Which major to choose if you want to study embedded systems


Simply put, an embedded system is a hardware device merged with software to perform a specific task. It can operate as a single system or be part of a larger network. Examples of on-board systems extend far and wide, from digital watches to vending machines and airplanes.

With that in mind, choosing the best specialty for a career in this field can seem like a daunting task. This article is here to give you an overview of the recommended majors and skills needed to become an Embedded Systems Engineer, also known as a Computer Architect.

What does an embedded systems engineer do?

An embedded systems engineer is responsible for the design, testing, production and maintenance of an embedded system. Depending on the company, the staff hired will either work with the software or understand the entire system.

They will also be needed to interface the hardware design, optimize performance, and improve application efficiency. Therefore, it is important to understand both the software programs and the hardware that will need to be programmed.

The average income of a professional with a bachelor’s degree in this field is $ 85,000 per year. The higher the degree, of course, the higher the salary. A professional with a master’s degree in this field earns an average of $ 93,000, while a doctoral graduate earns $ 105,000 per year.

What type of education is required?

A person who wishes to become an IT architect must choose a specialization in IT. There are several degrees to choose from in this regard. The most common are computer science, electrical engineering, and computer engineering.

Regarding the level of education required in this field, a survey of more than 700 engineers in embedded systems showed that the majority of professionals only have a bachelor’s degree. A quarter of the survey participants hold a master’s degree. Much of these degrees are theoretical and academic, but luckily students can save time and get help writing their thesis from services such as TrialPro to ensure a higher salary in the future. Now, which major to choose?

Electrical engineering

Of the three options on offer, an electrical engineering major is the one that is most likely to help a student get a foot in the door. This is because the field is vast and it teaches students a variety of electronic devices. Once enrolled in the course, a student can choose an area of ​​concentration, which will ultimately guide their career path.

Engineering computer Science

Computer engineering is another course that can lead to a career in this field. It’s also the next favorite major after electrical engineering. The course in this major teaches students how to develop and test computer software and hardware.

It combines knowledge of computer science and electrical engineering. Therefore, it gives students an overview of how an embedded system works.


Finally, a student wishing to enter this field can pursue a degree in computer science. Like the major mentioned above, computer science studies both the software and the hardware of a device. Where it deviates, however, is that the Classes for a major in computer science, focuses more on software and software structures.

Computer science also places an emphasis on problem solving and software design.

Systems engineering skills required

A smaller percentage of people in the survey mentioned above work as IT architects without a degree. This is especially important because it suggests that an individual needs skills outside of those taught in school to become an Embedded Systems Engineer.

While there are several skills that would be useful in this career, this article will highlight all three basics.

  1. Learn C programming

C programming is a general purpose programming language that can be used as a basis for other Programming languages. For this reason, it is considered the “mother” of programming languages.

Learning C programming also has a variety of benefits. On the one hand, it is able to create software, command line interpreters and kernels. Some of the best known examples are Python and Java.

Finally, most (if not all) of the embedded systems job postings require the candidate to have knowledge of C or C ++ languages.

  1. Get an 8-bit microcontroller

A microcontroller is a compact integrated circuit, like a chip, that is inserted into a computer. Although it is available in 32-bit, an 8-bit microcontroller is best for beginners. It is easy to program and extremely affordable.

Once a student has purchased an 8-bit microcontroller, they should practice programming it with the C programming language. Once programmed, it can be integrated into hardware and monitored.

  1. Learn interfacing

The next skill to acquire after learning the above two is how to create an interface. This is important because an embedded systems engineer may be needed to design interfaces. Several interfaces can be connected to solve complex problems.

Who is this career for?

Ultimately, it’s not the best career path for everyone interested in it. There are several alternative career paths that a person can take, even if they are already enrolled in one of the majors mentioned above.

The ideal candidate for this role is an analytical individual with strong problem-solving skills, able to meet deadlines and possessing the necessary technical know-how. As with any career, it also helps if the person is curious and eager to learn more about their work.


To become an embedded systems engineer, a person must have the training and technical skills required to do the job. Students can choose from a variety of majors, including those described above.

Most professionals in the field have undergraduate degrees. But, it is not uncommon for people to pursue higher education and postgraduate degrees. After all, a higher degree can lead to a pay rise.

However, technical skills also play a role in success. A student should learn to code in commonly used programming languages, create interfaces, and program microcontrollers, among other technical skills. Learning outside of the classroom will go a long way in helping someone achieve their goal of becoming an Embedded Engineer.

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