Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Job Skills Job Market for different EE fields

  1. Jun 10, 2018 #1
    Hey guys,

    Iam new to Physics Forums. Iam doing my Masters with Major in Electrical Engineering. My core is Digital Signal Processing as of now and my GPA is somewhat good for atleast entering PhD program. I do have ideas for a PhD but I do have some financial commitments. So, I postponed this idea for the future. Now, coming back to the question, I have options in 4 domains( which Iam good at) and would like to know which among them has a better chance of landing in an industry.

    1. Digital Spectral Processing : Iam comfortable with the theory (linear algebra and bit of analysis ) and algorithm implementation but I do presume there are lesser jobs. One area I can go after is Artificial intelligence or Machine learning but as far as I have heard industries have very higher preference for PhDs than MS.

    2. VLSI/Analog: This area is better and I love analog engineering. This used to be my favourite subject until I had a knack for pure math. I am very much grounded in the fundamentals.

    3. RF: This is also my favourite and I could understand the complexities in RF and microwave in detail. But Iam not sure on the job market.

    4. Power systems: Iam not much interested as the above 3. But I may consider it based on job market

    What would be your advice ? Should I stay in Digital Signal Processing ? Or should I switch to either of the other three domains for landing in a job?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2018
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 10, 2018 #2

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Areas 1-3 apply well to the communications industry (cell phones, fiberoptic communications, satellite communications, etc.). You should look at company websites for companies that develop such systems to see what the job prospects are in your area (you didn't mention what country you are from). I would think the job prospects for a strong MSEE candidate would be good, particularly now. Sounds like interesting work! :smile:
     
  4. Jun 10, 2018 #3
    Thank you Berkeman. I am from the US. Would you recommend me contacting the companies ( in LinkedIn )directly for what skills they would expect in an employee ( through any person working in the company ) ?
     
  5. Jun 10, 2018 #4

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I would start with their websites first, to see what kinds of job openings they have. Depending on how willing you are to relocate, you can start with companies mainly in your area, or just look at all companies with US R&D operations.

    I'd look at several categories of companies:
    • IC design companies (Intel, Ricoh, TI, etc.) who make ICs and ASICS used in communication systems
    • Aerospace companies (Boeing, Grumman, etc.) who design, build and deploy satellite communication systems
    • Companies who design and supply the ICs in cell phones and cell towers (I don't know any names offhand)
    • Companies who design and supply ICs that are used in other kinds of networks (WiFi, Zigbee, etc.)
    • Others...

    I tried a couple Google searches to find lists of companies doing communications R&D in the US, but had trouble with the search terms because "communications" has several meanings, depending on the industry. I got too many hits for "good communication skills" types of websites for the searches to be useful. You might try such a search with better search terms...
     
  6. Jun 10, 2018 #5
    Thank you berkeman
     
  7. Jun 10, 2018 #6

    marcusl

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I agree with berkeman—RF engineers are in demand and hard to find. There’s a big need now for engineers to design 5G cellular equipment in the 28 - 39 GHz bands. If you have studied comms theory, even better. You can get in on the ground floor of something big
     
  8. Jun 10, 2018 #7

    Joshy

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I personally think the combination of the RF and IC design is going to be very attractive. Are you comfortable with materials too?
     
  9. Jun 11, 2018 #8
    That's great then. I know few concepts in RF thoroughly ( as in reading smith charts , matching circuits ) theoretically. But practically I have not used the devices. I need to look into them
     
  10. Jun 11, 2018 #9
    Yes, Iam comfortable. For example, I can do a VLSI job even if I have MS in digital signal processing. I may not have taken a particular course in school but I can self learn according to job requirement. Would companies consider self learning ?
     
  11. Jun 11, 2018 #10

    Joshy

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Throw them a bone. It's more difficult to showcase something you've self-learnt and I think it would be very easy to overlook some important details, but who am I to say you cannot do it.
     
  12. Jun 11, 2018 #11

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I think that if you did a substantive project on your own, many companies would be interested in seeing your work during the interview process. Companies generally have a limited number of "entry level" positions available in addition to all of their openings for experienced folks. At the "entry level", it's still good to show that you have some experience with the technology and tools you will be using and learning at the job.

    For example, you could do a project that uses a microcontroller (uC) and an FPGA to do some data acquisition and signal processing to perform some function. You could do some pattern recognition of video images, or some optical character recognition (OCR) or some other interesting processing that uses the speed and flexibility of the FPGA to do something moderately difficult. You should probably use Verilog to write your FPGA program (Xilinx has some free development tools for their FPGAs), since in many companies that is the standard IC design language. You will probably use some scripting language like Perl to help you manage the files in your FPGA projects (again, many companies use Perl in their design flow).
     
  13. Jun 11, 2018 #12
    Thank you Joshi and Berkeman for your inputs! Berkeman, what books would you recommend for RF? I have completed Cheng which derives from Maxwell equations.
     
  14. Jun 11, 2018 #13

    marcusl

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Pozar’s Microwave Engineering is the standard text for MW’s. Not sure about the current RF standard, it’s been too many years for me.
     
  15. Jun 11, 2018 #14
    Thank you marcusl
     
  16. Jun 11, 2018 #15

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm not sure I have a suggestion for an "RF" textbook -- what do the courses at your university use for upper-level E&M and Microwave classes?

    Also, are you familiar with this book or similar books? It's a pretty good treatment of subjects that are at the core of Communications, IMO. You might check it out at your university's technical library to see what you think of it. You can view the Table of Contents at the Amazon link below.

    Principles of Communication Engineering
    by John M. Wozencraft (Author), Irwin Mark Jacobs (Author)
    https://www.amazon.com/Principles-C...words=principles+of+communication+engineering

    410WR%2BlcTzL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
     
  17. Jun 11, 2018 #16

    marcusl

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Wonderful book, but not easy for an introduction. Sklar might be a gentler intro.
     
  18. Jun 11, 2018 #17

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Agreed, but I had the Wozencraft text in a graduate EE course, and the OP says he is working on his MSEE...
     
  19. Jun 11, 2018 #18

    marcusl

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Thanks, I missed that.
     
  20. Jun 12, 2018 #19

    Joshy

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    We used Pozar in a mixed undergraduate and graduate level module. Moved onto more concentrated/specialized books in follow up modules such as Cripps when looking at Power Amplifiers. Another professor recommended Microwave Active Circuit Analysis and Design by Poole, and I thought it was decent.

    I really don't know about "self-learning" this if you aren't super comfortable about it. I would encourage learning as much as you can, but if it's something you're trying to learn... probably wouldn't count on getting a job in that field. I don't know what the other interviews are like and maybe different fields, but my interviews were several hours long and there was no winging it.
     
  21. Jun 14, 2018 #20
    Thank you berkeman , marcusl and joshy
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted