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April 12, 2017

Put Your IT Skills to Work in the Electronic Systems Industry

We know the demand for IT skills is huge. There are jobs in software, systems analysis, tech support and more. But what if you are fascinated with the technologies of audio, video, automation and control via mobile devices? Let’s face it - some people like to work with their hands and see the results of their work in the form of something tangible, something physical…something that can be seen and heard and touched. If you are one of these people, then a career in electronic systems might be perfect for you.

When we say, “electronic systems”, of course, we could be talking about anything from industrial robotics to aerospace, but for this discussion we will focus on systems and subsystems designed and installed in homes, businesses and large-scale buildings. This industry is growing at a record pace, both here and abroad. And like every other part of life, it is being forever changed by the Internet of Things (IoT) and the fact that virtually every single subsystem and component in today’s projects are connected to the network. This interconnectivity has created an enormous need for people with networking and programming skills. From the technician in the field to the designers and engineers and programmers who conceptualize the system, specify the parts and pieces, and program the control and automation to make everything easy to operate. These systems include conference rooms, home theaters, digital signage, security, access control, and much more. And every one of these systems is now dependent on a robust and well-configured network, and programming that requires both accuracy and creativity.

Over the past 5-10 years, electronic systems professionals have been scrambling to learn what they need to know about networking. They have found that it is usually better to focus on what they do best, and hire new people who already have the networking/programming skills. That’s where opportunity knocks for the IT pro. But the IT pro needs to understand the infrastructure basics, components, signal flow, and connectivity of the industry to tackle the networking and programming that allow it all to run.

How do you get the knowledge and skills needed to pursue this career path? There are a number of great resources, training options, and certifications which will get you ready to work in this dynamic industry. Industry associations like ESPA, CEDIA and InfoCOMM all have introductory courses and certifications. You can start learning more and exploring a wide array of resources, publications, etc. by visiting and clicking on the “Training Resources” tab. You’ll find an abundance of great links that will help you get familiar with the industry, what the companies do, the technologies, the terminologies, and some very good options to learn more. Your IT skills, combined with a solid familiarity with the work done by electronic systems integrators, could be your ticket to a career path that will never be boring. The technology literally changes daily. Every project is different. And as you learn more, you can advance rapidly through the ranks. Most designers, engineers, and programmers started out as entry-level technicians.

If you would like to work in a dynamic industry where anything is possible, you should seriously consider a career in electronic systems.

This guest blog post comes from Jeff Gardner, executive director, ESPA.