Highlighting Robotics Careers in Nine Distinct Industries

The MSR program launched a new content series that explains how roboticists function in a range of fields and how the program prepares students to thrive in those roles.

When it comes to careers in robotics, the opportunities are vast and continue to grow daily. From programming autonomous flying vehicles to developing self-driving vehicles, the need for skilled roboticists has never been greater.

Northwestern Engineering's Master of Science in Robotics (MSR) program uses its comprehensive curriculum, hands-on projects, and industry connections to prepare students for a wide range of roles and fields.

"The MSR program covers everything from low-level introductions to mechatronics to machine learning, and everything in between," said MSR co-director Matthew Elwin. "We provide real, practical experiences throughout the program to prepare students and help them learn the skills needed to reach their professional goals"

To help demonstrate the array of opportunities available to someone with a robotics background, the MSR program launched a series of stories highlighting common industries where roboticists work. The "Careers in Robotics" section of the MSR website features nine different fields relying on the skills and knowledge developed by MSR students.

Those industries include:MSR Robot

● Aerospace and exploration
● Construction
● Food and Agriculture
● Innovation
● Manufacturing
● Medicine
● Retail and Warehouse
● Security
● Transportation

Each section includes information on how a roboticist would function in that industry, how MSR prepares students for the field, and how robotics is applied to that industry. Each section also features a list of companies where MSR students or alumni have interned or worked, as well as profiles of recent graduates now thriving in the respective industry.

Each cohort features a mix of students who know which industry they want to work in and others who hope to explore a variety of possibilities. Both are welcome in the program, and the curriculum is flexible enough so that each student can create a path that's best for them.

"We have some students who know exactly what they want to do, and for them, they're able to choose their electives and projects to focus toward that industry," Elwin said. "Sometimes they graduate and work in the robotics sub-field they intended to from the beginning. Other times, students are open to a broad range of possibilities and will have an encounter with a new area that inspires them to change their trajectory.”

MSR students can take elective courses from any engineering department, and the MSR program partners with faculty members across Northwestern University, as well as the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, to provide students with the most tailored experience to match their goals.

"We prepare students to write their resumes, interview, identify good job opportunities, and create their project portfolios," Elwin said. "We prepare them to show potential employers that they can hit the ground running on any robotics task that's thrown their way."

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