By M. Safi Ur Rehman
Like any other bright students in universities, I was also filled with this impression that I will get graduated with B.Eng in Telecom and will be swimmingly hired by a well-known operator of the country with handsome salary in addition to tons of facilities and luxuries.
However, this didn’t happen. After graduation, I, and almost every class mate of mine, hunted for the job that we had dreamt for. But all efforts turned unsuccessful and we were left with this question only, which most of the Telecom Engineers ask for: “How to Find A Job in Telecom?”
Here is the truth: there are no Jobs in Telecom sector for fresh graduates with no references. You don’t need a hi-fi GPA or anything to grab a job. All you need is a good healthy reference or you will end up finding it hard to get even the unpaid internship.
Pathetic?? Yes it is. And sorry for being too blunt, but that’s the real ground situation, which I am sharing with you only after experiencing it.
If there are no Jobs (for fresh grads without any reference) then how to survive in Telecom market? How to get the job after all? Before I tell you that, let’s go through some useful information regarding telecom sector which wasn’t shared with us before we started our job hunt.
Telecom sector is divided into three categories.
1 – Operator:
We have five operators:
2 – Vendors:
Operators hire a (network) vendor to build and maintain their Networks. Which means that vendors install the telecom equipment on the operator’s cell sites. List of vendors, which are working in Pakistan is given below:
- Nokia Siemens Network (NSN)
Just to let you know, some operators use services of more than one vendor to keep their networking running.
3 – Sub-cons:
Vendors hire sub-cons to do majority of tasks, such as right now Huawei is installing Microwave Links on Zong sites and they have hired Netkom, EESPAK and Tier-4 for this project.
Similarly a vendor hires a sub-con for other specific projects, such as fueling the sites, operations & maintenance of sites, any equipment installation on sites, Microwave surveys, etc.
There are dozens of sub contractors working in Pakistan, but below is the list of major sub-cons operating in Pakistan:
- Turno Tech
- Mobi Serve
- Apollo Telecom
- And many others.
Operators and vendors pay well as compared to the sub-cons. Most of the sub-cons do not pay their employees on monthly basis; they hire an Engineer for Rs. 10,000 per month or maybe even less than that and they pay salaries after 3-4 months. By this, I don’t mean that all sub-cons are bad – but they largely delay salaries.
Now let’s come back to the real question again: How to find a Job?
If you have strong references then you can get Job easily – in such a case (when you gave got a healthy reference) you must try landing into an operator, or vendor at least.
In other case, if you don’t know any big gun then stop dreaming. Try to be realistic and start your career with a sub-con. Get some experience from there, build good relations and then apply in Vendor/Operator.
Finding a Job in a sub-con would be relatively easy. Visit all the sub-cons personally and drop your CV there. Keep following them up and don’t loose hope. Follow up is really important, keep visiting them again and again until they offer you a job.
Join a sub-con with a learning attitude and not for earning money, because 10K-20K isn’t the kind of money that a Engineer deserves. Learn every possible thing that you can. Stay in touch with your seniors, they can be helpful in upcoming days.
The key point to survive in telecom is reference, make them hard and strong because in telecom industry jobs are not advertised on career portals, instead they are shouted out to friends and colleagues through e-mails.
If you are already doing an unpaid internship or job, don’t quit it even if you are not satisfied or even if they are not paying you. Keep doing this job to get the professional experience and the day will come when you will be rewarded for your struggle.
I will suggest that don’t wait for a miracle to happen. You have to struggle by yourself to make your place in Telecom, and struggle with the motto of “Ithy Rakh Sada Haq… ”.
Writer is an ex-student of NUML Telecom Engineering 3rd Batch. Right now he is working as a Transmission Engineer in a Sub-Con.