Industry Insights

Is Your Engineering Career Ready for 5G?

Will 5G really create more jobs? Industry experts say “yes.” And if you’re currently an engineer studying telecommunications or enmeshed in the field, it might be time to consider the impact 5G will have on the future of employment.

How much of an impact 5G will have on industries as a whole is widely debated. According to an Accenture survey, only 41% of executives believed that 5G will have a revolutionary impact with its ability to reach new places — like remote and inhospitable areas. Yet, still, 5G adoption is fast-approaching, and businesses are planning to rush into it with the intention of leaping into the market and reaping their share of the rewards.

Earlier this year, the CTIA, which represents the U.S. wireless communications industry and companies throughout the mobile ecosystem, released a statement stating that the 400 MHz of mid-band spectrum available for commercial 5G networks will add $274 billion to the U.S. economy and create 1.3 million new jobs, according to new research from Analysis Group.

And that’s just one example of reports that state booming job markets for 5G-related positions. What does the 5G rush mean for engineers, both new and seasoned?  For starters, it means more jobs in telecommunications, cloud data systems, automotive, and consumer electronics sector.

“5G connectivity will enhance the speed of transmission that requires a great amount of data handling as well as network handling. In addition, for enabling 5G, we need a new infrastructure to set the things up. This is creating an opportunity,” says BCC Industry Analyst, Electronics and Communications, Gaurav Bhushan.

And as 5G technology moves closer to end-users, there comes a need for new types of training and education.

According to Bhushan this includes:

  • Training of new 5G installed systems
  • Education around upcoming allotment ranges and their transmission protocol in different countries
  • Training for setting up networks as per the defined protocols by telecom associations
  • Training for protection of these installed networks and being prepared for complaints regarding network functioning

A recent BCC report revealed that one of the crucial downsides associated with the 5G market is the requirement for skilled expertise. The establishment of the technology requires the involvement of highly trained data-network engineers and software developers in large numbers. Developing these technologies, providing the necessary training, and keeping up with the associated research and development demands accounts for a huge expenditure for companies.

Engineers are destined to face some challenges as they enter the 5G job market. New optical fiber set-ups designed for 5G will be among the top challenges around the world. But where should companies be focusing their attention? On the new engineers just entering the job market? Or on the seasoned engineers?

According to Bhushan. “working in extreme conditions and expertise skills for setup, installation and working, are a big challenge for new engineers. Companies are focusing more on seasoned engineers who have already worked in such conditions while setting up previous networks.”

If companies are investing in engineers who have been acquainted with these conditions in the past, they will need them to adapt. They’ll need to become familiar with new set-up protocols, alignment of correct parameters while setting up these networks, using the correct materials that can support future network communication and integration of new 5G set-up with end-users’ devices.

Sounds like a big order, but the future of 5G hinges on the engineers that can adjust their sails and focus on new opportunities since their experience is priceless, not just those who possess freshness in the new tech and skills areas.