Have you considered turning your interest in the Internet of Things (IoT) into a career? This is a genuine possibility if you learn IoT programming through an online or in-person course. A good starting point to becoming an IoT developer is to think about what you will need to be in the best position for productive learning. For example, does your schedule and location make it feasible to attend an in-person course, or are you best suited for something that occurs mostly online? Might your employer pay for or provide accommodations relevant to an IoT development course? This is an option, especially if your current career relates to the field and company decision-makers prioritize continual education. Let’s look at some other variables at play and dive into the best IoT developer course options.
Consider Timeframe & Budget
A crucial consideration is your desired timeframe for completing the IoT course. Keep in mind that shorter options will be more intensive. This means they may not enable you to maintain a full-time job while simultaneously participating in the class.
You will also need to consider if your budget can handle a paid IoT programming course without causing you too much stress. If it can’t, there is no reason to put your learning plans on hold. Free classes exist and could help you determine whether it is worthwhile to step up your IoT development knowledge with a paid option. Some courses that appear free may not be wholly complimentary. Many allow you to access the learning content at no charge but require people to pay for a certificate or similar proof of completion. This is important, especially if you need to show a document to your employer or if you’re in the job market.
Courses for an Aspiring IoT Developer
Before you sign up for or seriously consider enrolling in a course for your IoT developer career, take the time to see what it covers. If possible, read reviews from people who have gone through the content or are doing so now. Their insights can give you valuable takeaways that may shape your decision. Here are some options to consider:
#1: Introduction to the Internet of Things
This is an internet-based course offered by Stanford Online. It is a short, noncredit course delivered by several Stanford instructors. The topics covered include embedded systems, sensors, circuits, and applications. Learners have access to the course content for 60 days after starting. The course description indicates this option is best suited for people thinking about getting an IoT graduate certificate through Stanford since it closely matches what people learn that way. However, it is still a good consideration if you’re not thinking of taking that route because it gives a brief overview of many aspects foundational to IoT. There are also no prerequisites, making it ideal for people who are just beginning their career as an IoT developer.
#2: Deep Drive IoT
If you live near Central New Mexico Community College or could relocate there briefly, consider taking this boot camp. Learners will attend classes for 40 hours per week for 10 weeks. This option takes a blended approach, with 75 percent happening in classrooms and labs and the remaining 25 percent occurring online. In addition to the content people receive through classes, learners get access to free coaching services and have the opportunity to network with industry professionals. Some of the content includes working on a smart lighting controller and the specifics needed for building smart cities and manufacturing centers. It should give the foundational knowledge required to embark on various career paths.
#3: IoT PC Board Design & Layout
Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are at the heart of IoT functionality. However, devices have specialized requirements, and many are getting progressively smaller. These necessities have driven trends such as using flexible PCBs and high-density interconnect PCBs in IoT devices. This course, offered by Printed Circuit University, is an online option that gives you the fundamentals of building a PCB for an IoT device. Your efforts to learn IoT programming and become a developer must span beyond this single course, but it could be a good option if you already have some knowledge in this area.
The description indicates this course is for people with intermediate knowledge, so it is not the best option for your first formal learning experience with IoT. However, consider it as something to enroll in once you have been through a few other courses.
#4: Start the Internet of Things From Scratch
This online course from Udemy offers what the title suggests by providing content for absolute beginners. The only requirements are that you have a computer and basic knowledge of how to use it. The content explores topics such as how to program and control devices. You will also learn to select the right sensors to measure specific things. People who enroll in the course get lifetime access to a three-hour video. They can access the content on a mobile device or television for maximum flexibility. It also comes with a certificate of completion.
#5: Getting Started with IoT Development
IBM offers a course that takes about two hours of self-study to complete online. Aspiring IoT developers will learn how to choose hardware, select the right networking technology, and complete their first IoT project. This is a beginner-level course. However, since it does not include any live instructor interaction, you may not want to go with this option the first time you enroll in something. However, by the end of it, you will build a smart doorbell. Thus, it could be a good choice if you are a self-starter and very motivated but need some direction to develop your skills.
Courses & Certifications for People with Some Experience
It is best to think of your quest to learn IoT programming as a lifelong journey. Reading IoT magazines to stay abreast of the latest developments is a great way to build upon what you have learned. Once you grasp some of the basics, it is time to think about expanding your knowledge by earning a certification. Many well-known names in the tech industry offer them.
For example, Microsoft provides its Microsoft Certified: Azure IoT Developer Specialty. It requires taking and passing an exam to get the certification. AWS has its Internet of Things Foundation Series, which encompasses nine-and-a-half hours of course material. Specialized courses for those interested in a career as an IoT developer focusing on certain IoT use cases also exist. For example, there is the Industrial IoT on Google Cloud course. You can take it self-paced online or in a streaming format with an instructor.
Build Your IoT Developer Skillset
Once you have decided to make good on your promise to learn IoT programming, courses like the above-mentioned will get you off to a good start. However, remember to also apply your skills in real-life settings outside of the classroom. These IoT courses and real-life knowledge applications will help you solidify and expand the concepts, further benefiting your career as an IoT developer.