Given the prominent role of technology in our life, it is not surprising that computer engineering continues to be one of the most preferred streams in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). It was the most popular choice among undergraduate engineering students in 2019, however, with this popularity also comes intense competition in the field. Hence, it is important to understand the emerging career opportunities upon graduation.
Until recently, the ability to code was seen as the most important qualification. However, this is no longer adequate as employers are now looking for people who can design, maintain, and improve learning algorithms. The growing importance of Big Data has opened up career opportunities in data collection and analytics. Another exciting avenue for computer engineers has emerged in smart devices, with the growth of IoT and AI.
The increasing specialisation and diversification in computer engineering have resulted in multiple career opportunities for computer engineers. Here are some of the jobs that will see high demand in the coming decade:
Machine Learning Engineers
Machine learning is one of the most exciting fields in computer science today. This is the ideal choice for anyone who wants to work in a cutting-edge and fast-moving field. With the growth of smart devices and Big Data, machine learning engineers are likely to be in high demand as businesses use machine learning to decipher data and understand customers.
Machine learning engineers analyse Big Data through complex algorithms, to program a near-autonomous system that can think and carry out tasks like human beings. They use tools like image recognition, language processing and economic forecasting to ensure that the machine is constantly learning. Computer engineers with an aptitude and background in Mathematics are best suited to this field.
The rapid spread of digitisation in our lives has also presented many challenges, with a staggering threefold increase in cyberattacks last year alone. Not surprisingly, cybersecurity has emerged as one of the key concerns for Indian businesses. A cybersecurity specialist is responsible for ensuring that company and user data on websites and servers are protected against any theft or fraud. According to LinkedIn data, their average salary is around Rs 60,800 and can go up to Rs 1.3 lakh a year. With cybersecurity expected to become critical, this is an ideal job for someone who wants stability with excellent potential for growth.
System Designers and Architect
Most of the coding work is expected to become automated, shrinking the role of the programmer. Instead, we will need specialists who can design futuristic software systems and maintain them for optimal performance. This is where system designers and architects will come in. As the professionals who get to decide the overall design and maintenance of a system, they will see a high demand across industries.
With digital platforms becoming the mode of connecting with consumers, UX designers have become the key to ensuring an effective and smooth interaction. This role combines expertise in software with a design perspective. It also requires the knowledge of tools to gather user insight, including their habits, motivations, and predicting their needs. This is an ideal role for someone who has excellent visualising skills and a creative bent.
The pandemic has accelerated changes in what was already one of the fastest-growing fields. From remote working to online learning, the cloud facilitates many of our critical functions today. The job roles in this field include solutions architect, cloud developer, cloud architect, cloud database administrator, cloud network engineer, and sysops engineer. Although there may be minor variations in their roles and responsibilities, their basic function is to plan, monitor and manage an organisation’s cloud system.
Robotics engineers configure, analyse, test, reevaluate, and maintain the robotic components and integrated software in machines, particularly in manufacturing, mining, and automotive services. With the rise in IoT, we will see more demand for robotic engineers in fields such as healthcare and transportation.
Today, every business function is based on data that is gathered through multiple channels. With the rise in Big Data, we need data scientists who are skilled in compiling, processing, analysing, and presenting this data in a manner that can be easily understood in order to make informed decisions. Consequently, data scientists are seeing high demand across different industries, from manufacturing to healthcare and education.
With the rise of information technology in our lives, the role of computer engineers has widened in almost every sector. Understanding these emerging fields can help students focus on their career of choice, building up their competency and experience in college, and later as young professionals.