In the past, there was often a brawl between the IT and engineering groups as to who would control a particular activity in a business or plant. For example, one required a strong know-how in IT in order to adequately support one’s SCADA-based system – so there was always a debate as to who controlled it – the IT or Engineering departments.

 

Dear Colleagues

 

In the past, there was often a brawl between the IT and engineering groups as to who would control a particular activity in a business or plant. For example, one required a strong know-how in IT in order to adequately support one’s SCADA-based system – so there was always a debate as to who controlled it – the IT or Engineering departments. Now even instrument techs require a strong IT know-how as they often troubleshoot an instrument using a computer rather than a multimeter.

 

Recruiters are demanding
Recruiters are increasingly noting that employers are demanding that engineering professionals possess skills sets (and indeed, experience) from information technology as well as show equivalent experience with specific software packages.

 

One only needs to think of the strong growth in robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), drones and (almost) driverless cars which all require software and hardware to know that this trend will accelerate. Every bit of hardware today has some sort of computer (and internet) interface.

 

Easily Acquire Software Skills
The beauty of being an engineering professional is that (with some motivation) you can quickly acquire most of these IT skills through the plethora of course sites ranging from virtually free MOOCs (massive open online courses) to smaller online courses (ranging from programming .NET, Python to IoT). Ranging from a modest cost to free. This does, of course, require motivation to stick to the course and complete it. But the rewards can be enormous in building on your engineering career.

 

A Disconnect
Oddly enough, there is an ongoing disconnect between IT graduates and jobs (in Australia and the UK for example) where IT graduates are not easily securing employment with high unemployment rates for new graduates. Quite bizarre. And yet employers are screaming for more IT workers. It would suggest that the problem lies in these IT degrees not focussing on what the job market wants.

 

On the other hand, undertaking a non-accredited boot camp of three months in coding front and back end web sites – one can get a job quickly and at a solid salaries.

 

The Main Question Today
Increasingly the question today isn’t whether your engineering education and experience has a strong computing background; but what courses you undertook in programming and configuration and most importantly what experience you gained subsequent to your education.

 

An Ongoing Investment
An ongoing investment in your education is a work-in-progress – IT skills date quickly, as we all know. Whereas a few years ago, Java was all the rage – now it is likely to be Backend web design and scripting (with JavaScript).

 

All the best in building up a balanced IT and engineering background to your career.

 

Now where was I in that JavaScript job I have been working on…..

 

James Dyson remarks on the other key building block for engineers – being an entrepreneur: ’I want entrepreneurs to be engineers and scientists and designers; they don't necessarily have to be Internet entrepreneurs or retail entrepreneurs’.

 

Yours in engineering learning

 

Steve

 

Mackay’s Musings – 5th July’16 #607
780, 293 readers – www.idc-online.com/blogs/stevemackay

 

The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) is dedicated to ensuring our students receive a world-class education and gain skills they can immediately implement in the workplace upon graduation. Our staff members uphold our ethos of honesty and integrity, and we stand by our word because it is our bond. Our students are also expected to carry this attitude throughout their time at our institute, and into their careers.