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Telecom talent race: Technical career paths take center stage

As major wireless employers fight for the best technical talent, they are learning that the traditional career paths of communications companies don’t always work for the most dedicated engineers. Managerial responsibilities may not be a priority for those who want to devote their careers to developing and implementing wireless technologies.

AT&T offers engineers the option to make a technical career plan, according to David Brandvold, VP of global engineering support for AT&T Mobility. This path offers well-defined benchmarks in levels of responsibility and compensation, without necessarily including managerial duties. Alcatel-Lucent says it also offers a technical career path to engineers, and that this is a necessary step for companies who want to attract top talent.

Compensation is not always the deciding factor for engineers who have their choice of job opportunities. Todd Luckasavitch, director of human resources and recruitment at Alcatel-Lucent, says he has recently seen several in-demand employees focusing less on compensation and more on the opportunity to contribute to outcomes and learn new skills.

At Alcatel-Lucent, Luckasavitch says network solutions architects are the most highly recruited employees right now. Meanwhile at AT&T, Brandvold says the RF space is the hottest.


Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse
Martha DeGrasse is the publisher of Network Builder Reports ( At RCR, Martha authored more than 20 in-depth feature reports and more than 2,400 news articles. She also created the Mobile Minute and the 5 Things to Know Today series. Prior to joining RCR Wireless News, Martha produced business and technology news for CNN and Dow Jones in New York and managed the online editorial group at Hoover’s Online before taking a number of years off to be at home when her children were young. Martha is the board president of Austin's Trinity Center and is a member of the Women's Wireless Leadership Forum.

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