Telecommunications Network Engineers
Education and Training Requirements
Telecommunications network engineers must have strong knowledge of computers, information systems, and electronics. While in high school, take classes in computer science, mathematics, and business. Classes in English and writing are also helpful for the communication skills needed in this field.
Most employers prefer telecommunications network engineers have, at minimum, a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field, and some require a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems. Bachelor's degree programs may be in computer science, information systems, engineering, or a similar area of study. Coursework includes laboratory work in database design and network security, preparing students for future work in the diverse technologies used in telecommunications networks.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification is offered by various professional associations as well as product vendors and software firms. Certification is voluntary and can help advance telecommunications professionals' skills and employment opportunities. Associations such as the National Center for Women & Information Technology and the Association for Computing Machinery, among others, offer certification programs.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
Telecommunications network engineers are usually required to have five to 10 years of prior experience in information technology (IT) systems. Most employers prefer to hire engineers who have experience as telecommunications engineers or network and computer system administrators. Strong analytical skills are required to evaluate telecommunications networks and advise clients on the ways to make the systems more efficient and safe. Attention to detail is needed to design and build network plans and organizational and interpersonal skills are needed to coordinate and communicate with different types of employees at all levels.