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Design007-Aug2019

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40 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2019 PCBs, including everything from what vias are to why you do or don't use microvias. And we run training courses on PCB design not spe- cific to Pulsonix. The training covers what the board is made up of, the facets of the board if you like, and once they have an electronic con- cept, how they design the board itself through to fabrication. Matties: Are you seeing a lot of interest from young people to move into this as a career? Williams: No, and that's the problem. Today, younger people we're seeing want glory jobs, not what might be considered traditional en- gineering jobs, such as electronics. And they tend to be single-disciplined as well. A grad- uate might be a capable electronics designer theoretically, but they lack the real practicali- ties of core PCB design and knowledge of the whole process. Matties: So, the only thing that's going to drive that is the wage for designers going up so somebody who's salary-driven will look at that, right? Williams: Potentially, yes. However, if they can see over the initial salary and look beyond this, the future is very good for them in the elec- tronics industry. It opens up a lot of very lucra- tive avenues. Matties: Because if there's not a strong appeal, what's left? Williams: I think it's the same in the U.S.; you also have a shortage of good PCB designers. The only place that I haven't seen shortages is in China and India, but then they are people-rich. Matties: Well, there are 3 billion people be- tween those two (laughs). Williams: There's a problem with all sorts of skills in Europe and the U.S. It's almost like a modern spin on the traditional trades and skills of plumbing, carpentry, bricklaying, etc., that were around 60–70 years ago. Now, the new skills are electronic design, mechanical design, CAD, and these types of disciplines. Matties: We were starting to talk about train- ing and bringing new people into the indus- try. And you're right that we have the same is- sues in America. We see IPC and others reach- ing not just into high schools but even into elementary schools to start introducing them into this area. The fastest way to bring kids into this industry is to create a video game that they start playing as a kid. I mean, look at where your RC cars took you. Williams: That's true. Matties: We're watching kids build cities, roller coaster parks, etc., through video games. Williams: And they say, "I'd like to be an ar- chitect." In the U.K., senior school education starts at 11, so it's basically 11- through 18- or 19-year-olds. They teach basic electronics/ circuits with a piece of card where they draw the circuit and punch the holes in it. Some - times, they prototype them, but not very of- ten. Even my daughter understands our busi- ness because of the use of the electronics CAD package (DesignSpark) they used at school. They taught them the basics of how to build the board, and then they built it as one of the educational elements of a module in their schooling. Matties: It's a life skill at this point. As you look at the way the world is evolving to Indus- A graduate might be a capable electronics designer theoretically, but they lack the real practicalities of core PCB design and knowledge of the whole process.

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