The Internet of Things, abbreviated IoT, expands access to the world-wide web from computers, smartphones, and other typical devices to create a vast network of appliances, toys, apparel, and other goods that are capable of connecting to the internet. These goods, which range from refrigerators to bicycles and everything in between, are equipped with computer chips, microcontrollers, and sensors that can collect and transmit data.
The IoT is important to study for learners interested in enabling the development of IoT products, as well as in gleaning the data generated by them.
Because the IoT relied on physical products that communicate via internet connection and sensors, the fields of Hardware and Embedded Systems present prime opportunities for Industry 4.0 employment. In fact, Computer Hardware Engineers going the IoT route can expect to enter a market estimated to reach a value of USD 1256.1 billion by 2025.
As of July 2020, there are over 13,000 IoT-related jobs in the US. Other than Computer Hardware Engineer, roles that can enjoy the lucrative IoT market include Embedded Systems Engineer, Raspberry Pi Developer, Arduino Developer, Marketing Manager, Content Writer, Digital Project Manager, and others.
IoT courses offered through Coursera equip learners with knowledge in creating your own IoT device; programming languages and softwares for building IoT products; understanding the entire IoT network architecture; mastering key skills required to be employed in the industrial IoT space; and more.
Lessons on the IoT are taught by instructors from major tech names and universities, including UC Irvine, UC San Diego, Google Cloud, University of Colorado, and other organizations. Learners can enjoy exploring the IoT with instructors specializing in Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering, and other disciplines. Course content on the IoT is delivered via video lectures, hands-on projects, readings, quizzes, and other types of assignments.
The skills and experience that you might need to already have before starting to learn IoT would likely include an interest in engineering and embedded systems, a deep understanding of the internet and how it’s transforming society, and how devices are impacting businesses and consumers because of the Internet of Things. Some of the practical areas to learn might include C or C++ programming, debugging, and API setups. In effect, IoT takes normal, everyday objects and turns them into smart devices that can do a number of things, like automate tasks, transmit data, and emit sounds, without the person having to press buttons or click manually on the device. Having the knowledge of how software and hardware work together for these IoT devices can help you in your internet-focused career.
The kind of people who are best suited for work that involves IoT are often software developers who know cloud-based infrastructure services. Without good software to run these devices, IoT would still be in its infancy. These software developers usually install, test, and maintain software that goes into wearables, appliances, and other IoT devices. Other people best suited for work with IoT may also include those engineers with a background in computer sciences and cybersecurity, along with network administrators and infrastructure architects.
You might know if learning IoT is right for you if you want to gain a stronger knowledge about the latest advances in technology, and how they are impacting our modern society. Clearly, if you love health and fitness tracking wearable devices or home voice assistants, and use all the gadgetry and technology in your car and embedded tech in your kitchen tools, then it would be a good guess that learning IoT is right for you.
The types of places that hire people with excellent computer-centric backgrounds for IoT projects are some of the biggest tech companies in the world. AT&T, Oracle, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are just a few of the multi-national companies that are creating hardware and software capabilities for IoT devices. If you work hard in your current job, or learn as much as you can about IoT, you may be able to apply to these companies to help with these emerging new digital technologies.
This FAQ content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.