When the subject of robotics education comes up, one thinks of large metal pseudo people walking around performing tasks that no human could or would do, with lights glowing on and off and strange sounds being emitted from the robot. In a sense, that is exactly what has happened, only the robots are in nearly everything that we use today from automobiles to everyday gadgets that we use, like computers and home alarm systems.
Robotics is involved big time in the manufacturing processes all over the world. Any procedure that is repetitive to any degree is a good candidate for becoming automated and completed by a robot. You may have seen the assembly line of a modern car plant, with all of the welding robots, that look like praying mantises, stationed up and down the line, while placing that one weld in the same spot 900 times a day.
When we look at a robotics education, we can look at it from two different perspectives.
The first perspective is robotics engineering, or learning how to build the robotic device so that it will work in an applied situation, and continue to function in a specific manner. The second issue in regard to a robotics education is learning how to fix them when they break down.
The first application, or that of robotic engineering will take the student getting an engineering degree, with a specialty in robotics. The second pursuit of fixing the robotic devices when they break down, and they will, may be a profession that is more in demand than the first one. If machinery in a manufacturing plant is broken down and not operating, then that is money down the drain and lost because production is at a standstill, and until things get fixed there will be no cash flow generated.
The second occupation, or the skill of learning how to fix and repair robotic machinery can be learned at the junior college level, or at a tech school, for the basic fundamentals, and can be followed up with more advanced learning, some of which is sponsored and made available by various industrial sources such as the companies who manufacture the robots. Fixing the robots will not necessarily be as lucrative as building them, but there is a definite career path there, that is easier to get into and get going more quickly.
If you think of all of the industries that are using robotic machinery in the industrial world today, the result is an immense list of everyone who makes anything. From fencing, automobiles, parts, to plastics and plastic molding machines, and a host of other types of companies all make up a listing of companies who all need and want people to repair their machines when they break down.
If you want to learn how to build the robots, then you will simply need more schooling, plain and simple. The number of positions available, once you get out of school may be limited to a finite number based more on the economy at the time. The available positions available for repair and maintenance purposes seem to offer much more in the way of available jobs because the machines are already out there breaking down, in some cases faster than some can get to them to fix them. There is a great opportunity there.