The Exciting Growth of IoT

In that future just about every physical device has a sensor spewing out massive amounts of data to be harnessed and managed.

By P.K. Agarwal, Dean, UCSC Silicon Valley

While social networks such as Facebook and Twitter connect people with people, Internet of Thing (IoT) is all about connecting device to device—doorbells, lightbulbs, automobiles, mobile devices, wearables, and yes, even toothbrushes. Adding to the momentum, is the fast-growing adoption of IoT technology in manufacturing, oil and gas, smart cities, and healthcare. 

Just about every sector of consumer products and industry will be influenced by the IoT revolution. 

The Future of IoT

In that future just about every physical device has a sensor spewing out massive amounts of data to be harnessed and managed. In some sectors, this has already begun. The new data has changed the way we heat our homes, take our medicine, and maintain warehouses. A lot of creative work still needs to be done.

Cecil Lawson, an information technology manager with a Silicon Valley city and the instructor of our new Foundations of IoT  course, describes IoT as “a conglomeration of most of the hottest disciplines—networking, data science, data management, cloud technologies, programming, and computer hardware—all wrapped up into one.”

This makes it particularly exciting for students, who, once they get the overall picture, can pick an area they want to work in. 

IoT Market Growth

Last year, the IoT market was estimated to be more than $190 billion. The mega companies such as Apple, Google, Amazon, Cisco, FedEx, and Microsoft have all invested in IoT. Conservative forecasts predict a 10–12 percent annual jump, pushing the market to $1 trillion by 2025. This is leading to a lot of new, exciting jobs for software developers, solution architects, data analysts, products designers, testers, and technicians. 

Today, the average salary for an IoT engineer working in the U.S. is $85,277 per year, according to In San Jose, the average salary jumps to $107,798. The jobsite currently lists more than 300 IoT engineer jobs in the San Jose area. As a new field, there is room for entry level professionals as well as for people who are upskilling from a current job.

IoT Industry Expertise

At UCSC Silicon Valley, we are meeting that need with numerous learning opportunities for people at different levels of their career. In addition to our courses on smart cities, IoT applications, wearables, and Big Data, this year we introduced a new Internet of Things specialization. We launched the new three-course program in partnership with Microfacturing Institutes, a public benefit corporation committed to getting students into high demand industries quickly.

Our instructors have already had a tremendous impact on our students. Recently I was watching a few of the recorded final project presentations by students in our first ever IoT for Work, Life & Play course this summer. I couldn’t believe the progress they made in just a short time. Some of them started with no IoT background yet they were able to design and build their own sensor systems in just a few months. 

Sonika Tanwani created a motion-based lighting system, a temperature and humidity sensor system and a gong scheduler for a meditation camp facility; Miori Hiraiwa created a food safety system involving a sensor for thawing foods at room temperature; and Scott Jercich was able to get notifications on his phone when his house temperature was 2 degrees higher than outside.

Want to learn more about IoT?

Microfacturing Institutes instructors created a webinar about the IoT Specialization. The evening courses, taught in real time and online include:

Classes start Sept. 28.

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