Engineering degree for embedded systems

Started by hogwarts July 27, 2017
I am applying for university right now and I am wondering which
engineering degree is better for working on embedded systems and IOT:
"Computer engineering" vs "electronics and communication engineering" also
a specific university offers "computer and communication engineering" I
know that having any of those I can get into IoT but which would be better
for the field?


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Posted through http://www.EmbeddedRelated.com
On 2017-07-27 hogwarts wrote in comp.arch.embedded:
> I am applying for university right now and I am wondering which > engineering degree is better for working on embedded systems and IOT: > "Computer engineering" vs "electronics and communication engineering" also > a specific university offers "computer and communication engineering" I > know that having any of those I can get into IoT but which would be better > for the field?
As always: that depends. I don't know the particular programs, so just going by the titles:-\ A lot depends what you want to do on "embedded systems and IoT". Do you want to work on the hardware, low level embedded software, higher level embedded software, server backend, front end, ... Consider an hypothetical internet connected thermometer: Do you want to measure the NTC voltage and convert to degrees KFC? Or do you want to write the App on the phone to display the value? Or something inbetween? If you want to do it all, I think it's best to start close to one of the extremes. Work your way to the other extreme by experience or additional educaation. But YMMV. If you want to work on the hardware or software more or less closely related to the hardware, my bet would be on the "electronics ..." degree. But I'm biased ofcourse. I have seen on multiple instances, that software engineers with no electronics background have difficulty reading processor datasheets and electronics schematics. And sometimes fail to really understand what those mean. Example: On a product we had a microcontroller with an internal reference voltage that was factory calibrated to 2% accuracy. The datasheet also explained how to use a measurement of this reference to correct ADC data on other channels. This was implemented in the software. Now, this seems fine, but: The ADC actually uses an external reference and if this reference is inaccurate, this correction process does help. In our case, the external reference was 0.5%, meaning a measurement with an accuracy of 0.5% is 'corrected' with a reference with 2% accuracy. So, enough of that. ;-) So what do you see yourself doing after your education and what does have your personal interest? Check that first, and then compare that to the offered education. Also pay attention to the level of theory/practice. Learning Maxwells laws does not make you solder better. ;-) -- Stef (remove caps, dashes and .invalid from e-mail address to reply by mail) Learning French is trivial: the word for horse is cheval, and everything else follows in the same way. -- Alan J. Perlis

"hogwarts" <122707@EmbeddedRelated> wrote in message 
news:idSdncV7T_2fQ-TEnZ2dnUU7-VHNnZ2d@giganews.com...
> I am applying for university right now and I am wondering which > engineering degree is better for working on embedded systems and IOT: > "Computer engineering" vs "electronics and communication engineering" also > a specific university offers "computer and communication engineering" I > know that having any of those I can get into IoT but which would be better > for the field?
I don't think that you can see IoT as a branch of the industry that requires anything special at entry level A junior engineering role on an embedded project is probably not going to be expected to deal with any of the security issues (hell there are a lot of companies investigating adding IoT functionality to their products that don't have principle engineers working on that), so it just looks like any other embedded project at that level of experience you just have to target your job hunt to the relevant companies at graduation time so IME any EE or engineering biased CS degree will do tim
On 2017-07-27, tim... <tims_new_home@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > > "hogwarts" <122707@EmbeddedRelated> wrote in message > news:idSdncV7T_2fQ-TEnZ2dnUU7-VHNnZ2d@giganews.com... >> I am applying for university right now and I am wondering which >> engineering degree is better for working on embedded systems and IOT: >> "Computer engineering" vs "electronics and communication engineering" also >> a specific university offers "computer and communication engineering" I >> know that having any of those I can get into IoT but which would be better >> for the field? > > I don't think that you can see IoT as a branch of the industry that requires > anything special at entry level > > A junior engineering role on an embedded project is probably not going to be > expected to deal with any of the security issues
AFAICT, nobody at any level in IoT is expected to deal with any of the security issues. Or deal with making products do something useful, for that matter. -- Grant Edwards grant.b.edwards Yow! Of course, you at UNDERSTAND about the PLAIDS gmail.com in the SPIN CYCLE --
On Thu, 27 Jul 2017 07:35:14 -0500, hogwarts wrote:

> I am applying for university right now and I am wondering which > engineering degree is better for working on embedded systems and IOT: > "Computer engineering" vs "electronics and communication engineering" also > a specific university offers "computer and communication engineering" I > know that having any of those I can get into IoT but which would be better > for the field? > > > --------------------------------------- > Posted through http://www.EmbeddedRelated.com
I bet that these programs have much overlap. You should look at the details of what courses are standard and what are electives, and see what appeals to you. This may be antithetical to some, but I think time at a University should mostly be on the "theoretical" side. Primarily it's because picking up that stuff on your own, later, is relatively hard to do. It's also more likely to have lasting value, at least in comparison to learning the language or platform de jour. By all means plan on doing more "practical" work on your own, during your educational time. These days there are many avenues for that. Worst case - you make a choice that later seems wrong - you should be able to transfer at fairly low time/expense cost. Best wishes!

"Grant Edwards" <invalid@invalid.invalid> wrote in message 
news:old5r9$sau$1@reader2.panix.com...
> On 2017-07-27, tim... <tims_new_home@yahoo.com> wrote: >> >> >> "hogwarts" <122707@EmbeddedRelated> wrote in message >> news:idSdncV7T_2fQ-TEnZ2dnUU7-VHNnZ2d@giganews.com... >>> I am applying for university right now and I am wondering which >>> engineering degree is better for working on embedded systems and IOT: >>> "Computer engineering" vs "electronics and communication engineering" >>> also >>> a specific university offers "computer and communication engineering" I >>> know that having any of those I can get into IoT but which would be >>> better >>> for the field? >> >> I don't think that you can see IoT as a branch of the industry that >> requires >> anything special at entry level >> >> A junior engineering role on an embedded project is probably not going to >> be >> expected to deal with any of the security issues > > AFAICT, nobody at any level in IoT is expected to deal with any of the > security issues.
I thought that I said that
> Or deal with making products do something useful, > for that matter.
harsh the early IoT proposals based upon mesh systems seem to have created some useful products, street light management for example tim
Frank Miles <fpm@u.washington.edu> wrote:
> I bet that these programs have much overlap. You should look at the > details of what courses are standard and what are electives, and see > what appeals to you.
It's probably worth finding out what the routes are: if you decide to do one programme, are you stuck with that or can you take courses that lead in a different direction? Many people find their strengths are in different places than they expected.
> This may be antithetical to some, but I think time at a University > should mostly be on the "theoretical" side. Primarily it's because > picking up that stuff on your own, later, is relatively hard to do. > It's also more likely to have lasting value, at least in comparison > to learning the language or platform de jour. > > By all means plan on doing more "practical" work on your own, during > your educational time. These days there are many avenues for that.
I'd agree with that - something like 'IoT' is likely to be very different in 4-5 years time when you finish, in terms of the tools and popular platforms. So it's better to have a grounding and then keep up with the platform du jour as the icing on top. The other aspect is good engineering practices: writing clean code, good documentation, using tools like version control appropriately, etc. I'd suggest that's a skill that isn't well taught in big groups (one instructor, 500 students). It's better to do it either on the job (eg internships) or other environments where you might receive mentoring, eg open source projects. Similiarly for practical skills like soldering, assembly, etc - to some degree you can pick those up from YouTube, or else you need someone sitting next to you telling you what you did wrong.
> Worst case - you make a choice that later seems wrong - you should > be able to transfer at fairly low time/expense cost.
Also don't be afraid to look over the wall at other disciplines - occasionally having a CS/biology or EE/psychology or whatever crossover can come in very handy. Or closer to home EE/CS, EE/mechE, EE/power, EE/physics or similar combinations. Theo
On 07/27/17 12:35, hogwarts wrote:
> I am applying for university right now and I am wondering which > engineering degree is better for working on embedded systems and IOT: > "Computer engineering" vs "electronics and communication engineering" also > a specific university offers "computer and communication engineering" I > know that having any of those I can get into IoT but which would be better > for the field? >
I would choose the electronics degree first, as more likely to keep you in work rather than computer science, which for embedded work is a subset that depends on electronics. It will also stretch you more in math terms than comp sci alone. Buy the books on comp sci as well, particularly os theory, algorithms and data structures. Learn that in your spare time and find the books s/hand on ABE books or Amazon. Good luck, a worthwhile career and plenty of scope for innovative design and creativity... Chris
On 07/27/2017 09:25 AM, Stef wrote:
> On 2017-07-27 hogwarts wrote in comp.arch.embedded: >> I am applying for university right now and I am wondering which >> engineering degree is better for working on embedded systems and IOT: >> "Computer engineering" vs "electronics and communication engineering" also >> a specific university offers "computer and communication engineering" I >> know that having any of those I can get into IoT but which would be better >> for the field? > > As always: that depends. > > I don't know the particular programs, so just going by the titles:-\ > > A lot depends what you want to do on "embedded systems and IoT". Do you > want to work on the hardware, low level embedded software, higher level > embedded software, server backend, front end, ... > > Consider an hypothetical internet connected thermometer: > Do you want to measure the NTC voltage and convert to degrees KFC? Or > do you want to write the App on the phone to display the value? Or > something inbetween? If you want to do it all, I think it's best to start > close to one of the extremes. Work your way to the other extreme by > experience or additional educaation. But YMMV. > > If you want to work on the hardware or software more or less closely > related to the hardware, my bet would be on the "electronics ..." degree. > But I'm biased ofcourse. I have seen on multiple instances, that software > engineers with no electronics background have difficulty reading processor > datasheets and electronics schematics. And sometimes fail to really > understand what those mean. > > Example: > On a product we had a microcontroller with an internal reference voltage > that was factory calibrated to 2% accuracy. The datasheet also explained > how to use a measurement of this reference to correct ADC data on other > channels. This was implemented in the software. Now, this seems fine, but: > The ADC actually uses an external reference and if this reference is > inaccurate, this correction process does help. In our case, the external > reference was 0.5%, meaning a measurement with an accuracy of 0.5% is > 'corrected' with a reference with 2% accuracy. > > So, enough of that. ;-) > > So what do you see yourself doing after your education and what does have > your personal interest? Check that first, and then compare that to the > offered education. Also pay attention to the level of theory/practice. > Learning Maxwells laws does not make you solder better. ;-) > >
Another thing is to concentrate the course work on stuff that's hard to pick up on your own, i.e. math and the more mathematical parts of engineering (especially signals & systems and electrodynamics). Programming you can learn out of books without much difficulty, and with a good math background you can teach yourself anything you need to know about. Just learning MCUs and FPGAs is a recipe for becoming obsolete. Cheers Phil Hobbs -- Dr Philip C D Hobbs Principal Consultant ElectroOptical Innovations LLC Optics, Electro-optics, Photonics, Analog Electronics 160 North State Road #203 Briarcliff Manor NY 10510 hobbs at electrooptical dot net http://electrooptical.net
On 30/07/17 17:05, Phil Hobbs wrote:
> Another thing is to concentrate the course work on stuff that's hard to pick up > on your own, i.e. math and the more mathematical parts of engineering > (especially signals & systems and electrodynamics).
Agreed.
> Programming you can learn out of books without much difficulty,
The evidence is that /isn't/ the case :( Read comp.risks, (which has an impressively high signal-to-noise ratio), or watch the news (which doesn't).
> and with a good math background you can > teach yourself anything you need to know about.
Agreed.
> Just learning MCUs and FPGAs is a recipe for becoming obsolete.
There's always a decision to be made as to whether to be a generalist or a specialist. Both options are valid, and they have complementary advantages and disadvantages.