Software SKILLNET

Masters Programme in Internet of Things (IoT)

MSc in IOT FAQ Fergal Brennan tell of his experience with the IoT programme Internet of Things Brochure
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Fergal Brennan, Hardware Engineering Manager with CathxOcean, tell of his experience with the IoT programme

Fergal Brennan Hardware Engineering Manager with CathxOceanFergal Brennan was over 20 years into his career and working as Hardware Engineering Manager with CathxOcean when he decided to upskill by enrolling in Digital Skillnet’s part-time master’s programme in Internet of Things (IoT).

“My motivation was to get an IoT qualification so that I could put all the experience that I had into a good context,” he says. “I figured I would just sharpen up my skills.”

Fergal started the two-year programme in September 2019, and just over a year later, he changed jobs to become Hardware Engineering Manager at Taoglas, which is a leading enabler of digital transformation using IoT. “The course definitely acted as a catalyst to the move,” he says. “In my previous job I was designing IoT projects all the time, but we weren’t an IoT-specific company. A lot of what we do at Taoglas is directly applicable to what the master’s is about.”

With the course just drawing to a conclusion, Fergal is glad he took the time to do it. “I am definitely pleased I did it,” he says. “It’s been a good thing for me. I think it will stand to me, and I think it would be the same for anybody.”

Fergal O Brien quote

Having previously completed an honour’s degree in Electronic Engineering and a part-time master’s in Electronic Systems, he correctly anticipated a considerable workload. “If you find yourself with a lot of spare time on your hands, you’re probably not doing the work. But it’s good. There are some excellent modules,” he says.

“The module on connected embedded systems was excellent, and it is IoT in a nutshell. It encompasses the whole lot. It was very well lectured and very well delivered – even though that was the time when everything was going pear-shaped with Covid. It was very tough and very hard but very on point and very good.”

Other modules that stood out for Fergal included an object-oriented programme for engineers, encryption, machine learning, entrepreneurship for engineers and server side processing. He found that online learning worked fine for him but stressed the importance of communicating with the lecturers. “If I didn’t understand something or something was bothering me, I’d be on to them straight away. You have to engage with the lecturers and every time I did, I got a good outcome,” he says.

As someone now working in a company that builds and sells IoT systems, Fergal has no hesitation in recommending the course for those who are prepared to commit to it. “It has a high degree of relevance. I work with connected embedded systems all the time and I don’t see any disconnect between what they are putting forward in the modules and practical IoT. he says. “But take it seriously and don’t fall behind. You have to put the time into it.”