5 Critical Skills Needed to Get into IoT in 2021

The Internet of Things or IoT is no longer just a buzzword as it was a few years ago. Thanks to improvements in AI, big data, and cloud computing technologies, IoT devices are becoming a staple in many industries and homes. 

Revenues from IoT devices are expected to top $520 billion by 2025. Healthcare, infrastructure, and smart manufacturing are expected to be among the biggest drivers of the industry in the next decade. 

But IoT isn’t a specific software, programmable application, or a development environment. Rather, it refers to a concept that integrates different hardware, software, firmware, and networks to achieve the desired interconnectivity. These are the basics of any IoT project, but a lot more needs to go into something that works long-term. 

It is estimated that at least 25 billion devices will be connected by 2025. The potential for growth in this industry is huge. Even without a computer science or electrical engineering degree, you can start to build a solid foundation in IoT by learning skills or gaining certifications in several key areas.  

  1. The Basics of Electronics

You don’t have to be an electrical engineering graduate to work in IoT (although it helps). However, for success in IoT, it is necessary to understand a lot of practical concepts such as voltage, current, resistors, capacitors, multimeters, transistors, soldering, and the like. Check out courses on Udemy and the Khan Academy to polish up your skills.

  1. Embedded Systems and Microprocessors 

IoT devices not only have to be small, but they also have to be smart as well, with functionalities such as sensing, actuation, and control. For starters, you will probably be using an Arduino, Raspberry Pi, or your own built micro-controller dev board. You’ll also learn how to use various sensors such as water flow sensors, light sensors, pressure sensors, and ultrasonic sensors. 

Some sophisticated sensors might require you to get into the source code, and a little push in this area helps. The book 8051 Microcontroller and Embedded Systems is a great place to start learning about practical circuits that are run by microcontrollers. You can also get great ideas for regular interfacing devices such as fingerprint scanners with microcontrollers with the examples provided here. 

Important concepts that you should also learn when exploring IoT are DAC (digital-to-analog converters), and ADC (analog-to-digital converters) since most of the purview of IoT falls here. A homework helper can assist you in making sense of your assignments on embedded systems.

  1. Networks

It is necessary to transmit data between the IoT microcontroller and sensors and a mobile or web application. The range of options includes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, MQTT (message queuing telemetry transport), and Zigbee. For a start, you can use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth since it is the most readily available. 

5G is ultimately going to be the model solution for IoT networks due to its reliability with low latency, especially over wide networks. 

  1. UX/UI design 

In practical cases, your IoT skills will be useful not just for your pet projects where you might not require actual coding skills. To go deep into IoT boards, you may require some background knowledge in C or C++. If you are planning on connecting your device to an android app or to deploy to other users, you may require basic knowledge in CSS, HTML, or JS. 

  1.  Cloud Systems and Data Management 

Data is a huge part of the intended purpose of IoT. Being able to collect data fast, efficiently, and accurately from numerous devices and processing that data to provide useful output is a key facet of IoT. As a developer, you may be getting more into the application rather than deployment. Courses in big data infrastructure for IoT include Hadoop and Spark. Programming elements include complex event processing, streaming, and real-time analytics, etc. 

In big data, you may also get introduced to concepts in edge computing, where data from IoT devices is analyzed at the edge of the network before being sent to the cloud. 

Numerous Opportunities Abound in IoT

The Internet of Things is about to blow up in this new decade. While IoT in itself isn’t a single career line, there are many areas to get into with interest in this field. For example, you could become an embedded engineer in an IoT company, a big data analyst, or a backend designer. Other possibilities include an IoT applications specialist or app developer for any company deploying IoT. 

The key to growing successfully into a career in IoT is not to follow the buzz. Rather, it is to gain a genuine interest and a practical mindset that positions you to reap big as future technologies emerge.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.