A Guide to IoT Careers

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A Guide to IoT Careers


IoT or the Internet of Things is one of the hottest areas growing on the internet. Track your vitals while you are running using FitBit? Scanning QR codes from the phone to make payments from your bank account? You name it, and IoT is there for you.

Well, the IoT, in layman’s terms, is to connect things to the internet and be able to control or monitor activities in any scenario irrespective of your location. With 5G under development, the Internet Of Things jobs are foreseen to sell like hotcakes soon.

In this blog, we shall try to pen down some of the assorted career opportunities in this domain. 

IoT Career Opportunities

1. Data Analytics

In simple terms, it is one of the Internet of Things jobs that is aimed at making sense of whatever data you collect using your IoT devices which is otherwise just a heap of data. This role is essential in a firm as in this job; you should be very strong in statistical understanding, able to find correlations, tabulate your findings from data in a graphical and presentable manner and have knowledge of working with statistics-based languages like R, SAS as well as some Python libraries like NumPy, Pandas, etc. An individual having all these skills is considered an asset to a company.

2. Network and the Networking Structure

In the world of IoT, the hardware setup to deploy solutions can get complex, and the huge chunks of sensors and wires rigged up to different peripherals and ports contribute majorly to this complexity. In case even a single wire/connection fails due to some reason, the machine may not work as desired or not work at all. Hence, this calls for the need for a Network Architect. Professionals specializing in Network Setups and Networking would be required to ensure that all the connections work well. In short, employees in this field must be able to design an efficient network architecture that is foolproof of several wiring problems and follows all the communication protocols effectively. 

3. Security

One of the core problems of the Internet is safeguarding the users from hackers and malicious programs. Therefore one of the Internet of Things Jobs is dedicated to securing your devices. If this part of your IoT solution is compromised and a hacker gains control of one device, then eventually, the network does not stand invulnerable anymore, and all your data is put at risk. The professionals in this field are responsible for doing regular testing and challenging the system’s integrity with different techniques, find and fix security flaws wherever the system fails and put the whole process of using an IoT Device under a smooth and secured connection bubble. To work in this field, you must know Vulnerability Evaluation, Public Key Encryption, and know techniques to secure wireless networks. Cyber Security understanding is a good way to start towards this. 

4. Hardware and Devices

What makes a device ‘Smart’? Is it just by connecting any device to a network? Well, it is more than that. Organizations need to modify their devices to be able to fit the networks and work accordingly. Though it’s mostly an integration of several sensors and transmitters, it is one of the core jobs in the IoT industry. To deem fit for this IoT job, professionals must have the know-how of working with different sensor modules, transmitters, protocols, and integrators like Zigbee, BLE, etc.; and keep themselves updated with working towards any new device/technology that enters the mainstream.

5. User Interface

This IoT job seems easy to design compared to the jobs mentioned above but requires a whole amount of creativity as it is the UI that would sell your product in the market. A normal customer may not understand all the specifications of the device but would leverage his choices based on how comfortable it is to use it. An interactive and eye-catching UI that provides all the controls to customers and understanding is one of the selling points of your IoT product. There was a time when the computers only worked on a black screen with the users using only the Command Terminal and are managed only by some professionals but, with the onset of making all these devices available to the people, it has become our daily essential, and their presentability has changed more to User-friendly mode. If you choose to be a UI developer, your task would be to ensure that users get the best experience (or UX) with your creativity and designing skills. You should be able to put yourself in the shoes of your customers, understand and fulfill their requirements.

6. Sensors And Actuator Professional

Diving deep into the field of hardware and devices, this job will need you to be well versed with the knowledge of setting up the right type of sensors or actuators that serves well for the application and meets the design specifications and power requirements of your system. Your role would also be to test different tools and continuously pick the most optimum solution for any application. You would also be responsible for researching and staying updated with the industry and researching several technologies. As a hobbyist, one could start by buying a set of sensors and trying to do small projects before upskilling to a professional level. 

7. Embedded Programs Engineer

Another Internet of Things job dedicated to hardware is the most crucial part of your IoT device since it handles the software and control code. As an embedded programs engineer, your task would be to design several PCBs that match the utility of the problem under consideration and access the firmware of the device to program certain predefined and non-negotiable functions to access the networking of your device across. Integrating software engineering with non-computer devices and working closely with the hardware is the key role of Embedded Programs engineer. 

8. Artificial Intelligence

AI and Machine Learning Skills become essential when the task involves big data analysis and deriving findings. To create smart applications over huge volumes of data, technologies mentioned in AI and ML help in the long run. Job seekers need to understand algorithms designed in AI, ML, and different have a strong understanding of plotting libraries to represent data efficiently. 

To sum up, an IoT developer would work on

  1. To research, build, test, and document state-of-the-art IoT solutions with integrated electronics and firmware development.
  2. To develop innovative IoT mechanisms that help to monitor, execute, and perform self-diagnostic processes.
  3. You should be well-versed in embedded software architecture – prior experience in working with UML use-case diagrams, class-diagrams, and sequence diagrams to accurately depict system architecture is highly valued.
  4. To develop MEAN stack solutions.
  5. To learn the functionings of and implement new state-of-the-art tools/techniques to showcase experience in quick prototyping methods and structured implementation.
  6. To design and work on different solutions for cloud-to-edge IoT applications with customizable configuration abilities for deployment to different clients with different needs.
  7. To work on tackling complex real-world problems.
  8. To plan and work on tools to optimize the process.

Notable Skills required to become an IoT Developer

  1. Consider practicing coding with multiple programming languages like embedded-C/C++ and Python. In several cases, people lack DSA skills and therefore can opt for courses like the one offered for free by Great Learning in DSA, GeeksForGeeks’ DSA Self-learning courses, and much more. You can also refer to Coursera for different programming specializations.
  2. Understanding the Linux-OS and its several processes of file handling/ management and process control can help a lot. Courses offered by The Linux Foundation, Coursera, and Udemy can give a great start.
  3. You should possess in-depth technical knowledge in working with 32-bit ARM cortex M3/M4 controllers.
  4. You should have prior experience in working with wireless stacks like Zigbee or Thread or BLE-Mesh and expert knowledge in writing business logic on embedded environments using test-driven methodology on RTOS and non-RTOS platforms.
  5. You should be proficient in communication protocols including I2C, SPI, 1-wire, UART, MODBUS, DALI and have excellent communication, problem-solving, and analytical thinking abilities. 

Conclusion

IoT is a very rapidly growing field. The IoT career opportunities that currently exist could never be even imagined or thought of before. There are many fields, as we discussed, to choose from currently, and you can either go into security, design the UI, or design the various subsystems like sensors, embedded software. The choices presented before you are endless.

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