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24 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MARCH 2022 Feature Interview by Andy Shaughnessy I-CONNECT007 Ben Jordan is an electrical engineer who's passionate about PCB design. He also teaches a variety of classes on topics such as PCB design, RF and microwave design, and antenna theory. For this issue, we asked Ben to share his advice for PCB designers who are interested in plan- ning their lifelong design education strategy. Andy Shaughnessy: You've been a PCB design instructor for years now. What advice would you give young PCB designers who would like to set up their own strategic learning plans and educational objectives? Ben Jordan: Know that it's going to take time. Be willing to invest in yourself with a multi- step plan that starts with your basic electronics and builds on that toward industry certifica- tion. You'll need to acquire at least a moderate hobby level of electronics knowledge, get to know the tools, manufacturing processes, and ultimately walk through it all with real-world experience. at experience can be done on your own and with your own projects, but for some learners it's probably wise to seek an internship where you'll have a mentor to guide you. I know some top-notch online courses where you will build the thing being discussed, so you can finish with a high level of confidence. You know your stuff and can present it as real work in your resumé or portfolio. You get the added benefit of knowing the effort and time that went into it, so you can begin to predict time and difficulty for future design projects. Shaughnessy: What are some of the milestones in PCB design education and training that someone should shoot for? Jordan: Ideally, get at least an associate's degree in electrical engineering from a local commu- nity college, if not a full bachelor's degree. A second-best would be a science degree with electives that teach you the physics of elec- tronics and material science. I suggest this because, though not strictly necessary, it is an automatic shortcut to understanding sche- Take Charge of Your PCB Design Education

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