I'm often asked what it takes to land a job in the robotics industry. Honestly, while the specific requirements have been evolving over the years, the one major requirement is a passion for the field. Being genuinely interested in an area of study and having a strong desire to want to continue to learn and add to your skillset is critical to be successful in robotics today.
A conventional college education is still the most common path to a job in robotics. We typically see folks with engineering degrees in mechanical, electrical, software, computing, systems, and if your school offers it, robotics. Robotics, in general, has a mix of both hardware and software at its core. Even if you focus in one area, gaining an understanding and appreciation of the other will be beneficial. A degree in mechanical, computer, or electrical engineering helps with the electromechanical side of robotics, and a computer science degree would be helpful for the software-oriented side.
That said, the internet has truly democratized education, and most employers today understand that a high school diploma, self-taught skills, and a zealous interest in robotics may be all some people need to become a top-notch employee.
Regardless of the education path you choose, the strongest recommendation I can make is to try and acquire some form of experience. Most engineering companies have embraced the idea of hiring high school and college students as summer interns. This may be the best way to get your foot in the door, confirm the industry is the right one for you, and see where your skill set currently is (and what you need to work on).
Alternatively, or on the side, if you have a great idea you want to pursue, consider pursuing a self-led project. These look great on a resume and can teach you some invaluable skills along the way.
Remember that robotic design requires collaboration, generally a team of specialists in mechanical, software, and electrical fields. Robotics is also a great place for true "Renaissance engineers." If you love to design mechanical parts, circuit boards, and write code, a lot of robot companies will have interesting jobs for you!
About Realtime Robotics
Realtime Robotics was founded with the goal of transforming how robots and autonomous vehicles move. Realtime Robotics has continued to transform automation, with products that provide trailblazing features such as risk-aware driving, high-productivity multi-robot workcells and automated robot vision that continuously calibrates itself.
Learn more about Realtime Robotics and apply for open positions here.