One of the key drivers of the growth of the industrial internet of things market is that it is shaping a more efficient and results-oriented industrial landscape. The growing market and widening industry size are giving rise to exciting career opportunities in IIoT. Here are five IIoT careers facing great demand.
Top industrial IoT careers
IoT/IIoT solutions architect
An IoT solutions architect develops practical applications and uses of IoT technology. They not only collaborate with business and IT stakeholders to develop an IIoT vision that outlines business objectives but also facilitate process development with engineers and sales teams.
SEE: Hiring Kit: IoT developer (TechRepublic Premium)
An IIoT solutions architect uses experience from participation in IIoT projects to plan and create a technical vision for a solution to an IIoT problem. They design, describe and manage IIoT solutions. IIoT solutions architects need to understand the contexts of IIoT solutions and have an end-to-end responsibility for implementations like predictive maintenance, augmented reality and more.
The basic qualifications for an IoT solutions architect role include a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, computer engineering and related fields. Familiarity with IoT and its technologies is also mandatory. You should also possess data management skills, which are integral to design and solution processes.
Industrial data science
With the continued big data boom, data scientists play more and more mission-critical roles not only in IT but also in IoT as predictive capabilities become more important to organizations. IIoT devices generate massive amounts of data that needs to be processed. Data scientists in the IIoT context are key to the quality and use of data processing. They can mitigate the challenges of working with data at the edge.
These data scientists improve the effectiveness of project deployment and testing, and they develop a comprehensive understanding of the behavior of an IIoT system. This is different from traditional data science as the latter has supported businesses based on static data, whereas IoT data science deals with data that is being received in real-time.
The core skills of a data scientist include a grasp of machine learning and deep learning. IoT data scientists need to have an understanding of edge analytics atop IoT expertise. They should understand signal processing concepts to help them make sense of IoT data. Programming capabilities in both general-purpose and statistical programming languages are a requirement. Furthermore, they need to understand industrial processes and systems.
Industrial UI/UX design
User interface and user experience design are increasingly becoming prominent in IIoT as these systems require user interfaces that are optimized for usability. These user interfaces include augmented reality apps in operations and maintenance, intuitive manufacturing dashboards and interfaces for robot interaction.
Simply put, UX designers develop a logical flow of processes that a product should follow and UI designers design every screen with which users interact. UI designers also make sure that the user interface visually embodies the path set out by UX designers. Industrial UI/UX designers need to maintain mastery over state-of-the-art programming paradigms to ensure that they are up-to-date in their fields. They should also at least have a basic understanding of industrial software architecture and processes.
IoT developers create applications that empower IoT devices to function using programming languages and standard APIs. The key responsibilities of these developers include the oversight of the creation of software used to support specific IIoT applications. They create IIoT applications that serve purposes such as lowering operating costs, reducing manufacturing cycle time, improving production quality and raising the visibility into the manufacturing supply chain.
Aside from general-purpose programming languages, the programming skills required involve the ability to work with specific applications like industrial simulation and data analytics. IIoT developers should also be aware that hardware needs to be programmed. As a result, they should anticipate having to potentially learn new and proprietary languages.
IoT embedded systems design
Microprocessors, sensors and software play a vital part in facilitating communication in various IIoT applications. Embedded systems designers play a key role in the firmware that enables the functioning of IIoT networks. Embedded systems designers are responsible for the creation of device-specific firmware using programming languages such as Python and C++. They are also expected to have an in-depth understanding of the devices into which they intend to deliver firmware.
SEE: Tech projects for IT leaders: How to build a home lab, automate your home, install Node-RED and more (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
This career path requires an understanding of embedded systems. Hands-on experience is highly recommended. Potential designers are also expected to understand computer architectures and hardware security and have computer programming capabilities.
How to start a career in industrial IoT
IoT is one of the most exciting technologies today as its applications are as impressive as they are limitless. IIoT will require you to have a few core skills, regardless of whether you approach it from a software or hardware perspective.
You should have an in-depth understanding of data, ML and artificial intelligence, as AI and ML are impossible to escape in today’s data-driven landscape. Since AI and ML help devices make decisions in response to data and expose anomalies and patterns among other functions, a strong foundation in AI and ML equips you to implement the technologies to improve IIoT networks.
Having hands-on experience with IoT as well as embedded devices is priceless in these career paths as they provide the technical fundamentals to interact with IoT systems. You should also have networking knowledge in terms of standards, protocols, design, security and technologies to make you more complete as an IIoT professional. Coding and programming skills are crucial for positioning as an industrial IoT professional. Finally, to go with these technical skill sets, an attitude of constant innovation is required.
If you’re working toward implementing IIoT within your enterprise, selecting the right software is critical. There are hundreds of IIoT platforms and each one is slightly different from the next, so how do you choose? This article — including TechRepublic Premium resources — can help.