Students can come to automation from a variety of backgrounds and academic programs. It is sometimes difficult for you to find programs that concentrate on automation as a career or specialty. This potential variety can create challenges for students like you that are not seen in many areas of studies.
The essence of automation is that it is a multidisciplinary art, not a single discipline. You are required to know a lot about many things to function as an automation professional. Automation studies are rarely centered in one department. Automation students and faculty on a campus could come from any number of engineering areas. That means that published findings could appear in a number of journals and presented at a myriad of scientific conventions. This diversification makes it extremely difficult for students to stay current on the newest findings. It also means that you need to have a very open outlook on what will make you a good automation professional.
The ISA web site helps students more easily stay current on research without attending numerous expensive conventions or wading through non-automation related literature for the useful gems. Also, students can find the conferences they should attend to both gain information and networking possibilities, which can lead to job possibilities.
The ISA web site contains the Automation Body of Knowledge, from the very basics of sensors and controls to the most detailed industrial networking, enterprise integration, cyber security and safety information. When you have digested that Body of Knowledge, you will be ready to be a Certified Automation Professional, and you can find the tutorials and test materials here to help you.