As an aspiring candidate, you may be on the fast track of growth in the micro-controller segment, provided you are a competent, hard working and constant learner. Except field application, most of the job profiles available at the beginning are typically at the technical end. With strong inclination towards technological nitty-gritty, you may climb the ladder gradually to a senior engineer, technical lead engineer or project head position. You can even start technical consultancy after gaining sufficient knowledge. The techno-commercial route may be another way of climbing up if you really want to know the business process. Starting with any of the roles mentioned earlier, you may reach the position of a senior manager by simply banking on your soft skill sets.
Tips for students
Before building your skills for a possible employment opportunity, you need to know what’s in demand there. Let’s therefore focus on the industry expectations. I will highlight some of the basic things that your potential employer may be looking at when he interviews you. As an employer is hiring you at a junior level, no expertise is expected. But the basic understanding of the subject and the urge to learn are must.
I am using the term ‘basic understanding’ to cover the fundamentals of electronics, such as functional and component level knowledge of electronic circuits (including PCBs, ICs, resistors, amplifiers, multipliers, transistors, etc) and basic-level knowledge of allied fields like electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and mathematics. Don’t get surprised if your employer asks something beyond your course curriculum. He may even expect you to know statistics or project management.
Your key skill sets in the relevant fields are knowledge of the micro-controller architecture (especially advanced ones like ARM, PPC and MIPS for SoCs), object-oriented programming for PLCs and SCADA, testing protocols and tools, networking and instrumentation procedures and protocols, and basics of analogue and digital design.
It is possible that you are aware of most of these terms from a theoretical perspective only. But industries do not rely on bookish knowledge. So keep yourself updated on the current trends in technologies and explore the application-oriented part of the theory.
Remember that hard skills alone won’t take you anywhere. Soft values like
“Along with the knowledge of electrical and mechanical engineering, the basic-level knowledge of industrial statistics and project management is must for any electronics professional even at the entry level.”
—Dr Navin Kapur, senior general manager-technical, CDIL
communication skills, inter-personal skills , e-mailing capabilities and presentation skills have assumed greater importance today. The factors that make you attractive are your ability to drive results not only through your technical abilities but also your people sensitivity and understanding of the larger market dynamics.