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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Career in Telecom Software

Telecom software

The skill sets required for aspiring telecom software professionals today

Roughly 5% of the total revenue of the IT sector comes from the telecommunication software industry. And of the 7.5 lakh employees working with the IT sector, 50,000 are with the telecom software development sector, which is considered to be among the most specialised domain in the IT industry.

According to industry reports, the telecom software industry is growing at 20% annually and is expected to sustain this growth in the next five years. Some of the major companies dealing with telecom software solutions in India are Wipro, Tech Mahindra, Sasken and Aricent, among others.


With the present rate of growth, the telecom software industry is expected to grow manifold and so are the job opportunities. But, apart from the core software development sector, there will also be opportunities for engineers and managers with the service providers.

The telecom software industry primarily looks at electronics or computer science students for entry-level recruitment. So, is a degree in electronics or computer science adequate for the telecom software sector? In any given year, nearly 60% of the recruits of a telecom software company like Aricent are college freshers.

For the entry-level, no educational institution teaches in-depth fundamentals on telecom software. Most engineering students of electronics and computer science branches teach only the basics of telecom. Yet, most companies developing telecom software hire 90% of their entry-level recruits from these two branches.

Most of these companies then make their recruits undergo elaborate training, which may range from a month to a longer period, training the professionals on technology (domain training), software development, and software life cycle management, among others.

There also exists a lateral hiring procedure for experienced professionals. They join as technical experts or consultants and have to undergo a lot of on-job training as well as their formal training. As technology training is not commercially available, most corporates conduct internal training programmes.


Till a professional reaches the level of a technical lead, the growth path is more or less the same - starting first as a software engineer, becoming a senior software engineer and eventually reaching the level of technical lead.

From there on, a professional can either remain on the technical side or diversify to a project management profile. On the technical profile, one can go on to become a technical expert and on the project management profile one can become a project manager.


At the entry level, such as during campus recruitments, the most important criteria is that the candidate should have a sound academic background. He or she should have good problem solving, analysing and logical reasoning and must be a quick learner. Apart from that, basic expertise in programming is required.

As for soft skills, one should have good behavioural competency, drive to perform and good communication skills.

For lateral entry, the skill set required depends on the projects and domains one would work with. But for managerial level, leadership quality is a must.


For the entry-level in this industry, one joins as a software engineer and can earn up to Rs 3.5 lakh perannum, besides other benefits.

Within a period of five years, a professional is expected to rise by at least two levels and sometimes can even rise by three levels to become a project manager or a senior technical lead. The compensation package then, can lie anywhere in the range of Rs 8-12 lakh per-annum.

Sunil Sharma


Dil Se Desi Group

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