All about a career in Embedded Systems
In simple terms, embedded systems is described as the microcontroller behind most electronics-based devices to process, control, store and control the data. Our smartphones and other mobile-based devices are fitted with an embedded system (such as a motherboard) in order to perform fully automatic or semi-automatic functions. As the years go by, our dependence on hi-end technology will only increase. Due to this reason, it is important that we have specialized professionals who work with different kinds of embedded systems.
Thanks to its extreme popularity, electronic engineers who are exceptionally good at programming as well will find this to be a viable career option. Other than that, a thorough knowledge of hardware devices and interface hardware is required in order to succeed in this field.
There are many electronic engineers who have pursues a course in Embedded Systems in order to prepare themselves for the industry. And no, you don’t need to have completed your formal education at a well-reputed college. If you have the required skills to make it big the world, that’s all you really need. Just keep moving in the right direction, and you’ll have a successful and emotionally fulfilling career ahead.
Domains In The Embedded Systems Industry
The Embedded Systems industry is classified into a number of categories, each of which deals with a particular area of work.
- Embedded Application Development
This area comprises mobile and wireless communications applications, navigation systems and multimedia on a number of platforms such as Blackberry, Android, Windows and Apple.
- Modelling and Simulation
This area makes sure that the procurement costs do not exceed the limit when developing an embedded product. In other words, they help in developing quality products at a lower cost.
- Embedded Hardware Engineering
The domain designs various hardware products in a number of industries such as solar energy, aerospace, consumer electronics, healthcare, automotive, and aerospace and defence.
- Embedded Software Engineering
Considered to be a critical area, this domain consists of Firmware Development, Board support package and Device driver development. It deals with Bluetooth, peripheral integration and WiFi of various electronic devices.
- Verification and Validation
A lifecycle test is implemented with the use of Six Sigma, CMM, EMC and EMI to enable the proper functioning of software and hardware.
Career Opportunities In Embedded Systems
Though the starting packages are not high in this domain, all you need is an experience of three years to ask for handsome packages. There are a number of career options after finishing a course in Embedded Systems, as follows –
- Embedded Hardware Engineer
- Embedded Software Engineer (firmware)
- Software Test Engineer
- System Software Engineer (kernel and RTOS)
- Embedded System Trainer
- Application Software Engineer (device drivers)
- Marketing and Sales Executive
Sectors Suitable For Embedded System Jobs
Simply completing an Engineering degree and a course in Embedded Systems simply isn’t enough for a successful career. You can look for Embedded System jobs in a number of sectors, as follows –
- Food industry
- Medical electronics
- Industrial machines
- Consumer electronics
How Should You Begin Your Career In Embedded Systems As A Fresher?
As with any other choice of profession, you need to work hard to land a successful job as an engineer in the Embedded Systems. Here’s how you can work your way up to a well-paying career even as a fresher –
- Start preparing from your graduation itself
It’s wise to start preparing for your aim well before graduating with an engineering degree at hand. Ideally, you should start preparing for Practical Electronics way before your graduation.
- Start working on your C Programming skills
You should be excellent at programming if you become an engineer in the Embedded Systems. Start working on your C programming skills as it is the most effective language for this particular domain. Of course, knowledge in other skills such as Python, PHP and C++ as well.
- Earn a formal degree in Engineering
Ideally, you should hold an Engineering degree in Electronics or Computer Science with a special concentration on Embedded Systems. Due to the growing importance of Embedded Systems in the engineering field, many schools offer a certificate course in the same as well. You might pursue courses in computer architecture, application of embedded systems and real-time operating systems as well.
- Engage in internships
Internships offer an inexpensive and fulfilling way to gain practical experience and maintain professional relationships. You will find a number of internships in the design and electronics industry and find quality work that could become your portfolio in the future.
- Work on your project
Building projects are another way to showcase your skills and make you stand out as a candidate. Ideally, build your project with the use of OpenSource technologies such as Raspberry Pi and Linux on Arduino.
Skills That Will Help in Your Career
As mentioned, a general degree in Electronics Engineering isn’t enough to help you in your career. Keep yourself updated with the following skills to stand out as a candidate among the millions –
- Embedded C programming designed for Target devices such as ARM, 8051 and others
- Analog electronics and digital electronics
- Scripting language such as Python
- Protocols such as UART, I2c and SPI
- Microcontroller/microprocessor architecture
- Linux operating systems and kernel interfaces
- Debugging tools such as Valgrind, Gdb and JTAG debugger
- Test instruments such as Logic Analyser and CRO
- Device drivers
- Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOS)
- Electronic circuiting designing
- PCB designing
- Power supply circuit designing
As a conclusion, it’s safe to say that Embedded Systems is a viable career option if you have the right qualifications and skills in place. If you’re a fresher, begin your career with a start-up company and gain some experience. In the meantime, you could start developing your technical skills as well. However, if you’re an experienced candidate with knowledge of Microprocessor/Microcontroller, you can work towards other open-source technology platforms such as Linux.