Monday, 15 April 2013

Jobs Propectives in Control

(Taken from
The comic strip above is funny yet contains some truthfulness when it comes to grad students trying to find a job. Studying control theory can get rather mathematical and theoretical. I guess it will be perfectly fair to ask - what jobs opportunities are there for control engineers? In this post, I will share some of the jobs that I know others have found after getting a degree from control.

If you are pursuing a PhD degree, then you will earn yourself a chance to get a faculty position in a university. I think being a professor is a great job. You get to educate future professionals and get to do research that you really like! Unfortunately, to get an offer as a faculty is not easy. My personal opinion is it is absolutely necessary for you to love research in order to get a faculty position. The reason is simply because you need a lot of good publication to land yourself this kind of jobs. Also, it is unusual that someone would go straight from graduating a PhD and be a professor right away (at least in North America). Typically, in between after your graduation and before you get a faculty position, you may need to do a few postdocs. Therefore, it can be a long process which can be rather risky.

So, other than faculty positions, what other options do you have in the industry? Let's start from the next promising job. If money is what you like, then finance it is a great option. To be in finance, you need a strong background in math and that is when your training in control theory helps you a lot. The pay is absolutely very attractive in this area. The starting pay can be way more than an assistant professor. So, who are hiring this people? Investment banks, hedge fund firms, insurance firms and more. The firm that is hires PhD's openly, according to my knowledge, would be J.P.Morgan. Check them out here.

Undoubtedly, working in finance typically involves long working hours and not really contributing much to the society. Perhaps, this turns you off, so what are you next options? The next good bet is on software development. If you program a lot during your graduate studies, then it is likely that you can land yourself a job in software. Most of you probably know the big firms- Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon. Google itself have a program specifically for PhD's too. Other options includes MathWorks and MapleSoft.

Next up, there are jobs that are related to controls! The interesting companies that come to my mind are Boeing, Airbus and Bombardier, which are all related to aerospace. Aerospace industry uses a lot of controls, so it is not suprisingly if they need control engineers there. Then, there are a rising demand for robots. This makes robotic companies, like ClearPath, to be another option for control engineers. Followed by that, there are the automotive industry like Toyota, Honda, Magna, Ixetic, Caterpillar and more. Finally, there are also educational-based control company like Quanser.

That is all that I know. If you studied control before but is now working in other field, share your story in the comment section below. Let me end this post with a few links that talk about all the opportunities for PhD grads:
I hope it is useful to you!

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