The 20th Century has seen the development of many nascent technologies with an immense power to change our lives. Digital Signal Processing (DSP) is one of these emerging technologies. According to Wikipedia, Digital Signal Processing is the study of signals in a digital representation and the processing methods of these signals.
One of the prime goals of DSP is to measure or filter continuous real world analog signals through the use of an analog to digital converter. This enables the study of signals on very high-end computers with specialized microprocessors DSP technology collects, processes, compresses, transmits and displays analog and digital data. It is at the heart of products like high-density hard-disk drives, desktop videoconferencing and audio-video compression by rapidly processing large amounts of digital information.
The applications of DSP span almost the entire high-end technology spectrum. DSP is applied in technologies such as audio signal processing, audio compression, digital image processing, video compression, speech processing, speech recognition and digital communications. DSP uses a specialized digital microprocessor to efficiently and rapidly perform calculations on digitized signals that were originally analog in form. DSP chips are widely used in sound cards, fax machines, modems, cellular phones, high-capacity hard disks and digital TV’s.
DSP is also applied for weather forecasting, seismic data processing, analysis and control of industrial processes, computer-generated animations in movies, medical imaging such as CAT scans and MRI, image manipulation, high fidelity loudspeaker crossovers and equalization, and audio effects for use with electric guitar amplifiers (Wikipedia).
The starting salaries in the field can be also quite good. The average starting salary for a DSP professional with a Bachelor’s Degree is around $51,888.00. For professionals with a Master’s Degree, it is $64,416.00; and for professionals with a doctorate degree, it is $80,206.00. (Source: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm#earnings).