In this article, we will analyze IC (Instrumentation and Control) Engineering. We will look into details such as what this Engineering branch is all about, course types, course material, job opportunities, scope etc. Those who are interested in IC branch may get all necessary information from this article.
What is IC Engineering branch all about?
The problem with IC branch is that it is relatively new. I mean when compared to core branches, this branch is relatively new. And to be honest, when compared to other branches, Institutes offering this course are less in number. So, in many countries, there is this vague mystery surrounding this course! Wait, I will explain all facts and figures in detail and clear your doubts regarding this branch!
Basically, IC Engineering is all about creating, maintaining and developing Control systems and processes. Didn’t get it? Wait, let me explain it to you in simple language by giving an example.
Let us talk about a pharmaceutical production plant. In such a factory, the production process is automated. There are different machines and tools dealing with processes such as production, quality check, packing etc. All these systems are automated and the way they work depends on factors such as weight of content, size, temperature, production pace required etc. Depending on these factors, the way these systems works has to be altered.
Now, the task of creating such automated systems rests on the shoulders of IC Engineers. Also, after creating such a system, it is necessary to maintain it. There has to be someone managing this process and make necessary changes according to the factors that I mentioned above. For this task too, IC professionals are required.
Now comes the development part. No control process or system is meant to last forever! For one reason or another, more advanced systems are required from time to time by factories. The reasons could be- improving production, producing new goods etc. Whatever the reason could be, there is a requirement of new and improved automated systems and control processes. For this task too, IC Engineers come handy!
These control systems works depending on data, loads of data! So, based on different situations, the data settings have to be changed to get desired results, when it comes to production. Under such circumstances also, IC folks need to step up and perform the task of analyzing data and making changes in the system accordingly. They are also required to create data reports and analyze it.
This is just the example of pharmaceutical production. Similarly, in other Industries too, IC Engineers are required to manage, create, develop and run control systems and processes! If you want a more ‘official’ definition and explanation, do check out this Wikipedia page.
Formats of course-
The different forms of courses available and their durations are-
- B.E./B.Tech. in IC Engineering– 4 years
- M.E./M.Tech. in IC Engineering– 2 years
- Diploma in IC Engineering- 3 years
The course material is aimed at making students familiar with latest automation techniques, robotics, control systems, sensors (types and their use), microprocessors, logical controllers, programming logical controllers, creating controls related software, data analysis etc.
Scope and job opportunities-
The exciting part about this branch of Engineering is that since production processes are automated these days, IC Professionals and Engineers are required by almost all Industries that has something to do with production.
Graduates will be able to find job in sectors such as- Manufacturing units (Car manufacturing plants, pharmaceutical goods production), Refineries etc.
Jobs are available in the Government sector as well. One may also start up on one’s own. Especially by creating own control software and selling it to Industries or freelancing by creating custom control software that meets the needs of the client!
When it comes to Instrumentation and Control Engineering, the job market is not too saturated. The number of IC graduates coming out of Colleges each year is relatively less, when compared to other branches of Engineering. So, competition is not too high in the job market. Add to this fact the huge demand for IC Engineers- the chances of landing a decent job increases!