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a microwave telecommunications tower Advances in technology are changing the way we communicate, from email to audio, video, and digital interactive media.  Knowledge of how to convert electronic and mechanical impulses into digitally encoded information and transmit that information over long distances has brought us a long way from the days of communicating with smoke signals.  Early examples of more modern telecommunications include the morse code electric telegraph which was first demonstrated in 1844, and the first telephone, which was patented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876.  Currently, the field of telecommunications is a rapidly changing multi-billion dollar industry including voice, video, and Internet communication services which is changing the way we live and work.

The telecommunications industry is divided into wired, wireless, satellite, and other telecommunications sectors.  Wired communication makes up the largest sector which includes landline telephone services, digital subscriber line (DSL) Internet, and cable TV.  TV, voice, Internet, and other data is routed over a network of wires and cables which the company may own, share, or lease from other companies.  Wireless telecommunications provide services via signals transmitted directly to the customer through radio tower networks.  Cellular phone service providers comprise the largest portion of the wireless telecommunications sector.  Satellite telecommunications providers use satellites to transmit data.  Other telecommunications sectors include operators of radar stations, radio networks, and telecommunications resellers.

Telecommunications firms supply an essential service to the economy, providing households and businesses with wired phone and cable TV, Internet, cellular phone, broadband and mobile Internet, and satellite TV.  Much of our daily communication is conducted through these means, making telecommunications a viable and lucrative career field for those interested in technology.  The industry employs a variety of workers in installation, maintenance and repair, professional occupations such as engineering, and sales-related occupations.  Many telecommunications positions require on-the-job training in addition to a high school diploma.  College degrees are usually required for managerial and professional positions, as well as some maintenance and repair jobs.  Employers often look for workers with knowledge of computer programming and software design, voice telephone technology, laser and fiber optic technology, wireless technology, and data compression.  Due to the constantly changing nature of the telecommunications industry, employees must be willing to commit to ongoing education throughout the duration of their careers.

Find more information on telecommunications careers at the Telecommunications Industry Association, Society of Telecommunications Consultants, and Wireless Communications Association International websites.

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About Telecommunications Jobs