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

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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.

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.
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.

OpticOm 12/5/2012 | 1:36:23 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate A microscope?
Ha-not even Hubble telescope would be enough...
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.
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%.

Truelight1 12/5/2012 | 1:35:55 AM
re: Poll Rates Telecom Job Climate Yes ,they will.
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 ....

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.
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.
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