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Topic Title: DSP employability prospects
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Created On: 31 January 2012 07:31 AM
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 31 January 2012 07:31 AM
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basilio

Posts: 3
Joined: 04 October 2011

Hi to all of you! I have a Bsc on electronic engineering and I'd like to attend a master course on DSP but as I have noticed, there are too many universities in England offering such a course, subsequently too many DSP engineers are going to exist in the marker during the next years,
so I suspect the competition will be huge in the dsp market.

What's your opinion on the DSP employability prospects during the next 5 years and what university has the best reputation in the market regarding
the DSP field?

Thank you.
 31 January 2012 12:02 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

There's basically two types of electronic circuit: signal processing and control. Signal processing is and always has been about 50% of the field (at a wild guess), and there's no reason to believe it won't always be like that. So if you want a career in electronics it is ideal if you know a lot about DSP.

Whether a Master's is the best way to get this is a different question. Speaking personally I don't find Master's degrees in engineering very useful regarding employability. When recruiting design engineers I have only once recruited a Master's graduate, and that was for a very specific mathematically detailed role (she was also working on her PhD).* For a general DSP design role I have found that those with a first degree have quite enough basic skills, and do not have what I can only describe as an over-academic focus that can come with further degrees.** What is far more useful is work experience in the DSP field.

However this may just be what suits my particular design team. What I would suggest is that you look through all the job adverts for recent graduates and see what employers are actually looking for - this will give you the best idea of which path to follow.

But there is no doubt that DSP knowledge will greatly enhance your employability in electronics throughout your career.

Good luck with whatever you choose.


* She's now left to earn large amounts of money in the finance sector doing financial modelling, so that may be an incentive!

** P.S. I have no objection in principle to further degrees, I'm studying for a Master's myself at the moment! (Very part time, and not in engineering.) You just need to be sure that you're doing for the right reasons and that it will get you where you want.


-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 02 February 2012 08:29 AM
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basilio

Posts: 3
Joined: 04 October 2011

First of all thank you sir , for your response. You focused on the essence of the topic. The question that tortures me is in what way could I acquire a dsp experience since employees want experienced persons and that's a fable cycle.

Besides that it would be extremely useful for me to know what requirements do u have from a potential employee regarding the technical , especially sofware backround. I know that when it comes to software the competition is extremely high in europe, and that will be very difficult for me since my interest in dsp basically influensed by signals analysis, e.g. filters design and implementation . I feel like I would be the weakest link in case I follow dsp.
 02 February 2012 10:43 AM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

I think you're probably worrying too much here. If you have just graduated you will be level with everyone else who has just graduated in terms of quantitity of knowledge. If you know more about filtering and less about software then in many ways you are better off than graduates who are the other way around - everyone knows about software so that's not really a selling point, whereas knowing a bit more about the filtering and signal processing side is far less common (and so far more interesting to employers).

But actually, employers don't expect recent graduates to know much about anything! What is expected is you have learnt how to learn, that you have a very general appreciation of what engineering is about, and that you know where to look to find a solution to a problem. Your real technical learning is about to start. It is extrememly common (in fact normal) for engineers to find that a few years after they graduate they are using completely different skills to their strongest degree areas: as an example I concentrated totally on digital electronics in my degree, and yet I have spent my whole career working in analogue design!

Personally, what I have seen work best for new engineers is to get a job in a field that interests them with an employer who is prepared to invest in training them in their specific area: if you're lucky you may then find yourself an employer who will pay for you to do a part time MSc/MEng which will have the big advantages that a) you're not paying for it and more importantly b) you will be able to relate it to the work you are doing. Which begs the question: how do you get that job? Remember again, potential employers are NOT expecting you to start engineering on day one, like any profession it takes a few years post graduate experience to become an engineer. What they are looking for from CVs and at interview is that you know how to find and use new information, you know how to work in a team, you know how to ask for help without wasting people's time, you're willing to get stuck in and have a go, and you can build a small electronic circuit without it blowing up (too much) and write a small piece of software without it crashing (too much).

But if you don't feel you could present those skills to a potential employer the right Master's degree may help you get that experience and confidence. Just be sure that it is honing your employability skills, not just your academic research skills (if that's the way you want to go).

Cheers,

Andy

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 02 February 2012 01:15 PM
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basilio

Posts: 3
Joined: 04 October 2011

Thank you again sir, from the bottoms of my heart sir, for these valuable information, that even my professors couldn't provide.

Regards,
Basil
 03 February 2012 10:04 AM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Ah well, sometimes you do have to remember where the advice from Universitty staff comes from. University lecturers will normally have a research bias, and will be looking to recruit the best students in to their research teams through the MSc / PhD route. They will also be trying to keep their courses viable by attracting enough MSc students anyway. Universities are also judged by the employability of their students, but my impression (I may be wrong here) is that this does not influence their policy quite as much. (Although this will vary widely form University to University.)

Industries and Universities work very very seperately from each other in very different ways, so it is, practically, very hard for University staff to give advice on routes into employment (just as most of us in industry don't understand the sometimes bizarre ways of academia!!) But hopefully that's where the IET can help.

Glad you found my comments useful, but please do keep asking anyone else you can find. There are a wide range of career options in engineering, and each of us only see one section of it.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
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