If you are straight out of college having completed your engineering, and desirous of beginning your working career in fields other than programming and software development, then career experts believe that Automation should be the right choice considering its scope and the offered growth. A big advantage that Automation offers is the fact that the domain is multi-disciplinary.
Both technical experts and their career counterparts now believe that machines have started turning intelligent. This statement stands vindicated when we consider the penetration of smart technology such as Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Neural Networks, and even the Internet of Things (IoT). There has also been a boom in the research associated with making machines intelligent, this sector is now creating jobs that has started to attract engineers from across India.
In fact, even the biggies viz. Intel, IBM, Flipkart, Microsoft have seemingly realised the potential of Automation in Machine Learning; these companies have also begun an investment trend with respect to Automation.
The Make in India buzz seems custom made for Automation Research
With the Government of India having announced the ‘Make in India’ initiative as an ambitious one, career experts believe that this is the right time for fresh engineers to take the plunge.
“When you take the case of the manufacturing sector, the first thing that the industry requires is Automation. This is required in sensing, variable monitoring & control. Automation off-loads manual work and makes life easier for workers to manage things & processes,” states Ajay Godara, director at Chandigarh-based Enovation Lab LLP that does its bit in empowering the youth of today through training and innovation.
Ajay believes that with Make in India now gathering more steam than before, careers in Automation would make complete sense considering its potential societal impact.
“ For engineers preferring to work in factories, automation would be applicable to multiple critical aspects such as system engineering in tandem with process automation. This, in turn, results in factory automation,” adds Ajay.
Here, it is worth remembering that the demand for ‘factory automation’ is almost evergreen, as this is a common requirement for industries starting from, the small & medium enterprises (SMEs), to the large-scale manufacturers. Therefore, automation engineers would potentially face constant demand throughout the year.
“Industry 4.0 is definitely exciting. The key component here is automation and smart concepts. Remember that Industry 3.0 talked about automation and a robotics at a basic level. Now, Industry 4.0 promises an advanced level of automation,” states Gaur Dattatreya who is vice-president and head of business unit at Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions, Bengaluru.
Gaur’s statement adds substance to current trends in which startups focussing on enhanced automation have sprung up in cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad including a host of other regions. Gauging these trends, it is only imminent there would be smartness in our lives through automation.
Automation is both multi-disciplinary as well as inter-disciplinary
As stated above, the multi-disciplinary nature of automation is definitely a plus for fresh engineers (across branches) to begin research. Experts believe that qualified and skilled fresh engineering graduates from across sectors would find it easy to adapt to automation albeit with the right training.
“Instrumentation engineers have an edge here,” states Ajay Godara. Skill-sets like Distributed Control System (DCS), Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition (SCADA) along with virtual instrumentation would offer that extra edge to Instrumentation engineering graduates.
In tandem with this, we have also covered scope for instrumentation engineering as a whole topic; click here to check out now.
“Automation has penetrated even unconventional sectors such as fire detection & monitoring, lighting, energy management, and even entertainment. These sectors have also witnessed the rise of several companies such as Rockwell Automation, Siemens, and Schneider; which are now world leaders,” stated a product manager at a reputed Maharashtra-based Instrumentation firm.
Going into the specifics of this inter-disciplinary field, automation offers you good exposure in terms of both hardware and software along with a hold in electronics, electrical, and control domains. Once properly mastered, these skills should make you a ‘master of more than one trade’ along with obviously being the ‘jack of all’.
Scope beyond Instrumentation
By its virtue of being multi-disciplinary, automation offers opportunities to take part in research work across varied sectors, according to experts having taken up careers in automation. “Some of the multi-disciplinary areas are Aerospace, Biomedicine, and even Nuclear research,” adds Ajay.
These sectors require fresh engineers to work as control and automation engineers to offer thought leadership with respect to product development and control.
At this instant, it is vital for you to understand that automation also has wide societal impact with its applications. Instances here include automation of traffic signals to automatically create green corridors for ambulances to pass through from one city to another. Another societal instance is the healthcare scenario in which automation can potentially be used in tandem with technology like AI and ML to off-load burden on doctors and thereby make them more available to the needy.
Healthcare in India is one sector that has rapidly taken to automation to create robots to assist during surgeries.
“If applied properly, automation would solve most of the existing societal issues at the physical level,” states Dr Krishna Bhat, a professor at a reputed engineering college in Karnataka.
Therefore, working as automation engineers would enable you to make an impact, and thereby a difference, to society.