Bright job prospects
THERE may be many domains within the engineering field but pursuing a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering (ECSE) at Monash University Malaysia can offer prospective students a multitude of exciting career options in the future.
ECSE encompasses all scales of electrical and electronic engineering, from the fundamentals of circuits, electronic signals and signal processing; through digital electronics and systems on chips; to the designs of largescale power and telecommunication systems.
According to Monash University Malaysia’s head of discipline (ECSE) associate Prof Lan Boon Leong, ECSE is a diverse and rapidly evolving field that includes biomedical, computer systems, electronics, electrical power engineering, robotics and telecommunications.
The university’s four-year programme equips students with a solid foundation in ECSE to prepare them for the working world.
“The job scope is pretty wide and students can enter different fields and industries. Our graduates work in a wide range of industries, including semiconductor manufacturing, telecommunications, solid state lighting, technology consultancy and software engineering,” Prof Lan said.
He highlighted that job prospects for ECSE graduates are exceptional – many multinational companies actively seek Monash graduates to employ, including recruitment on campus. All engineering students are required to undergo a three-month industrial training to gain work experience.
“In the last internship period, nearly twothirds of ECSE students did their industrial training at renowned multinational companies such as Intel, National Instruments (NI) and Huawei Technologies,” said Prof Lan.
He added that many of these students have formally and informally been offered a job before they graduate.
This includes fourth-year student Chin Ming Jun who accepted a job offer from NI after completing his internship with the American multinational company.
The 22-year-old interned at NI in Penang for three months beginning last November and is scheduled to graduate at the end of the year.
In speaking about his experience, Chin said he hit the ground running and worked on a commercial project with a team of experienced engineers, where he was tasked to produce a power supply prototype.
“I had to design a control system to
regulate the power supply and ensure that its quality is good and that it won’t damage the electronics,” he said.
Despite being an intern, Chin was entrusted to do his own research to help him decide on the best method to implement the control.
“They place a lot of trust in you – even the lead designer would ask you for your opinions. They shared tips and suggestions on ways to go about it but ultimately, it was my call on how I want to implement it,” he said.
Chin spent time poring over data sheets and articles to keep abreast of the latest technologies.
“One of the most important things for an R&D engineer is to have the hunger to learn, as technology advances every day. Through this internship, I’ve found myself having to learn new things with speed because time is of the essence. You can’t spend one month learning something new – that could stall your project,” he said.
The internship proved to be an invaluable experience as Chin gained technical as well as non-technical skills during his tenure.
“I learned a lot about communication protocols such as SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) and I²C (Inter-Integrated Circuit),” he said.
It taught him to be confident as well as other professionals within NI also sought his opinions and ideas. For Chin, his studies at Monash solidified his foundations in ECSE, which helped him learn and adapt quickly in the working environment.
Prof Lan reiterated that the curriculum addresses the fundamental knowledge of ECSE, which can be applied in many areas.
“You can’t learn everything in university – you learn the fundamentals. When you go out to the working world, you have to rely on your ability to learn. And that’s one of the key points about our degree – students learn how to learn,” he said.
This applies not only in their third-year engineering design unit and final-year project but also in other units throughout their four-year studies. To further help students ease their transition from university to the workplace, ECSE hosts talks by its alumni who share their experiences with current students on job hunting and interview, what to expect in the working world, as well as how they adapted to their new environment.
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Final year ECSE student Chin Ming Jun shared that his three-month long internship at National Instruments proved to be an invaluable experience.