Traditional jobs such as telecoms manager have been replaced by more flexible business-focused roles, according to Phil Sayer, chairman of the Communications Management Association.
The adoption of voice over IP, Bluetooth and wireless networks has led to a change in the way companies organise their computing and telecoms functions, said Sayer.
Communications networks do not stop with the plug and socket, they extend right into the IT infrastructure.
"Increasingly people are talking about information and communications technology as a continuum. People are less likely to sit in single well-defined pigeon holes. The clearly defined telecoms manager you would have seen 20 years ago does not exist," said Sayer.
The result is that the skills needed by communications professionals have broadened. They need to understand business continuity, security and network resilience at an infrastructure level.
"IP has meant that more single networks are carrying multiple applications. Most large organisations are implementing voice over IP or are planning it. Voice and video are just other data applications. Increasingly there is very little to do in terms of running an isolated voice network - they no longer exist," he said.
The trend for businesses to outsource the management of their networks to third parties is driving further changes in the telecoms profession. Today's communications specialists increasingly need to have finance and management skills.
"We are seeing a lot of our members developing their careers in business schools rather than technical schools," said Sayer.
"Employers are looking for people not just with technical skills but business skills, the skills to negotiate and manage contracts, to run tender exercises and be on top of the technical differentiators."
Most training for people working in communications is funded by employers, but more staff are beginning to pay for Microsoft or Cisco certification courses out of their own pockets as a way to fast-track their careers, said Sayer.
"Communications is the focal point of some of the most exciting things happening in IT," he said.
"It is quite extraordinary what it is possible to do using technologies such as Bluetooth and wireless. It is more interesting than writing another accounts package. It is fast-changing and is where the leading-edge development is."