We live in a world where the “digital” dominates. Everything is controlled by the digital. Mobile phones are a perfect example of digital electronics. The application of digital electronics in our lives is undeniably huge and varied. From the heart of a patient to the heart of a car, the digital electronics dominate .The modern pacemaker that uses electrical impulses to regulate the beating of the heart consists of an extremely sophisticated digital part along with an analog part. This digital part consists of a micro controller and some memory. The circuit that determines how much fuel should enter the engine of a car is governed by the electronic control unit (ECU). The ECU consists of sensors and microcontrollers, which govern the flow of fuel into the engine. From anti-lock brake systems to the auto sensing lights and the safety and security systems, digital electronics govern the body of a modern automobile. The work of a digital electronics engineer is to manufacture/ control/ anything that is digital.
But the job of a digital electronics engineer is not limited to the auto industry alone. Literally thousands of everyday devices that we use constantly make use of electronics technology in order to operate. These are products ranging from automotive engines to automated equipment in production settings. Even artistic efforts benefit from computer modeling prior to the committing of valuable artistic media to create the finished product. Cell phones often include a fairly sophisticated digital camera that can capture still pictures or even video pictures and store them or transfer them to a computer where they can be saved, shared digitally with family or friends or printed out in hard form with a photo printer device. Pictures obtained through a camera or by means of a scanner can be edited, cropped, enhanced or enlarged easily through the marvel of electronics.
Electronic devices are being used in the health field, not only to assist in diagnosis and determination of medical problems, but to assist in the research that is providing treatment and cures for illnesses and even genetic anomalies. Equipment such as MRI, CAT and the older X-rays, tests for diabetes, cholesterol and other blood component tests all rely on electronics in order to do their work quickly and accurately. Pacemakers and similar equipment implanted in the body is now almost common.
Using electronics today is so much a part of our lives that we cannot do without them. Music is a prime user of electronics, both in recording and in playback mode. Stereos, record players, tape decks, cassette players, CD drives and DVD players are all the result of advances in electronics technology in the last few decades. Today people can carry a playlist of hundreds of songs around with them easily in a very small device--easily portable. When you add Bluetooth or headphones the music can be heard by the user, but does not disturb those nearby.
The students completing their studies in Digital Electronics have a great scope as it is one of the most popular branches of engineering. Digital Electronics and Communication Engineering opens up great career prospects for the students. After completion of a degree in Digital Electronics, students can easily get recruitments in teaching, manufacturing industries and service organizations such as broadcasting, consulting, data communication, entertainment, research and development and system support. The candidates can also work in modern multimedia service firms that are involved in real-time transfer of information through video conferencing and internet broadcasting. The application of digital electronics is tremendous and stupendous. It provides job opportunities in almost every industry one can think of: military, medical, automobiles, home (personal to professional), IT, manufacturing companies. Some of the firms that require candidates of Digital Electronics for academic and research works are BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited), VSSC (Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre) and DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation).
Digital electronics demand critical thinking to get the job done in the right way. A proper knowledge of the practical application of engineering science is essential for students pursuing digital electronics. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Other necessary skills which are required are as follows:
=> Ability to identify complex problems and review related information to develop and assess options and implement solutions
=> Excellent mathematical and IT background
=> Strong decision making skills
=> Excellent teamworking skills
=> Aptness in quality control analysis-conducting tests and inspections of products or services
=> Capability to think critically-using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternate solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
=> Associate degree in engineering technology with a college background in Math & Science
=> Potential to learn and adopt new techniques
=> Innovative bent of mind
Digital electronics engineer design and develop the systems used by machines and equipment in many industries such as telecommunications, IT, aerospace, defence, manufacturing. With greater experience, one can specialize in research and development, project management or consultancy.
The opportunities for Digital electronics and communication engineers are ample as they are employed in variety of sectors such as Civil Aviation, Development Centres in various States, Indian Telephone Industries ,Defence, National Physical Laboratory of India(NPL), All India Radio(A.I.R), Posts and Telegraph Department, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited(BHEL), Telecommunication, Software Engineering/IT, Power sector, Defence Research and Development Organisation(D.R.D.O), Hardware Manufacturing, Home Appliance and VLSI(Very Large Scale Integrated) design, Television Industry and Research & Development.
Some of the job profiles are noted below:
=> Software Analyst
=> Research and Development Software Engineer
=> Technical Director
=> Service Engineer
=> Electronics and Communications Consultant
=> Senior Sales Manager
=> Network Planning Engineer
=> Field Test Engineer
=> Defense Services
=> Customer Support Engineer
In addition to these profiles, there are many other opportunities for job applicants. One can opt for self-employment by starting their own business. There are many small scale industries development corporations that provide various loan facilities to start new businesses. Digital Electronics is one such career which provides jobs as a high-end research analyst in scientific innovation to service engineers, repairing electronic goods.
The candidate should have a Bachelor's or Master's degree in engineering to pursue a career in Digital Electronics. Digital Electronics course are offered at both graduation and post graduation levels across various Institutes of Technology in India. The candidate must complete 10+2 with high scores in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry for Bachelor’s Degree. The duration of the course is 4 years. For the post graduation degree in Digital electronics, candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree with at least 50% marks with an associate engineering degree (Electronics & Communication Engineering).
Some of the prominent institutions across provide B.Tech & M. Tech degrees in Digital Electronic Communication are as follows:
=> Rajasthan Institute of Engineering and Technology, RIET, Jaipur (B. Tech in Electronics & Communications Engineering, M.Tech in VLSI and Digital Communication)
=> Andhra Loyola Institute of Engineering & Technology (M.Tech in Digital Electronic Communication)
=> Balaji Institute of Technology & Science (M.Tech in Digital Systems & Computer Electronics)
=> Ballari Institute of Technology & Management , Bellary (BITM)- (M.Tech in Digital Electronics)
=> MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology – Master of Technology in Digital Electronics & Communication
=> Visvesvaraya Technological University- M.Tech in Digital Electronics & Communication Systems
The remuneration offered to a candidate after electronics and communication engineering varies from sector to sector such as government organizations such as VHEL, BSNL, ONGC and PSU that employs candidates as a junior telecom officer/technical engineer/survey and maintenance engineer offer salary between Rs. 10,000 – Rs. 32,000 every month.
In the private sector, the package offered for electronics and communication engineers is Rs. 3, 50,000 – Rs. 4, 00,000 lakhs per annum. The high caliber graduates with specialization in mobile computing and VLSI Design are offered higher packages more than 4, 00,000 lakhs per annum. So, electronics and communication engineering is a very lucrative career.
Dr. Pawan Whig
The author is the Dean of Rajasthan Institute of Engineering & Technology. He has got a rich and versatile experience in the industry and academia. He is an M-Tech and PhD from Jamia Millia Islamia University. Dr. Whig is a permanent member of international association of engineers Hong Kong. He is also an honorable member of ISTE Delhi Chapter 2008-2009 as well as a student member of IEEE at Jamia Millia Islamia (Central University). Significantly an institutional membership of ISTE Jaipur section as well.