I am doing my MSc in electrical engineering, and there are not many courses in my university on signal processing. I want to develop my skills in signal processing such that I have a hold in one particular domain.

If anybody could help me and guide me on how to start developing skills it would be helpful.

Skills like which languages to be known. What are the basic things to be familiar with in basic signal processing and image processing? If there is any other domain of signal processing where signal processing engineers are handy, please let me know. Finally what books are helpful in developing the skills in DSP?

  • $\begingroup$ Do you have any particular interests? Are there any mathematical topics or applications of DSP that you find interesting? It might help people point you to better resources more aligned with what you are interested in. As others have mentioned, DSP is incredibly broad and it can be hard to pigeon hole into just one book or two. I work full time as a DSP engineer and I still learn things daily, and I've been in industry for several years now with my Master's degree. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 18, 2019 at 18:39
  • $\begingroup$ This question is way too broad. It is better suited for Quora (which can be described as "provoked blogging"). $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 19, 2019 at 1:44
  • $\begingroup$ @PeterMortensen, I had posted the same question on Quora but I did not get any reply. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 10:55
  • $\begingroup$ You may find responses to this question interesting dsp.stackexchange.com/questions/49979/from-mathematics-to-dsp $\endgroup$
    – tobassist
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 15:41

3 Answers 3


Often "Signal Processing" jobs take different names. Say for example, if you work with radio signals, you could be a "Software Defined Radio" engineer, "RF Engineer" or "GNSS Engineer". In other fields you could be a "Computer Vision Engineer", "Algorithm Engineer" or Scientist. Once you take a specialised path though, in my experience it's often very hard to change trajectory. Industries tend to cluster, so you can find a cluster around aerospace and aviation engineering, another around biomedical and it's rare to have a place where multiple industries coexist in a limited area (Cambridge UK is one).

What I find exciting though is that while DSP was in the past a niche for those using specialised DSP processors from TI and Analog Devices, these days you can find support for DSP instructions in tiny microcontrollers and of course on application processors in every smartphone.

There's no doubt that machine learning is the fastest growing field for the foreseeable future and I believe Signal Processing is its best friend (Signal processing is key to embedded Machine Learning). So you can't go wrong if along Signal Processing you start learning about AI and TinyML. There are excellent free courses online and excellent presentations every week. Never stop learning if this is your passion!


To be honest, most people end up doing something else other than what they directly study.

The career follows the job you get.

Get a good background in your departments core strengths. you really can’t anticipate what skills you will eventually develop with precision. Soft skills are actually important.

  • $\begingroup$ I agree to what you say but I want to work in the field of signal processing forever. I am an international student and I have restrictions from many companies which require security Clearance or green card minimum. I want to work but I do not know where to search or find an appropriate job in signal processing and I require your help in this. I want suggestions as to what to study and in which field in specific I need to concentrate more. And later where and which company to approach once I finish my Degree. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 10:51
  • $\begingroup$ @PranavkumarE.A Forever? When you figure that out, perhaps you can share it with the rest of us. This really isn’t a place for employment advice beyond the obvious. Engineering is a cyclic profession. The 50 year anniversary for Apollo 11 just occurred. Flash forward to the cancellation of Apollo 18 and there were Phd level Engineers trying to sell real-estate. There are no guarantees. Your school probably has an office that offers career advice. Talk to them. $\endgroup$
    – user28715
    Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ Okay. Thanks for your time. I am just too worried and trying to get help from wherever possible $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 19:03

I myself recently graduated from Applied Mathematics and began PhD in signal processing. I do Stochastic Geometry modeling of wireless networks in particular, which is quite mathematical subject. It involves measure theory, probability theory, Fourier Analysis etc. etc.

The area of Signal Processing is very broad indeed. It of course depends if you want to do more theoretical or practical stuff, but at least Fourier Analysis is one subject you should get into. It is widely used everywhere, especially in signal processing and image processing etc. Complex analysis raises naturally in Fourier analysis. Circuit Theory is crucial at least if you want to do more "practical" stuff, and get into implementation details. New areas involves far out subjects like Topological Signal Processing. Of course you should understand basic concepts relating to signal propagation and interference. (Check e.g. signal to interference ratio, SINR, and Rayleight fading.) Understanding of Maxwell Equations can be useful as well as they crucially are involved in understanding of antenna patterns at least.

This seems to be a great (and free) book on DSP: https://www.analog.com/en/education/education-library/scientist_engineers_guide.html. I got some good insights at least to Fourier- and Laplace Transform from the book.

As you can tell I am relatively green in this subject, but I hope I gave you at least some insights to the subject.e

EDIT: Added some stuff.

  • $\begingroup$ Hello sir, your answer is of great help to me but it is way to broad for me to understand. I want to do something RADAR signal processing or signal processing in core but I have my restrictions of being an international student. So if you could help me by suggesting a particular domain and companies which are looking for signal processing engineers it would be helpful. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 10:54
  • $\begingroup$ Well I suggest you check out the discipline of Inverse Problems (big thing in my home-university of Helsinki :) ), that is an interesting subject and definitely relates to radars. As stated here many times, you should consult people in your university what kind of opportunities you have there regarding to Signal Processing. $\endgroup$
    – Mundo
    Commented Jul 24, 2019 at 9:47

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