Next Move

Career advice for IT professionals

The question: where does Java fit with IP multimedia?

I am a software engineer working mainly with Java and J2EE in the telecoms industry. I read recently that IP multimedia subsystems are set to become the next big thing in the IT telecoms sector - how well will Java and J2EE skills fit into this?

The solution: Java always needed, but keep up to date

Java experience is highly relevant for programmers across the entire telecoms sector, and the more experience you can gain in the sector the better. Programmers in this area can earn up to £50,000 a year once fully qualified.

The technology supporting this industry continues to develop at a tremendous rate. However, there is no immediate replacement mooted for Java in the near future, so it is worth your while sticking with this language for the time being.

This will enable you to take two career options: either move sideways within the industry - into the mobile sector, for example, where Java programmers continue to be in high demand - or move to another sector that can make use of your Java skills. Once you build up your experience in one industry, a move to another vertical sector should be a fairly simple process.

The IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) is an architectural framework for delivering IP multimedia to mobile users. Although it is expected that eventually IP will be available on all mobile phones and operators, it is not clear to what extent IMS as it exists today will be deployed.

Therefore, it is advisable to keep up to date with the framework as it develops and seek out any opportunities to gain experience in this area, but maintain your focus on developing your Java expertise, which is currently in demand throughout the telecoms sector.

Solution by Rob Chapman, chief executive at Firebrand Training

The panel: Computer People, Hudson, No Limits Coaching, Firebrand Training, Wreay Group

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