Call her a heretic, but Tara Bieling says it's time for engineers in the communications industry to humble up. "They used to have the market where they could name their ticket," said Bieling, manager of recruiting at CNI Career Network (Miami). "They can't do that now."
Believe it or not, new hires in the industry aren't commanding the much-touted signing bonuses and salaries they were just months ago, Bieling said. "Companies are sticking to their guns. Ninety percent of our companies are that way, which is great, because now [the industry] is getting settled."
To be sure, said Bieling, many job hunters get what they want. A lot of it. But to do so, they need the magic word: experience. "Take the job that gives you that. Get on board and learn the grunt work." Other words of warning: "Be careful about job hopping," said Bieling. "You might have to take a salary cut."
Sycamore Networks (Chelmsford, Mass.) has several positions available for communications engineers. The company needs an optical network architect with a master's or doctorate in electrical engineering or computer science and experience in Internet Protocol (IP), ATM and Sonet network architectures and design. Applicants should have an understanding of "algorithms and performance with a basic understanding of optical communication systems." In addition, the company needs a variety of optical engineers, electro-optical design engineers and their kin.
Sycamore also has a number of hardware openings, with titles including hardware sustaining engineer, principal hardware engineer, and reliability and components engineer. The last position requires an MSEE or the equivalent and three years of experience "with component qualification and developing second sources." A background in "Bellcore methods" is a plus. On the software side, Sycamore is looking for senior principal diagnostic engineers and principal or senior software engineers.
Monterey Networks (Richardson, Texas), which has been bought by Cisco Systems, is another company with plenty of cubicle space to fill. Monterey needs a senior hardware engineer with a BSEE or MSEE and at least six years of experience, particularly in telecommunications. Qualified candidates know high-speed analog or digital design. "WDM [wave-division multiplexing] design experience and familiarity with Bellcore standards is desired."
The company is also in the market for ASIC designers with a BSEE or MSEE and at least four years of experience in the development of large-scale ASIC/IC design, and experience with Sonet/SDH, Verilog or VHDL, ATM and IP. "Experience with ASIC development life cycles and successful delivery of ASIC/IC products is essential." And Monterey is looking for senior systems requirements engineers up to a PhD level, with at least eight years of experience in telecommunications product development. Applicants should also have a "working knowledge of standards for Sonet, SDH and WDM."
DSP Communications Inc. (Cupertino, Calif.), recently bought by Intel Corp., has a few slots available for engineers. It needs a senior field applications engineer and a senior software engineer, along with a general manager for wireless PBX, product manager and senior product manager. Managerial jobs typically require a BSEE.
SBC Communications Inc. (San Antonio, Texas) has openings scattered across the country. The company has plenty of data systems engineering positions to fill in Dallas, Austin, Houston, Kansas City, St. Louis, Oklahoma City and Wichita.