ELECTRONICS ENGINEERING ROADMAP
Electronics engineering has been one of the world changing streams, still, statistics show that people are shifting from ECE to CSE after graduation. The trend is that a student opted for CSE and didn’t get it so he ended up with ECE. A large section of such people finds Electronics “tough” and “intimidating” and then all they do throughout their college life is “Coding”. Maybe it’s ok if you have passion for it but this is like studying two degrees simultaneously for the other non-passionate ones.
An Electronics engineer has a lot of fields to explore and that may create confusion. All sorts of confusions can be cleared through proper guidance which is rare to find these days. Maybe that’s why a large section of ECE graduates don’t have industry level knowledge and they find it hard to cope up with the rapid pace of the industry.
Interacting with several electronic students over the years has bought the problems to our sight.
Lack of guidance in electronic sub domains
Absence of a project mentorship
Lack of career guidance
Electronics & Communication engineering drives the world. There are a lot of employment opportunities. The rapid change in solid state technology from BJTs to CNTs, the expansion of Signal Analysis, innovation in Communication Systems, Evolution in System Architectures has made it appear a humongous task. But our team at CareerHigh has designed just the right plan for you.
An ideal work-plan which transforms you step by step into an Embedded System Designer or Communication Engineer or maybe a Network Engineer and many more to choose from.
A detailed work plan for specific subdomains will also be added in future. But for now, let’s focus on the key phases through which you have to go through.
Explore areas of work
Mastering core subjects
Getting an internship
Explore Areas of Work
It is well known to all electronics students (even the ‘Passionate for CSE’ ones) that there are a lot of fields to explore in electronics. Now it obviously requires a credible guidance to know what to learn.
Yeah that is the question most asked by everyone. What to learn? But I’ll do one more to you. Where from?
What to learn and Where from should be asked. Just knowing the required areas isn’t enough.
So let’s skip talk and discuss about the principal domains.
Embedded System designing is the most sought after field by ECE graduates. It’s obvious how much technology has transformed the society but there is a lot left to do.
Industries are utilizing this technology to automate their tasks, enhance their production efficiency, prevent system failures through adaptive control methods. All these tasks are achieved through a systematically designed system which mainly involves microcontrollers, sensors, control system theory and above all a thought out work-plan.
With Internet of Things becoming more popular day by day, search for a capable embedded system designer will be more frequent than ever.
The world is moving towards total connectivity and industries want to do their work smartly. So skilled people will be asked for every now and then.
We’ll be discussing about the required skills in a later phase.
Communication Sector is extremely important nowadays, as data access speeds need to be increased. On the other hand, with the highly increasing number of users, the industry needs to tackle the congestions and resource availability too.
The work force will be required more now as the work in areas of 5G and full time connectivity is also required. Fading and increasing congestion calls for a system modification. An opportunity to be a part of the always changing communication sector requires dynamic people too.
Engineers are required for positions like Cloud Assistants, Network Engineers & Architects, Telecom Engineers and much more. One with the right set of skills will be guaranteed a prospering career. Let’s discuss these skills later on and move on to discover the next possible work area.
We’re moving into a digital era and the need of a hardware that can live up to the expectations of the mankind is on the high.
Solid state electronics has evolved from conventional Bipolar Junction Transistors to Carbon Nanotubes and finFETs. The main goal is to make things smaller and powerful.
Ever wondered how Xiaomi managed to provide so much battery and functionalities to your phone? Or how games like GTA V and FarCry can be run on a NVIDIA GTX ? Or how Qualcomm is drawing battle lines in the processor market?
It’s the EC guys doing it. You can be a lot. So pick one and work for that.
This needs people who can work in the following areas.
ASIC frontend designed
FPGA frontend designer
ASIC physical design engineer
AMS (Analog Mixed Signal) designer
IP design engineer Verification Engineers
Front-end verification engineer
FPGA Back-end verification engineer
Physical design verification engineer
AMS verification engineer
EDA tool validation engineer
IP verification engineer
Board validation engineer
Software Development Engineer
Software Test Engineer
Regression and Automation Engineer
Build and Release Engineer Application EngineersField Application Engineer (FAE)
Corporate Application Engineer (CAE)
Application Engineer Technical Support
Tech Support Engineer
Product Application Engineer (PAE)
Mastering Core Subjects
A big reason why ECE graduates find it difficult to cope up with problems later on while working in a core industry is because they did not attain the required knowledge during their four years at college. Apart from the industrial skills section, is the knowledge of core engineering subjects which an electronics guy should take seriously. As these subjects are the theory or rather principles which solve any technical issue while we work on a project as an engineer.
Remember how the most difficult seeming problems could be solved using the very basic concepts during our JEE preparations? It’s like that.
All we need is the vision to identify the problem’s roots which you’ll through practice and experience.
Now, all this is good but we also need to study these subjects in the correct manner to understand them in a better way. By correct manner we mean the references for a subject.
Here’s a list of the core ECE subjects with references to understand them:
Engineering Mathematics: Book by B.S Grewal is the best one. There is also a book by Erwin Kreyszig which is good for concept building but it lacks certain topics so you’ll be wasting energy in searching for the missing ones. PRACTICE IS ALL THAT IS REQUIRED.
Network Analysis & Synthesis: Book by A. Chakraborty is popular but it is intimidating for a sophomore beginner and that’s not what will help you. So go for the book by “Pankaj Swarnkar”. It’s the best for understanding the concepts and also provides some really good problems to master them.
Electronic Devices & Analog Circuits: This is the nightmare of an ECE guy if not guided properly. There are three courses on MIT OCW by Prof. Anant Agarwal by the name Circuits & Electronics. Take them. Apart from this, Book by Sedra & Smith is the best one for concept building. It will be your bible. But it is vast. You mainly need to study Diodes, BJTs, MOSFETs and Op-Amps. Op-Amp circuits and High frequency Analysis of MOS & BJT circuits are very important and have been explained very clearly.
Digital Electronics: This is easy. Go To YouTube,search Neso Academy. Neso Academy lectures on digital electronics will do the job.
Microprocessor & Microcontroller: Everyone will go on about DV Hall but don’t waste your time in studying that. Book by K Bhurchandi is the goto help. It covers everything you’ll need to know, right from 8086 basics to interfacing devices and 8051 microcontroller. For 8085, Book by Ramesh Gaonkar is your help.
Communication Systems: Book by Simon Haykins is the help for Analog & Digital Communication.
Signals & Systems: Oppenheim will always solve any doubts in the field of signals. Use Oppenheim for Digital Signal Processing too. Solve the problems on MIT OCW for Systems & Signals.
Control Systems: Book by Norman S Nise is easy to grasp. Schaum Series book for problems.
Electromagnetic Theory: Book by Hayt covers everything and has good problems too.
Industries are out there looking for a skilled person. Now that doesn’t mean you need to be a pro. Someone with the right set of beginner knowledge or abilities can land an internship.
First Let us talk about how you can find an internship in your desired field.
LinkedIn, AngelList, Internshala have always been the most used portals for grabbing employment of all kinds. AngelList and Internshala will get you mostly startups which are very good for learning. LinkedIn can be used to get entry into an established company which can provide you the correct exposure and will also test your skill.
A lot of Summer Internship programs are run by IITs and other technical institutes. If you want to learn and you’re not from a premier institute, go for this. These help more than industrial internships for ECE.
Some examples are SRFP by IAS, SPARK by IIT Roorkee, SRIP by IIT Gandhinagar, GIPEDI by IIT Delhi and Summer Research Internship by IIT Guwahati.
Global Internship opportunities like Charpak ,OIST SFP programme are also there.
If you don’t make it through these somehow, then if you’re having the right set of skills, simply look out for a professor who is working in your field of interest and write a mail to him briefly stating about your Interest, work experience and skills. Attaching your resume will do the rest.
Now let’s dive into the various skills you need to acquire.
Freshmen year is the most idle you’ll ever be in engineering. We are fresh into our college with most of the courses being non-core and relatable to JEE syllabus. So it is highly advisable to utilise this time as you got your academics covered. Keeping yourself on the same page with the lectures is enough. (Well, assuming you took your JEE preparation seriously)
Make it your goal to discover ‘Embedded System’ in the first semester. Start out with building your very own ‘DPDT controlled MANUAL BOT’. For help, Instructables will always be your saviour.
We all remember how much we used to cry for a ‘Remote controlled Car’ as a kid. Well now build one of your very own and make your parents happy.
Now, keep this one aside for a while. We’ll come back to modernise it later.
Next, let’s meet your best friends for project work. These are the tools you’ll be using for making all your institute level work. You want to add the magic into whatever you design right? You can do it using a widely used microcontroller board, named, Arduino. I would recommend Jeremy Blum’s tutorial to know all that you can do with arduino as a beginner.
You also will need to know about the following too:
We would recommend the following circuits to understand these components and improve your skills at circuit designing and analysis.
Clap Switch Circuit using Mic Condenser
Light Sensing Circuit using LDR
Seven Segment Display Counter(0-9 & 0-99 both)[Using NE555]
Standard Logic gates using TTL or RTL technology(NOT, AND, OR)
Intruder Alert Alarm using Arduino
Seven Segment Display Counter Using Arduino[0-9 only]
DC Motor control using L298N and arduino
Do all this before your second semester. Winter Break will be very crucial for this. Once you master this level, the road becomes a lot easy.
Semester 2 calls for Project#1: Bluetooth controlled robot
Using Arduino, bluetooth module HC-05, build a robot which can be controlled by a smartphone via bluetooth.
This will give you a sense of satisfaction like never before as all that hard work on arduino circuits finally pays off.
Next, there’s an INNOVATION CHALLENGE held by Texas Instrument every year. Participate in that. This competition will make you come up with innovative ideas and test your technical skills with each stage. And if your idea is a feasible one, this can be the top project on your resume.(Tentative Project#2)
Embedded System projects have a greater impact if they are meant to solve the society’s problem. Your Project#3 will be this. Come up with such an idea (perhaps something which requires a database to make smart decisions. Raspberry Pi is a lot of help to control such systems.)
Example: Traffic Management System (which reduces the density on roads by varying the timer as per traffic)
After this you’re all set with the projects. A balance of theoretical knowledge and implementation is what leads to a real system designer. Industry needs such people and so shall you become .
The communication sector has evolved due to the combined progress in solid state technology as well as the communication research.
We’ll talk about the two most opted sub fields here.
In theory, you need to know the ‘Evolution of Telecommunication’ deeply if you want to target giants like Airtel or Jio later on. Other option is to choose ‘Networking’ and perhaps be a part of maybe Cisco, Juniper, Arista, Amazon or maybe Google.
To begin with networking, you need to understand the core of it. Skipping the details. Here’s what you need to do.
Watch this Video by David J. Malan to get an induction to HTTP and Networking. It proves very helpful later on.
After this you will be ready to dive into 'Computer Networking: A Top-down Approach by Kurose & Ross'. This book is the 'Bible for Networking' with relatable analogies, systematic approach, helpful assignments and inspiring quotes xD.
Cisco Packet Tracer is an important tool to master. It helps you experiment with networks and analyse them for unwanted issues. It also happens to be an important skills Networking giants look for.
Cisco also has a course on Cisco Networking Academy
Project#4: Network Packet Analyser using TCPDUMP command. (You’ll require a bit of a php and sql for this)
Telecommunication requires you to know:
Generations of Telecommunication (principles, architectures, technical specifications)
Reference: Radio Electronics
Reference: Digital Communication Course by Dr. Bikash k. Dey on NPTEL
3. Analog & Digital Communication by Simon Haykins
VLSI is the core of electronics. Every new technology that makes it possible to have smaller and powerful devices is due to this field. Since 1948 when William Shockley invented BJT to the FinFETs and CNTs, VLSI has been the Hero in the shadows. This is the field which has seemingly insoluble problems every day but yet people break through in order to provide more power to the hands of mankind.
Actually, it no longer is VLSI as it has evolved from SSI to ULSI and further.
VLSI has two domains: Front end(design and testing) Back-end(fabrication)
Here’s a plan for this field:
Start studying circuits through simulations on LTSPice / Proteus. These are simulation softwares which let you design any circuits by drag n drop. Simulations are done after configuring the components. They have an exhaustive library for that.
Take this short course on VHDL/Verilog on Youtube. VLSI front end is purely VHDL coded circuits.
Link: Youtube Playlist
Software for VHDL: ModelSIM(recommended) , Xilinx ISE, Vivado.
Now VLSI concepts are very important if you want to design or test circuits.
Integrated Circuits by Thomas DeMassa gives you a dive into the circuit level of these circuits.
(Student version is available for free on official site)
For VLSI Backend, Get acquainted to HSPICE. Simulate basic gates like AND, NOT & OR on HSPICE using MOS technology. Varying the parameters (Aspect ratio etc) will affect the circuit performance parameters. Studying this variation is a very important task.
Project#5: Implement low power VLSI design techniques and Study the results.
(This will be your research project. Do write a paper with the guidance of a professor from your institute in this field.)
Note: An internship might help you learn but it is not the only way. So if you don’t get one then doesn’t matter. Work on significant projects and that will teach you a lot.
Once through with these phases, you will be all ready for a career in one of those domains. Before we move ahead, there is an important point to be noted. While you may move ahead in any of the domains but you should be acquainted with the other domains too. Above were mentioned the principle pillars. Know them and you’ll be all set for future.
Now we are sharing the Interview Experience of Ayush Tripathi for the role of EEDP program of General Electric. He is pursuing B.Tech in ECE at Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology.
This will be a guide for how one takes on his interview and what all you should be ready with.
I am Ayush Tripathi, a final year Electronics undergraduate student at NIT Bhopal. I recently landed an offer for the Edison Engineer Development Program which is the flagship technical program at General Electric. Under this program, General Electric hires innovative and curious minds and subjects them to their world class technical training for two years. These engineers after this course are known as Edison Engineers and they lead projects in one of the GE’s business. But In India the scene is quite different. Here they look for someone who actually has exposure to that particular domain before hiring him/her. So, here I am going to tell you about how I prepared myself and how I handled my interview questions.
There are a lot of things to explore in college. I started with robotics, mastered Arduino and 8051 microcontroller to an intermediate level. Embedded System was my primary field of interest. I didn’t do any internship and focussed more on projects. I did take an industrial training but that was purely for academic reasons.
One thing which I consider to be the most significant is that I always utilised my semester breaks. I used to discover technologies through workshops and blogs and every semester I used to think of a project to explore them more. Most of my projects were meant to serve a community by making their jobs easy. I started out simple. The first project I designed was a voice controlled bot using 8051 microcontroller. So I want to tell that decide your goal and start living for it and even if you don’t have the skills to achieve it today, you’ll get them and achieve it somehow.
I worked on 5 key projects during my engineering out of which two are entrepreneurial, one is my minor project, one is summer work and one is a research work. I have explored a lot of technologies and skills to make them. The key being Embedded System, Wireless Communication and Computer Vision.
Circuitdigest, RadioElectronics and Udemy have been my guide for project assistance.
As far as preparation for my placement is concerned. It was these projects along with a brief theoretical knowledge of Embedded System and Wireless Communication. The online test for GE consisted of Aptitude, Verbal Reasoning and Technical MCQs (mostly op-amps and MOS based analog circuits). If you have a decent understanding of your subjects then you will do a decent job on the technical. For Aptitude, I would recommend Aptitude section on GeeksforGeeks and Indiabix. I also went through common embedded system questions on Wisdomjobs
There were two rounds, 1 technical and 1 techno-managerial. My interview was mostly resume based once I told him that embedded system is my area of interest.(The HR asked everyone what our favourite topic was and people confused it with subject) We discussed the technical aspects and scope of my projects. He asked me to design control system solutions for some parts of projects which would reduce the present shortcomings. I did that and he was impressed with the ideas. Then he asked me questions on wireless communication. Then it concluded. The next round was more about my extracurricular activity. The HR asked me about my role as the head of the technical club of my college and some other common questions.
They key to my success was that I knew my projects from every aspects. I even knew the shortcomings and that was how I could accept them boldly and come up with a solution on spot. Being confident while solving on paper and proving myself to be the man I looked from my resume through problem solving skills got me this job.
CareerHigh provides an ideal work-plan for any ECE guy and I would recommend people to follow it. I did the same things and managed to get a dream job like this.
Department of Electronics & Communication, NIT Bhopal