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Signal/Image Processing & Communications Careers?

  1. Apr 9, 2009 #1
    Can you tell me about your career in Signal/Image Processing, Communications, or Intelligent systems? I would like to know what a career in these industries is like with and without a phd.

    Also, what skills are needed? I'm sure mathematics is one but to what level?

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2009 #2
    Hey, I have a masters in EE and I'm starting a job in image processing (my research was in computer vision / robotics)

    So far its pretty good. Image processing tends to be a hodge-podge of methods so it takes a lot of reading to keep up. We mostly prototype algorithms in Matlab then implement them in VHDL and FPGA.

    In terms of skills: definitely linear algebra, that's a big one. Some microprocessor design courses and calculus are useful as well. Optimization (and hence variational calculus) are big parts of signal processing. You should take some DSP courses as well, since everything is digital nowadays.

    The Subversive Guide to Engineering
    Latest Post: Engineering Jobs: What Have Graduates Been Doing
  4. Apr 10, 2009 #3
    Thanks for the reply subSquall!!

    Oh wow! VHDL, FPGA, Microprocessor design? and here I was thinking it may be to my advantage to switch to a software engineering program (from computer. I thought I would be the wise one avoiding courses in DSD and Microprocessor systems!

    Would you also be able to comment on the commercial opportunities in Canada for such work? I'm just a confused undergrad who desperately wants an interesting job/career! LOL. Also, is there anything I could do outside of class to stand out for a job/graduate school? My grades are pretty crappy right now...
  5. Apr 10, 2009 #4
    Hey, if you can do FPGA stuff, the job opportunities are pretty good in Canada. A lot of companies look for people that can do FPGA stuff or embedded software programming (like microcontrollers -- most embedded software developers are EEs, not software eng grads since you need to understand the underlying circuit and digital fundamentals)

    The best way to get a job is to do an internship. This article has some more tips:
    http://subversiveguidetoeng.blogspot.com/2009/04/getting-engineering-job-after-you.html [Broken]

    The next best thing is to do some hobby projects. You can get a cheap microcontroller development board (ie www.microchip.com) or (slightly more expensive) an FPGA development board (student ones are about $99) and do some projects. There are lots of tutorials on the web and fun stuff you can make. I recommend Xilinx for FPGAs, Altera = crap.

    Subversive Guide to Engineering
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. May 20, 2009 #5
    Hey subSquall, What do you think is a good complement to an embedded system elective in terms of interesting job accessibility? Which ones can I safely skip and pick up after graduation/on my own?

    Control Systems: Is industrial control software run off PC's or FPGA/microcontrollers? How does one get into machine control software engineering?

    Fault-Tolerant Computing:Sounds useful...

    Signal processing:The math seems really advanced, maybe an MS?

    Parallel Computing: Multithreaded embedded software?

    Commnuications systems: Information theory.

    P.S. Good Blog! Very useful information, you should advertise in on the talk.collegeconfidential.com engineering forum.
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