Career options for Electronics and Communications engineers


You can possibly divide the industry options for the E&C engineers into the following domains,

Career in Automotive domain : Includes companies which develop electronic control units (ECU’s) for vehicles, If you end up in this domain, you will possibly be designated as a Embedded software engineer and will be developing RTOS applications for microcontrollers which control the fuel injection, the speedometer display, tyre pressure monitoring units etc. Companies which can be included in this domain are Robert Bosch, Delphi.

What you may get to do if you choose your career in Automotive domain?

You must be good in embedded systems programming and if you want to work in these companies. You need to work on your operating systems concepts as they will be using some kind of RTOS for controlling the ECU’s on the vehicles. You may be designated as an Embedded software engineer and assigned work to develop(if lucky) or fix applications or test applications written by others. You will be programming the microcontrollers to control the functions of these ECU’s and once you start working on an ECU, that will become your specialty. You may also get to work on the multimedia functions of the vehicle, like the audio deck or radio of the car.  

Career in Consumer electronics domain: Includes companies which develop a complete electronic product. These companies drive the design starting from the concept of the product, hardware, software, mechanical panel, marketing, after sales service. Lucky will be the guys who will get a job in these companies as you can witness the whole show starting from the 

Conceptualisation of the product

Hardware/PCB design, Software design

Testing the product(Hardware and software)

These are the companies which innovate new products and Samsung, Apple, Sony all come under these categories.

What you may get to do if you choose your career in a Consumer electronics company?

Well, if you end up being in a product company you will be recruited as an Hardware engineer or a Software engineer. If you are appointed as an Hardware engineer you may be designing the hardware boards for the product including the PCB layout design. If you are designated as Software engineer then you may be developing software for the product’s hardware(microcontroller). Other than developing you may also be put to test the hardware / software to make the product robust and meet the quality guidelines.

Embedded hardware/software design services domain:  Some consumer product companies may not have all the units efficient enough for developing all the hardware and software for their product. In such case they will outsource the PCB board design work or Software development work to another company called design services companies. These design services companies design the hardware or write the software according to the requirement of their client and charge money. This is how they survive, India’s IT industry is comprised mostly by Services companies. Some of the embedded services companies are Wipro, Mindtree, Sasken.

What you may get to do if you choose your career in Embedded Services domain?

Nature of work will be same as the product companies, if you are hired as an hardware engineer you will be designing circuits and PCB’s and as an software engineer you may be programming the clients hardware to make it work.

VLSI / Chip design domain : As the name suggests these companies are also called Semiconductor companies which design the integrated circuits used by almost every domain in the industry. These companies design chips and manufacture them in large quantities and sell them. Companies which do this work include the Texas instruments, Analog devices, Microchip, Analog devices. This domain also includes VLSI design services companies which only do the design work.

What you may get to do if you choose your career in VLSI domain?

If you chose your career in a chip design company you may be working as an layout engineer, where you will be designing the digital and analog circuits inside the chip, say oscillator units for a microcontroller, or timer modules for a microcontroller. You may also be made to work on testing the designs for speed, noise etc and be called a test engineer. Alternatively you can be a RF engineer and be designing Wireless modules, antennas, RF amplifiers.

Software domain : These companies are totally out of the domain for electronics and communication engineers. This domain is for Computer science engineers, but still E&C engineers get into these companies and end up developing software applications, developing websites, testing applications written by others. This domain contains both Software product companies and services companies too. TCS, Infosys come under this domain.

What you may get to do if you choose your career in Software domain?

If you unluckily end up here, you will be developing software applications using some programming language like JAVA, C, C++ etc. You can be employed for website development and maintenance work . For web development you may be working with web programming languages like PHP, VB, Javascript, HTML. You can also be put for mobile application development as an Android developer or Symbian or iOS developer.

Government sector : Final destination for all job seekers. Safest domain of all and you may end up being an officer or a head of some organisation and take care of the design work outsourced by the government by tenders. Only place where the design work happens is in organisations like ISRO, DRDO, BARC. Most of the government organisations outsource the design work to outside services companies.

find government jobs at these sites, 

What you may get to do if you choose your career in Government sector?

Here you may not have much to do as you will not be having any challenging work. If you get a job in some core technical organizations like ISRO, DRDO you will be doing the same hardware design, software development for hardware or testing. 

Entrepreneurship : You can become an entrepreneur and start your own company as soon as you finish your college. But most of the people take this route after working in the industry for a few years and when they have made some money to invest.  

Before you become an entrepreneur..

Work in a product company for few years and gain experience about how a product goes through its life cycle until it reaches customers hands. You may get to know what are the hurdles faced in the process. 

Make some money as any entrepreneurship venture will need money and you will not be earning money until you get some work or your product starts selling. So be safe and have some money in hand.

Dont start a company based on only Final year academic projects..

Most of the people do this mistake. They jump into starting a company thinking the academic projects as their only basis of income. As the projects business is good source of income but is seasonal and if you base out only on projects you may hurt your career. This business is seasonal and cannot be considered as a safe source. If you do end up doing projects, start doing some other work also which will give you a less but sure source of income.

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