Internet of Things (IoT)
What is the Internet of Things?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines Internet of Things (IoT) as
The interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.
In a nutshell, IoT allows everyday objects to be sensed or controlled remotely through the internet (and also allows for data on how the object is being used to be produced and analysed).
Image credit: Shinya Suzuki
Internet of Things in our everyday lives
Convenience and efficiency
Added to the convenience of being able to automate parts of our lives and jobs (Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Hive Connected Home), is the data that these devices are able to produce. For example, data can be collected from pretty much any IoT device and can be used for various things such as measuring efficiency or for automatically re-ordering stock when supplies become low (Xerox printers for example).
This data can also be used to provide analytical insights which can be used for marketing or business decision purposes – learning customer behaviour and knowing when to target a product at a particular customer. One example of this is smart metres which are rolling out across the country so that the government is able to monitor the way that the country uses supplies. This can then shape the way that energy is supplied and delivered to customers in the future.
Careers in wearable technology
Hear some great insights from Alex Bowker, Head of Developer Relations at Samsung, and find out more about a career in wearable technology.
Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
There is also the IoMT which links medical devices to systems that can track patient data and the recovery progress. One example, remote patient monitoring, enables patients with long term conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure to submit data directly to their doctor without them having to attend appointments. The monitoring can also flag up where there are problems and trigger the doctor to arrange to speak to the patient.
Where to look for job vacancies?
A report from ITjobswatch states that the number of IoT roles has almost doubled from 2016 to 2017 with even more expected to be available going forward
Job titles can vary
The job titles for IoT roles can vary. Sometimes, the job title include 'Internet of Things' but sometimes, these roles can come under job titles where it is not so obvious with job titles such as solutions architect, software engineer or developer. The best way to search for these roles is to start with searching for Internet of Things and go from there.
Identifying more opportunities
By keeping up-to-date with the latest news, you will also identify companies that are active in this area. If you find a company that interests you, check out their website for job opportunities and/or contact the HR or personnel team to find out where they advertise.
IoT News - articles on projects and companies involved in new developments
IoTUK - national programme to accelerate IoT capability - latest news and blog
What skills and knowledge are required to work in the IoT?
According to IT Career Finder.com, the top skills required to work in IoT include
- Business intelligence – particularly knowledge around data analysis and data management
- Information security – security knowledge is paramount when working with devices connected to the internet. Devices are targeted by cybercriminals who can even hold devices to ransom
- UI/UX design – making a user interface easy to interact with
- Mobile development – developing apps to interact with the IoT device
- Hardware engineering – creating hardware components that will become IoT devices
- Networking – knowledge of how internet works to connect IoT devices to
- Programming and software development – creating software to either control IoT devices or to use as a way of downloading and/or analysing the data gained
There is no prescribed technical background or degree required to work in IoT as such but engineering, science, maths, IT and other technology-related backgrounds are highly relevant for specialist roles. However, in start-ups there are likely to be roles in areas such as marketing, business analysis and design which will not need the technological background.
If you are interested in further study options, there are some masters courses and PhDs available. It is however, possible to enter this area of work after an undergraduate degree.
Get involved at Nottingham to enhance your prospects
Hackathons are also a great way to get experience in learning new tech skills and networking with like-minded individuals.
HackSoc at UoN
CompSoc at UoN