Job profile: Become a telecommunications manager

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There's an uptick in demand for telecommunications managers since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.A telecommunications manager is responsible for installation, operations, availability, and maintenance of communications devices and technologies in an organization. Companies depend on telecommunications managers to ensure seamless, reliable, and continuous operations of their communications networks.

A prime focus area for a telecommunications manager is real-time voice and video communications. A successful manager must have the knowledge and skills required to deliver high-quality, reliable, and uninterrupted communication in real time.

Telecommunications managers function as a link between their organizations and telecommunications product and service providers. Their purpose is to fulfil their organizations’ communications needs in the most effective, reliable, secure, and cost-efficient way.

Today, no organization can afford frequent delays and interruptions in external and internal communication. To ensure smooth operations and prevent business disruptions, enterprises, government, and public institutions must have modern and efficient communication systems and technologies to enable employees to stay connected with each other and communicate with customers, vendors, and other entities.

A new and recent wrinkle in the telecommunications landscape is due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: Many employees across a variety of industries are now working from home. Also, domestic and international work-related travel has seen a massive drop.

This has brought about a sharp increase in video conferencing and various other means of remote communication. In such a scenario, the prospects for technically knowledgeable and experienced telecommunications managers and specialists appear robust.

Job responsibilities

There's an uptick in demand for telecommunications managers since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.Telecommunication managers are responsible for ensuring optimum performance and uninterrupted availability of electronic communication systems and technologies at their organization. Their job responsibilities include:

Identifying users’ telecommunications requirements

Reviewing existing telecommunications systems, understanding the design, identifying issues, and recommending upgrades, and replacement of components and devices where necessary

Proposing purchases of new devices, equipment, and communication services as required, assessing products and services from different vendors, and determining the cost of new purchases to be made

Planning, designing, constructing, installing, implementing, and commissioning telecommunications infrastructure in the organization

Documenting and maintaining records on installation, upgrades and replacements, and resolution of problems

Developing, implementing, managing and reviewing policies and procedures for the organization, complying with federal regulations, and establishing best practices

Monitoring and assessing the performance of all telecommunication devices, peripheral equipment, and technologies, including voice, data, and digital systems, satellite and microwave connections, and networking equipment.

Resolving existing errors, identifying potential issues, preventing future problems, devising methods to minimize glitches and improve communications

Evaluating performance metrics of software and hardware in order to estimate future telecommunication requirements.

Drawing up plans for upgrading existing infrastructure, and increasing the organization’s telecommunications capabilities

Managing the telecommunications team, assigning responsibilities, supervising their day-to-day work, and assessing their performance. Planning and implementing training programs for telecommunications personnel

Organizing training for users in the organization

Staying in touch with new developments in telecommunications technologies, keeping track of releases of relevant upgrades and security patches, and conferring with vendors regarding new products and services

Compiling the telecommunications budget for the organization

Keeping pace with technology

There's an uptick in demand for telecommunications managers since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.Like other IT professionals, telecommunications managers need to stay abreast of rapid advances in technology in their field. It’s crucial to keep track of advances in network software and hardware, including LAN and WAN systems, Voice-over-IP technology, voice mail, streaming media delivery, and other telecommunications technologies.

Telecommunications managers also need to keep themselves informed about the latest developments in computers and mobile devices.

Training and employment background

Large and medium organizations normally require telecommunications managers to have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, electrical engineering, electronics or a related subject. Recruiters require candidates for the role of telecommunications manager to have a number of years of professional experience in the design, planning, development, installation, configuration, maintenance, and troubleshooting of telecommunications systems, equipment, and technologies.

In addition to technical knowledge and hands-on skills, telecommunications managers and specialists need to have well-developed analytical and critical thinking skills, solid written and spoken communication skills, and organizational abilities. Leadership skills are also important because they are required to manage a team of telecom professionals.

Certification

Relevant certifications demonstrate professional competence in a specific skillset as well as commitment to career growth. There are a number of vendor-neutral and vendor-specific telecommunications credentials available today.

Some popular certifications include:

iNARTE Telecommunications Engineer

International Association for Radio, Telecommunications and Electromagnetics (iNARTE) is part of Exemplar Global, previously RABQSA. iNARTE offers a number of certifications for qualified engineers and technicians working in telecommunications, electromagnetic compatibility/interference (EMC/EMI), product safety (PS), electrostatic discharge control (ESD), and installation of wireless systems.

The iNARTE Telecommunications Engineer credential is available at three levels – junior, senior, and master. Candidates are required to hold a college or university transcript or diploma, and have the specified number of years of related professional experience. They must also have a FCC General Radiotelephone Operator License (GROL).

Additional information is available online.

CCNA

There's an uptick in demand for telecommunications managers since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.Cisco’s CCNA is an associate-level certification that validates knowledge of the fundamentals of network operations. The CCNA is designed for networking professionals who design, construct, maintain, secure, and troubleshoot network infrastructure, and those who sell and market Cisco networking products.

To achieve the CCNA, you need to pass the 200-301 CCNA exam. The exam covers network fundamentals, network access, IP connectivity and services, security fundamentals, and network automation and programmability.

Additional information is available online.

Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD)

The RCDD certification demonstrates expertise in designing communications distribution systems, supervising execution of the plan, coordinating related activities with members of the design team, and performing an assessment of the completed communications distribution system in accordance with the requirements and the objective of the design.

To apply for the RCDD certification exam, candidates must have either 2 years of verifiable full-time professional work experience in ICT design, and a current BICSI certification, such as BICSI TECH, RTPM, DCDC, or OSP, or 2 years of verifiable full-time equivalent work experience in ICT design, and completion of 2 years of higher education in ICT as specified, or 5 years of verifiable ICT experience.

Additional information is available online.

Other certifications you might want to consider depending on your level of experience and area of specialization include NCTI Telecom Specialist, NCTI Master Technician, and TCO’S Certified Telecommunications Network Specialist (CTNS).

Telecommunications managers work for a diverse range of organizations, including tech giants, telecommunications companies, and consulting firms that provide telecommunications services to clients.

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Reena Ghosh

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Reena Ghosh is an independent ghostwriter who writes promotional, developmental and explanatory content for individuals and businesses. She came to professional writing with work experience in financial services operations and corporate communication. Reena speaks three languages and hopes to learn Sanskrit. She is a wanderer who spends time in West Bengal, Goa and any place that pulls.

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