Author Topic: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.  (Read 3017 times)

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Offline tom66

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2024, 11:02:44 pm »
I would say that there's a great future in power electronics for alternative energy and EVs, as well as digital chip design for AI. But much bigger would be software engineering which is going to be highly involved for those markets and a lot more.

Yep, whilst Faringdon may moan that no one is building 10 watt SMPSes in the UK any more because China can do it for cheap, there is a ton of British engineering in solar, in grid scale stuff, electric vehicle charging etc.  I mean just think about the electronics that go into a 350kW ultra rapid EV charger for instance.  Most of those are currently made in the EU (Alpitronic, Kempower, ABB) or USA (Tesla) and there would be a great opportunity to bring some of that technology over. 

But no, it's all about how UK Plc doesn't make anything any more and just want to harm his career prospects  ::)
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2024, 11:33:26 pm »
as usual he is partially right because easier jobs mean more training in relevant fields that make it easier to hire people, start projects and reduce cost on the company because they need less training. plus they will have unique real world experience.

I am basically sure that the lower cost lower power circuits mean you get people with more experience prototyping and doing fast R&D work. The big ass projects are always bogged down because everything is super dangerous and regulated, plus prototypes are so expensive you need to get approval for everything and its basically not in favor of you doing anything.

For a 300kW project you probobly need at least six peoples approval to change a wire.

and to do anything with teaching kids right now, who the fuck knows. social media will probobly drive you up a wall, their like really dumb right now. i think shopish things are the coolest but IDK how you can even relate to them LOL
« Last Edit: May 19, 2024, 11:47:56 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Online BrianHG

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2024, 12:19:30 am »
Force your kids to do everything 100% manual.  No computers/smart-phones or any automation.  Just let them see once in-a-while what technology we had 40 years ago can do for them.

Let them dream and scheme what can be possible and make sure they can prove it on paper.  Then when they are 15ish, grant them access to a computer with compilers and hardware tools of 20 years ago.
 
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Offline PlainName

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #28 on: May 20, 2024, 07:41:04 am »
Quote
perhaps studying ineffective ultrasonic repellers and either improving their designs or making something of a new design that actually works well

Kids, not already into electronics? Not a chance! The way to get them into it is to give them something that works visibly, and show them how it can be modified easily (at first, then progressively harder as they try to do cleverer things).

Uh that was a joke derived from another topic he started ...  ::)

Oh, sorry. Haven't had the pleasure of stumbling across that one yet. Saving it for a rainy day  ;)
 

Offline FaringdonTopic starter

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #29 on: May 20, 2024, 06:36:06 pm »
Quote
Yep, whilst Faringdon may moan that no one is building 10 watt SMPSes in the UK any more because China can do it for cheap, there is a ton of British engineering in solar, in grid scale stuff, electric vehicle charging etc.  I mean just think about the electronics that go into a 350kW ultra rapid EV charger for instance.  Most of those are currently made in the EU (Alpitronic, Kempower, ABB) or USA (Tesla)

Thanks, i guess you are saying  there is no shortage of electronics engineers?
"Recent events" have shown very clearly that there is a great shortage of electronics  engineering factories, companies  and skills in the EU and UK at least.
'Perfection' is the enemy of 'perfectly satisfactory'
 

Offline PlainName

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #30 on: May 20, 2024, 06:57:10 pm »
There must be lots of electronics engineers here and in the US - who do you think is churning out the stuff that the Chinese are going to copy?  :-//
 
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Offline Alex Eisenhut

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #31 on: May 20, 2024, 07:54:42 pm »
Sure, just go to 1967.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/283965024865
I can't find a better source for this booklet, I have one somewhere but never scanned it.
I think you may longing for a time long past, when 5 transistors on a chip could excite someone.
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Offline IanB

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #32 on: May 20, 2024, 08:26:18 pm »
Quote
Yep, whilst Faringdon may moan that no one is building 10 watt SMPSes in the UK any more because China can do it for cheap, there is a ton of British engineering in solar, in grid scale stuff, electric vehicle charging etc.  I mean just think about the electronics that go into a 350kW ultra rapid EV charger for instance.  Most of those are currently made in the EU (Alpitronic, Kempower, ABB) or USA (Tesla)

Thanks, i guess you are saying  there is no shortage of electronics engineers?
"Recent events" have shown very clearly that there is a great shortage of electronics  engineering factories, companies  and skills in the EU and UK at least.

There probably should be a shortage.

Consider:

Tube Driver Wages

Quote
The average basic salary of a Train Operator in 2018/19 was £52,792.65.

The average total remuneration of a Train Operator in 2018/19 was £64,133.94. This includes basic salary, overtime payments, allowances and employer pension contributions.

(And note, this was 5 years ago.)

On the other hand:

https://www.reed.co.uk/average-salary/average-engineering-salary
https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Salaries/chartered-engineer-salary-SRCH_KO0,18.htm

Quote
The Average Engineering salary in the UK is £42,498

This is an average, which means there must be many engineers paid less than this.

So, as I said, there probably should be a shortage of engineers. Prospective engineers should stay out of the market until the market is prepared to pay what the level of training and professional competence deserves, or they should choose their engineering discipline carefully so they can enter a higher paying sector of the market.
 
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Offline PlainName

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #33 on: May 20, 2024, 08:53:08 pm »
Quote
This is an average, which means there must be many engineers paid less than this.

So, as I said, there probably should be a shortage of engineers.

Why? So what it some trade pays more - is everyone going to be a train driver now instead of whatever that doesn't pay so much? No, for those that enjoy the work they will be happy with a comfortable living, whatever that is. Sure, more money wouldn't be sneered at, but do you give up the job and do something you hate because it pays £1/hr more?

Sorry, but if what you suggest was meaningful then we'd have no nurses, few doctors, etc. Instead they'd all be electronics engineers, wishing they were train drivers.
 
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Offline Gyro

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2024, 08:55:58 pm »
Quote
Yep, whilst Faringdon may moan that no one is building 10 watt SMPSes in the UK any more because China can do it for cheap, there is a ton of British engineering in solar, in grid scale stuff, electric vehicle charging etc.  I mean just think about the electronics that go into a 350kW ultra rapid EV charger for instance.  Most of those are currently made in the EU (Alpitronic, Kempower, ABB) or USA (Tesla)

Thanks, i guess you are saying  there is no shortage of electronics engineers?
"Recent events" have shown very clearly that there is a great shortage of electronics  engineering factories, companies  and skills in the EU and UK at least.

There probably should be a shortage.

Consider:

Tube Driver Wages

Quote
The average basic salary of a Train Operator in 2018/19 was £52,792.65.

The average total remuneration of a Train Operator in 2018/19 was £64,133.94. This includes basic salary, overtime payments, allowances and employer pension contributions.

(And note, this was 5 years ago.)


The train drivers are currently (and have been for some time) striking, when it suits them, for higher wages... and they don't even have to steer!
Best Regards, Chris
 
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Offline ebastler

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2024, 08:57:55 pm »
The train drivers are currently (and have been for some time) striking, when it suits them, for higher wages... and they don't even have to steer!

They need to grab what they can before AI takes those jobs... Which looks pretty trivial compared to auto-piloting a car.
 
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Offline Gyro

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2024, 09:03:01 pm »
They seem to consider their responsibilities and skill-sets comparable with airline pilots (not that the budget airlines pay them as well as that), you can see how they get confused!
Best Regards, Chris
 
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Offline tom66

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #37 on: May 20, 2024, 09:10:19 pm »
Quote
Yep, whilst Faringdon may moan that no one is building 10 watt SMPSes in the UK any more because China can do it for cheap, there is a ton of British engineering in solar, in grid scale stuff, electric vehicle charging etc.  I mean just think about the electronics that go into a 350kW ultra rapid EV charger for instance.  Most of those are currently made in the EU (Alpitronic, Kempower, ABB) or USA (Tesla)

Thanks, i guess you are saying  there is no shortage of electronics engineers?
"Recent events" have shown very clearly that there is a great shortage of electronics  engineering factories, companies  and skills in the EU and UK at least.

There is absolutely a shortage of qualified engineers.  But some of this is driven by industry refusing to expend effort on training staff within their organisation, instead expecting senior engineers to just appear out of nowhere.  And then being aghast when senior engineers leave for better pay elsewhere when they refuse to keep salaries competitive. 
 
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Offline coppice

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #38 on: May 20, 2024, 09:15:35 pm »
"Recent events" have shown very clearly that there is a great shortage of electronics  engineering factories, companies  and skills in the EU and UK at least.
That's a strange list. They are unlikely to all be in short supply at the same time. Few electronics factories means few electronics engineers are needed. That's the current UK situation. If there were an actual shortage of engineers, rather than just a small number, salaries would rise. They don't. British engineers flow into better markets for their skills, because prospects are poor in the UK, but apparently not in sufficient numbers to create an actual shortage that would drive up salaries within the UK.

 
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Offline IanB

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #39 on: May 20, 2024, 09:30:21 pm »
Why? So what it some trade pays more - is everyone going to be a train driver now instead of whatever that doesn't pay so much? No, for those that enjoy the work they will be happy with a comfortable living, whatever that is. Sure, more money wouldn't be sneered at, but do you give up the job and do something you hate because it pays £1/hr more?

Sorry, but if what you suggest was meaningful then we'd have no nurses, few doctors, etc. Instead they'd all be electronics engineers, wishing they were train drivers.

This is naïve. Everybody should seek to be valued appropriately and not be taken advantage of. Sure, doctors, nurses and teachers all should be paid more, too.

Around 1990, I had a salary of £25k or so, which tracking inflation would be about £65k today. Then, allowing for seniority and promotion, we can expect it to have increased somewhat beyond that.

So, when average salaries are being reported at £40k, do we really think the market has kept up with inflation, or are people being exploited?
 
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Online SiliconWizard

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #40 on: May 20, 2024, 09:35:56 pm »
The fact that salaries would automatically rise due to a shortage of candidates in a particular field is also a bit naive - I think this is a thing of the past, at least temporarily.
Companies now rather outsource jobs rather than hire at higher salaries, when they can. Which is more or less what Faringdon has been complaining about all along, and he's not wrong about that, if obsessive.
 
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Offline coppice

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #41 on: May 20, 2024, 10:02:00 pm »
The fact that salaries would automatically rise due to a shortage of candidates in a particular field is also a bit naive - I think this is a thing of the past, at least temporarily.
Companies now rather outsource jobs rather than hire at higher salaries, when they can.
If they are outsourcing locally, that should push up the local salaries. If they are handing work to some other part of the planet, well that's just globalisation at work. If they can do that, it works out well, and its cheaper, in the modern world that means there is no local shortage of engineers. British engineers have flowed all over the planet in my lifetime, getting better salaries where they went, so there is someone out there to offer these people a decent salary. Just not in the UK.


 
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Offline PlainName

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #42 on: May 20, 2024, 10:03:32 pm »
Quote
So, when average salaries are being reported at £40k, do we really think the market has kept up with inflation, or are people being exploited?

Zero hours is being exploited. At £40k you either do it because that's the going rate or you do something else, but it isn't being exploited, at least not in comparison to Brexit Britain today.
 
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Offline coppice

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #43 on: May 20, 2024, 10:10:02 pm »
Quote
The Average Engineering salary in the UK is £42,498
This is an average, which means there must be many engineers paid less than this.
I wonder what they mean by "engineer"? Its a horribly abused title in the UK.
 
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Offline IanB

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #44 on: May 20, 2024, 10:31:26 pm »
I wonder what they mean by "engineer"? Its a horribly abused title in the UK.

I know, which is why I gave a second link referring to "chartered engineers" (CEng), where there should be no ambiguity. But if you follow the Glassdoor link, you get much the same average.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2024, 10:33:34 pm by IanB »
 
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Offline coppice

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #45 on: May 20, 2024, 10:49:26 pm »
I wonder what they mean by "engineer"? Its a horribly abused title in the UK.
I know, which is why I gave a second link referring to "chartered engineers" (CEng), where there should be no ambiguity. But if you follow the Glassdoor link, you get much the same average.
I saw the Glassdoor link, but their numbers look weird. There have always been very few chartered electronics engineers in the UK, but in engineering disciplines where people do get chartered status salaries have traditionally been pretty reasonable.
 
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Offline tom66

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #46 on: May 20, 2024, 11:03:38 pm »
I regularly get ads sent to me for electrical engineers - which are the people that design power grids, industrial control systems and so on.  The salaries in this field are not particularly great unless you are a specialist for something like HVDC or do a lot of in field world and get an allowance for that.  The pencil pushers at the office don't seem to get paid that much. I wonder if that is pushing the pay scale down.

For electronics engineers, the pay varies.  I have seen job offers from companies looking for engineers with 8 years of experience at £35k.  Those just get laughed at.  In the UK 40 hours at minimum wage is £24k. So they are saying they value you at little more than someone that stacks shelves in Asda.  £35k is okay for a junior, but they should expect to see that climbing into the £40k+ range once they have more than a few years under their belt.

The more serious companies pay £45-50k for a mid level engineer, and £60-80k for senior engineers.  £90-110k for principal if that role exists at the company.  I know of people who work at large multinationals in Cambridge into the mid £150k range.  The problem they have is they are virtually unemployable (at the same rate)  if they get let go - these jobs really only exist in the big companies and you rarely get hired directly into them, you reach that position by promotion until maximum incompetence. Still, make hay while the sun shines.

I know even offering at the upper end of the senior range we have struggled to find the right people for FPGA work.  They are out there, but they get snapped up quickly, and the competition is hot. 

This is my impression from the South of England.  The job market has cooled a bit in the last year though.

Another factor is that in many cases salary is confidential.  It's not illegal to talk about salary in the UK, and employers technically can't discriminate against you for disclosing it, but it can create awkward professional situations when the guy next to you realises he earns 25% less than you.  I quite like the Norwegian system where tax returns are public - levels the playing field somewhat.
 
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Offline aargee

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #47 on: May 20, 2024, 11:05:04 pm »
Why do I always get a Rod Speed or Phil Allison vibe when these threads appear  ;) (older Aussies would know)
Not easy, not hard, just need to be incentivised.
 
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Offline Alex Eisenhut

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #48 on: June 01, 2024, 02:40:43 pm »
Why do I always get a Rod Speed or Phil Allison vibe when these threads appear  ;) (older Aussies would know)

Ooooh was he on Usenet a lot back in the '90s? Acerbic guy?
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Offline watchmaker

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #49 on: June 04, 2024, 12:23:40 am »
Wow.  I had no idea EEs were so undervalued (or is it oversupplied?) in the UK.  Is this a worldwide thing?

To me, EEs are like the Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

Given what I read in this thread, the answer to the title is self evident.  Schoolkids will follow their interests and earnings potential, holding academic effort (and loans?) constant.  And it appears EE does not make the cut.

IIRC, in the 1970s USA, newly minted Chem Es were the highest pay of around $50K and EEs second at around $40K. They all got treated like princes  (many engineering campuses only matriculated women starting in 1971) on interview trips and were courted with regular packages of swag.  One Chem E got almost an entire pallet of Pringles from Proctor and Gamble.

Have things really soured that badly?  Was it unfair to encourage the poster of "Failed Uni" to persevere?  Now that I have to think about it, there was the grandson of a friend who graduated from Bucknell and left EE after two years because he could not get off the desk.  His granddad and I presumed it was him, but maybe that was unfair.

IAs others noted regarding the ambiguity of the classifcation of engineers in the UK, is there the a division in EE where many create cookie cutter designs and others track more into the process?  What happens when the desk EEs get displaced by AI?  What will be the ripple effect all up the ladder?  Is the legal profession a harbinger?  Does the world need or want more    EEs?

I had a friend, now gone, who was the SOSUS guy at Raytheon.  Some of you may have known Gene Zelinskas.  He certainly was not paid $65K.

From what I read here, if I were a "kid" who liked electronics, I would take an e tech path.  Less academic effort, good pay, start earning income 2 years earlier and personal enjoyment.  Or better yet, auto mechanic.  Then I could put my finger to the wind in 10 years and decide how I wanted move forward from there.

Regards,

Dewey
 


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