my stall is my fault, as I made a lateral move four years ago to a startup with the expectation of job growth. Instead I got job contraction.

Plus its difficult to reward and promote the engineers in my team, since for many, their next desired move is into management or a leadership position. But we've laid off all the junior people (and some of the senior people) so now we have a flat organization of all principal level engineers.

Zoinks!
keelhaul42 12/5/2012 | 1:36:47 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Those are interesting data points that give some indication of overall health for the industry.
I'd like to suggest another one: career stalls

How many are working in jobs well below their education/experience/ability/ambitions? (And have no expectation of near term improvement)
There was a time when one could move up the ladder or into different work areas by displaying interest and aptitude -- the opportunity would be offered.
No more. Consider yourself lucky to be employed is the word from on high.

One other observation:
companies are running very lean on staffing.
Per a recent Dilbert cartoon:
Boss: If I cut your product development budget by 25% what could you develop?
Dilbert: Ulcers, heart disease, and maybe mysterious pustules.
Boss: How about the product itself?
Dilbert: It will envy me.


-kh
zoinks! 12/5/2012 | 1:36:48 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate I wasn't able to access the poll, so maybe this was addressed.

I would like to see of the currently employed regarding things like whether or not people have had raises during the past 1,2,4 years (and at what percentages), whether or not they've had pay cuts, or received bonuses, promotions without pay increase, etc.

I, for one, have not had a pay raise since December of 1999. I received a measely $2K bonus this year, but its the first since early 2000.

I know of very few (maybe one in ten) that have received an increase in the past few years. However, all it takes is one "friend of a friend" to get an increase and my friends start whining about being underpaid.

I can't complain though, as I've been steadily employed during the past four years.

Zoinks!
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