Time to reboot: Here’s how professionals can upskill in robotics

Robotics will play an increasingly important role across various industries in the future. Source: Philip FONG/AFP

By U2B Staff 

Read all stories

Robotics are being used more and more in our everyday lives. 

A McKinsey report notes: “Automation is taking place at scale across industries and countries with relevant technologies evolving or coming into existence. And the expectation is for automation to scale even further worldwide across industries and countries.”

They add that robots will become major enablers of automation with a large economic impact.  

Robots are poised to take over many jobs in the future, which means the future workforce will need to increasingly develop their human skills that cannot be automated, in addition to learning to work alongside robots. As robots grow in importance, however, the makers and engineers behind this technology are needed more than ever to take this technology to new heights.

We’re already seeing its application close to home. Smart appliances such as robot vacuum cleaners are growing in popularity. Healthcare professionals are training on robot patients for medical emergencies. 

On a more advanced scale, robotics are being used in manufacturing for high volume and repetitive tasks, or even in deep water searches. For instance, an underwater robot was used to search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which mysteriously vanished while it was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in 2014.

For engineers and those with similar backgrounds, upskilling in robotics will be beneficial for this growing and evolving field, allowing professionals to actively play a role in speeding up the accuracy of work, freeing up talents who can better use their skills elsewhere and even speed up the manufacturing processes. 

If you’re looking to advance your robotics knowledge, here are some of your options for doing so. 


Postgraduate degree in robotics

Numerous universities offer a master’s in robotics that equips students with advanced level knowledge on robotics, both theoretical and hands-on. 

For instance, the University of Bristol’s programme provides students the platform to understand, design, and implement modern robotic systems. It exposes students to a wide range of advanced engineering and computer science concepts and offers the opportunity to carry out a practical robot project.



Microcredentials are bite-sized online courses that are accredited and recognised by many employers across the globe. This means professionals can choose specific skills they want to learn rather than spend a couple of years in graduate school to complete a course.  

Some of the popular microcredential providers such as EDUCAUSE, EdX, Udacity, and General Assembly. On Robotiq, writer Alex Owen-Hill – who has a Ph.D. in Telerobotics – said some of the essential skills for roboticists have include systems thinking, programming, and technology design. 

Microcredentials can provide professionals with a taste of the field, before deciding if they want to enrol in a full-time post-graduate programme. 

Some of the robotics courses available on EdX include those from leading universities around the world, such as the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia. You can opt for courses in robotics engineering, dynamics, locomotion, machine learning, to name a few.


Other forms of professional development

Some private organisations and universities may offer short online courses or on-site training to facilitate robotics learning. For instance, Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy offers online, on-site, and at your location training in robotics. 

Their on-site training is less than a week-long, and includes hands-on training using provided hardware and software and a tour of the National Robotics Engineering Center, among others. Meanwhile, their online classes feature a live component where participants log in for live instruction and Q&A with a Robotics Academy instructor, and participants complete the curricula and other requirements as an independent study.