Help building a library of student job descriptions mimicing those they'll see in indsutry

Hello everyone.
We are looking to develop a bank of student FRC job roles that closely mimic those that students will encounter in the workplace. We are looking at having two levels of each job role description for the newer vs. senior students. Our hope is to itemize the major competencies and skills students must know for each major role on the team, along with time commitment and task expectations.
If your team has recently developed a series of student job descriptions like this and you wish to share them with us, please do so here.


Hey Clare!
Are you looking for real-world equivalents of student FRC positions? Or different tiers or levels for each FRC role? Like an entry-level mechanic vs senior mechanic?

Sweet, I think I like where this is headed.

To clarify, you’re looking to do the following:

  1. Catalog a list of industry-related job descriptions and roles
  2. Map the required skills and job activities to things students might do on a robotics team
  3. Assign titles and competencies that students can use to assess their progress toward one or more industry job roles.

Is that close? I can definitely help with #1 if so!

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Yes. we are retooling the team’s structure, learning environment, and student programmatic outcomes around “Skill to job” and “Skill to college” pathways by mimicking industry roles they will likely hold in the future. Its a hybrid Competitive Team/ Business Operating Model aligning the team’s job roles with the soft skills and hard skills needed to compete professionally in the era of the 4th industrial revolution. The goal would be to present employers and colleges with students and alumni prequalified for summer internships, employment, or college admissions.

Our initial vision was to think about two levels of each job role, where rookies met a minimum level to be proficient working on the competition robot and advanced level are more ready for internships, job shadows and senior leadership roles. But we are open to thinking more about this. CG

Engineering: Depends on the employer. Some companies (especially massive ones) have dedicated engineers per displine (electrical/controls, mechanical, etc.). Others (like mine, a Toyota supplier) , engineers are more or less generalists within the large field of manufacturing engineering, with the breakdown being on role within the process (new projects engineering, mass production engineering, design engineering, maintenance engineering, etc.) and more divivisions within those. For example, I’m currently a mass production engineer at one of the halves of our main facility (“group 2”), and I am responsible for all of our sub-assembly lines (robot welding) and assist the other engineers in my area with automation (PLC, etc.) issues.

Outside of engineering: At least in the context of the automotive industry (more specifically, Toyota and their suppliers), in terms of salaried (internship-worthy) positions, here’s some of the departments we have that would contain said positions (Some may not translate to FRC, but use your best judgement):

  • Production Control (New Projects): Manage new projects; coordinate activities between departments. Ensure projects are on schedule. Handle all shipping and logistics of new projects. Develop product packaging with the customer.

  • Production Control (Mass Production): Manage company-wide inventory levels. Coordinate part ordering to suppliers and between different plants within the company.

  • QC: Manage company wide quality. Ensure new project quality is maintained and that customers receive the correct quality data per their requirements. Work with new projects engineering to develop inspection standards and other quality documents. Main point of contact to customers and suppliers for all quality issues and concerns.

  • Mass production (per company plant): Oversee all mass production activities in plants. Schedule working hours for production lines. Manage plant-wide workforce. Develop plant-wide annual budget.

  • Cost Planning: Calculate profitability of new and current projects.

  • Purchasing: Handle all procurement of goods and services used by the company (outside of the labor/skills of employees). Manage all accounts with suppliers and vendors.

  • Kaizen (Improvement) and training: Empower the entire company (all employees) to make improvements to the company, its equipment, and its operations. Develop improved workflows and production methods. Produce (design and fabricate) all part racking for lines and inventory locations. Develop and optimize the floorplan of all facilities. Manage the training and certifications of all employees. Hold/arrange all training sessions. Produce and improve training materials and demonstrations.

  • Safety and Environmental: Develop, manage and enforce all company-wide (internal) safety and environmental rules and regulations. Ensure compliance with all safety and environmental laws and regulations. Lead company efforts to improve health, safety, and environmental impact.

Edit: two more worthy of mention:

  • Marketing: Acquire and negotiate the most favorable contracts with customers (and avoid as many non-favorable ones as possible). Main customer point of contact for any non-quality new project items.

  • Accounting: Bookkeeping of the company (as one would expect, obviously).

Some of these of definitely not engineering (accounting in particular), but I’ve seen engineers come and go from all other departments, and FIRST experience could be applicable to all. From what I’ve seen many other Toyota suppliers (and Toyota themselves to some degree) are organized in a similar fashion. Other companies, I don’t know (and that’s what this thread is for :wink: )


Gotcha. So $0.02 on this - pick a small number of colleges/employeers you can work one-on-one with, and get it targeted to exactly what they want. The reason is that the landscape of what these talent-consumers are looking for in candidates is extremely broad.

As far as the one employer I can speak on, here’s some “broad brush strokes” of the categories of jobs we hire for:

  1. Product Design - all the design work involved in progressing from a blank piece of paper to a manufacturable product that a customer wants to buy.

  2. Manufacturing - All the work required to execute an on-paper design, and bring it to life, in the most rapid and low-cost way possible

  3. Data Analysis - Crunching all the onboard and offboard sources of data within the company, and turning them into actionable items.

  4. People Management - All the work associated with people and their interactions with and opinions of the company.

  5. Finance - All the work associated with the flow of money into, within, and out of the company.

Now, most job roles will bridge one or more of those areas. Industrial Design groups merge 4 (branding) with 1. Lots of engineers play with 1 and 2, or 1 and 3 simultaneously. Engineering managers have to know 4 like the back of their hand, but have expertise in 1/2/3 to lead others. There’s groups that bridge 1 and 5 to ensure products that get out the door will be profitable.

General problem-solving skills are the common denominator to all those roles. Every single one of them will involve encountering problems no one knows how to solve, and creatively generating a solution.

Knowing specific tools (like a programming language or graphic design tool or video editing suite) could help fast-track you into a more specific role in one of those areas.

In general, for new hires, my standard for “proficiency” involves:

  1. A nominal level of domain-specific knowledge, so I’m not spending time re-teaching basics
  2. A proven ability to pick up new skills quickly, since I know that’s the bulk of the initial work the new hire will be asked to do.

Specific to my current job role, some competencies that are required:

  1. Ability to design scalable software architectures, both for desktop PC’s and embedded computers
  2. Expertise in tools such as Python, C, Matlab/Simulink
  3. Ability to methodically debug problems from symptom to root cause - guess and check is not efficient enough.
  4. Knowledge of closed-loop control techniques and strategies, sufficient to apply them to novel and complex real-world situations.
  5. Knowledge of mechanical systems, sufficient to build mathematical descriptions of them.
  6. Ability to define “layers of abstraction” - grouping things in logical chunks and clearly defining how the chunks need to interact with each other.
  7. Burning desire to learn more and perpetually improve
  8. Not freaked out if “software development” involves getting your boots a bit muddy, or a bit of diesel fuel spilled on your pants.

Thank you. We incorporated this feedback into our recently completed job descriptions.

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