Author Topic: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.  (Read 2991 times)

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Offline FaringdonTopic starter

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Do you agree, the following is how to get schoolkids into Electronics Engineering?.....

Dear
Please assist in growing an Electronics Engineering industry that can be used to make the electronics needed to make “stuff” that todays world means we desperately need.
Bringing back the Power Supply Engineering sector to us is key to growing the entire   Electronics Engineering sector.

When the Civilian Electronics Engineering industry is enhanced for us, then the “stuff”  Electronics industry can feed off it and grow.

Electronics is the key to it. Electronics is an area of engineering that is deemed “difficult” by school pupils, and so they avoid it. Preferring instead Mechanical Engineering (not saying that’s any easier) , or other non-Engineering careers.

The key to this, is to specifically bring "Power Supply Engineering" back to the fore.  At the moment, it is pretty well exclusively outsourced to “somewhere else”. Power Supply Engineering , due to its transparency, is that branch of electronics that is within the capability range of most students. (anybody who wants to put in the work could expect to attain “power supply engineer ability”)
So, In order to entice school pupils to choose electronics, we must make them believe that they have a decent chance of learning it well enough to get a job in it. And it’s the Power Supply Engineering sector that allows this.

Of course, once they get on an Electronics course, they may then find that they get on well with one of the other sectors of electronics, which is fine. Indeed, may of them will do, and this will fill out those sectors aswell, which is good because it would provide engineers needed for the revival of the Electronics Engineering industry. Providing the number of engineers needed for “stuff”  work. These engineers can reside in the civilian sector until they move to the “stuff” sector, since the theory of electronics is the same, whether “stuff” or civil.
Power Supply Engineering is a branch of electronics that is much easier to learn than other areas of electronics. This is because the internet is very full of websites teaching about it. The “secrecy” enshrouding other branch’s of electronics is not nearly so prevalent in Power Supply Engineering.

Almost every electronics product needs a power supply, so it’s an area well “trodden over”, and indeed, learning how to integrate a product with a power supply is an area of crucial importance , which often ruins the progress of electronics products that are in-the-making, if not done properly. Even if you are buying in a power supply, you need to know the ins-and-outs of power supply engineering in order to successfully integrate your product with it.

Also, the simulators for Power Supply Engineering are free-of-charge (LTspice). Also, the lab equipment needed to work in the Power Supply sector is much cheaper than other branch’s of electronics. Eg oscilloscopes, Multimeters, soldering irons etc. For example, a cheap scope is way cheaper than the cost of a Vector Network Analyzer that is needed for eg RF engineering. Also, the components needed to build power supplies are way cheaper than other areas of electronics. A student could well envision being able to build and test a power supply at home, “on the kitchen table”. This is essential, as you can’t develop as an engineer without “designing and then making things”.

The following are the various sectors of electronics: 1….Semiconductor engineering (VLSI) 2….Electric motors and drives 3….FPGA and high speed digital 4….Embedded software 4A…High level software 5….Radio and Microwave engineering 5…Control Engineering 6….Audio Engineering 7…Power Generation & Distribution

..Also, there is “General Analog electronics”, which gets used in all of the above sectors. In particular, Power Supply Engineers have excellent General Analog electronics skills, because all that circuitry is used as auxiliary circuitry in power supplies.
Other sectors such as battery chargers, solar inverters and lighting, all fall under the “Power Supply Engineering” blanket.

Power Supply Engineering these days, is mostly concerned with “Switch Mode Power Supplies”. Also, even though “Power Supply Engineering” is the easiest branch of electronics to develop an ability in, its a fact that in its most advanced form, its just as challenging as any other sector of electronics. Though the key point is that it’s the easiest sector in which “working engineer ability” can be attained.
Bringing back the “Power Supply Design & Manufacture industry” to us  is key to growing the Electronics Engineering sector, that is needed to build the “stuff” desperately needed today.
Of course, certain “stuff” electronics often involves Radio and Microwave Engineering, and also often FPGA and high speed digital. However, to get people into these sectors, you have to first get them to choose Electronics Engineering courses. And its Power Supply Engineering sector that can get those numbers of students to take the plunge into Electronics in the first place.

Of note, Drone technology involves multiple sectors, but the drone propeller drive is from the “Electric motors & Drives” sector of electronics, which is very close to the “Power Supply sector”. Indeed they both fall under the “Power Electronics” blanket. A power supply engineer would not find it difficult to transfer their skills to this sector.
Electronics could easily be brought back to us. It wouldnt hurt economically, since the proliferation of engineering skills in the economy would bring industries and revenue to us. There are thousands of ways of manufacturing electronics without high labour intensiveness.

Please could you help to advertise this to the school children throughout? I believe it would be good to make a video detailing the Power Supply sector to the pupils, and thereby inviting them to study Electronics Engineering.
Encouraging them that there actually are areas of electronics after all, where they could well expect to attain enough ability to be employable within electronics. Making them realise that Electronics isn’t all as hard as they imagine.
If I send a video, may I ask would you please help to get it sent it to the schools? Better still would be to arrange some sports personality etc to narrate the video. Inspire the pupils like that.
Thankyou for reading.
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Offline tggzzz

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No I wouldn't, because it is a load of impractical bollocks.

Get off your obsession, and get a life. There is more to life than SMPSs

Written in green ink, because that's the colour you should use when writing your letters.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline Roehrenonkel

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Hi,
i stopped reading right after "Do you agree".....
 
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Offline nctnico

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No I wouldn't, because it is a load of impractical bollocks.

Get off your obsession, and get a life. There is more to life than SMPSs

Written in green ink, because that's the colour you should use when writing your letters.
True. OTOH there is quite some mystification where it comes to switching power supplies. Worse case I've seen was a project participant flat out refusing to redesign a board they developed because they had to hire a specialist again to do the layout for some simple off-the-shelve SMPS chips (which come with app notes showing exactly how to do layout).
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline armandine2

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I agree with the general sentiment - that primary school kids <=11years - in the uk should have a much better design & technology curriculum, delivered with more thought and hope/passion.

Electronics could play a part - not central.

A way to encourage some of that might be to develop some teaching materials for the class room teacher to use.  :popcorn:
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Offline ebastler

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I think it would be more beneficial to the UK economy in general to focus on technologies (electronics and otherwise) which are more differentiated than power supplies.

I think it would be more beneficial for schoolkids with a talent and an interest in technology to focus on more novel, exciting, differentiated topics than power supplies. 

And I think it would be more beneficial for schoolkids without such talent and interest to focus on other careers, rather than going into power supplies "because it's simple enough that I can just about handle it", and then hang on by their fingernails for the remainder of their careers.
 
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Online soldar

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He's the kind of guy that when you ask him what's the time he tells you how to build a clock.
All my posts are made with 100% recycled electrons and bare traces of grey matter.
 
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Offline IanB

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Electronics is a bad career choice for anyone in the UK to consider, given the woefully poor salaries on offer.
 
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Offline themadhippy

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There a shortage in many industrys,what we need is to stop the university= good no university =waster mindset,about the only thing your guaranteed on leaving uni is a nice big debt.Also we need to stop forcing advising kids on a career path,let em chose.
 
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Offline Gyro

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That letter is likely to send schoolkids running and screaming for their Geography books and Shakespeare's sonnets!  ::)

By all means provide children with interesting information and demonstrations to show them the possibilities and variety in science and technology careers. That usual Faringdon / treez drivel is an embarrassing enough read for forum members without exposing kids to it. Hey son / daughter, just think of the exciting and fulfilling life you could have in the field of SMPSs! Edit: You too could share Faringdons lifestyle.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2024, 06:18:07 pm by Gyro »
Best Regards, Chris
 
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Offline jonovid

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2024, 06:13:09 pm »
Electronics as a career so is it hardware vs software ?  do we let them learn to code?
Hobbyist with a basic knowledge of electronics
 
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Offline FaringdonTopic starter

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2024, 06:16:26 pm »
Quote
And I think it would be more beneficial for schoolkids without such talent and interest to focus on other careers, rather than going into power supplies "because it's simple enough that I can just about handle it", and then hang on by their fingernails for the remainder of their careers.
Thanks, i see your point, but do any of us remember when we were small kids...and we learned to speak our native tongue without any problem?.....this shows that most have the capability to learn electronics, without needing to "hang on by the fingernails".

But yes i see your point, and not everyone should go into electronics. And i guess the people who dont go in would best be the ones who think they dont like it.

There are situations of course, (lets not go into them here) that might make one go into something that initially they didnt think they liked...to achieve something particular, or to be safe from something.

Quote
Electronics as a career so is it hardware vs software ?  do we let them learn to code?
Yes, why not.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2024, 06:18:58 pm by Faringdon »
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Offline Gyro

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2024, 06:20:41 pm »
.....this shows that most have the capability to learn electronics, without needing to "hang on by the fingernails".

What's your excuse then?  :-\
Best Regards, Chris
 
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Offline nctnico

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2024, 06:25:30 pm »
Electronics is a bad career choice for anyone in the UK to consider, given the woefully poor salaries on offer.
Yeah. Going into electronics is like being a musician. You do it for the joy of it. Not the money.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Online pcprogrammer

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2024, 06:40:21 pm »
Electronics is a bad career choice for anyone in the UK to consider, given the woefully poor salaries on offer.

A career choice should not be based on money alone. It is better to go into a job that you enjoy even if it does not pay that much, than to shoot for the stars, maybe suck at it, get stressed and be miserable for the remainder of that career and maybe for the rest of your life.

To stimulate children into electronics parents should introduce them to hobby sets like those old science kits Phillips and other firms made. No idea if they still make such things. But that probably is not fancy enough anymore.

Online pcprogrammer

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2024, 06:49:10 pm »
Electronics is a bad career choice for anyone in the UK to consider, given the woefully poor salaries on offer.
Yeah. Going into electronics is like being a musician. You do it for the joy of it. Not the money.

Somewhat true, but my second job was in the alternative music world where electronics played a big role and it payed a hell of a lot more than working for Phillips.  :-DD

It also got me doing actual electronics, which I liked, instead of typing in some companies phone switching exchange preferences. Was a total misrepresentation of the job offered at Philips. It was sold as working in the development of phone switching exchanges on the low level with lots of growth potential. A data typist was what they actually required.

Offline tggzzz

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2024, 06:53:36 pm »
He's the kind of guy that when you ask him what's the time he tells you how to build a clock.

No, he tells you it is a scandal that he can't build an SMPS. Do you agree?
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Online PlainName

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2024, 07:15:55 pm »
but do any of us remember when we were small kids...and we learned to speak our native tongue without any problem?

WTF?!? Have you seen the average text message or email nowadays? Most of them have learned how to show grunts via emoticons; hardly anyone has an interest in grammar, spelling or composition.

Apart from that, speaking the lingo is simply a matter of parroting stuff you hear, and you can do that without understanding what it really means. But, in electronics, knowing what things are called and which pins you can join up without them smoking is just the basics. You need the mindset that lets you solve problems and be creative in making things. Can you draw life-like portraits? Not many can. Can you play a musical instrument well enough to show off in a theatre? Again, not many can. Why do you think every kid will be able to do electronics?
 
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Offline Sensorcat

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2024, 09:11:20 pm »
To get schoolkids into something, you must show them that it's fun. Not in 10 years, right now. A long text without a single image, video, or at least some visual structure only looks like work. Perhaps you have the chance that the first sentence is read. And what do you offer? That the kids are supposed to help in a rather abstract, long-term plan in which others (industry, not even a person) have some sort of need. No, your text won't do the job. Even I did not read it completely, even though I'm not a kid anymore and very interested in an effective answer to your question.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2024, 09:45:59 pm »
There is more to life than SMPSs

Is there?
 
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2024, 09:51:41 pm »
There is more to life than SMPSs

Is there?

I sure as hell hope so. Long ago I decided they were something like RDBMSs: terminally boring and To Be Avoided.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Offline xrunner

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2024, 10:07:29 pm »
Do you agree, the following is how to get schoolkids into Electronics Engineering?.....

Dear
Please assist in growing an Electronics Engineering industry that can be used to make the electronics needed to make “stuff” that todays world means we desperately need.

Schoolkids may be interested in ridding places where we live of unwanted insects and animals, perhaps studying ineffective ultrasonic repellers and either improving their designs or making something of a new design that actually works well.
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Online PlainName

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2024, 10:31:16 pm »
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).

Something like the Atari 2600 was nearly perfect - reasonably decent games machine so it would be actual use regardless, but had a programming cartridge so you could make your own games. Unfortunately, that was too limited and once you maxed out there was nowhere to go. With something like the ZX81 you could download a biorythms program or similar, and then, because it was plain BASIC, change stuff to see what happened. Once you'd hit the limit of BASIC you could embed machine code in comments and do fancy stuff like altering the display font, and around about then you were hooked for life and looking for a proper computer. But to get to that point you have to be enticed to place a foot on the bottom rung, and being given an A-level puzzle isn't the route to that.
 

Offline xrunner

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2024, 10:36:35 pm »
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 ...  ::)
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Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2024, 10:43:43 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.
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Online 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 »
 

Offline 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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Online 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.
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Online 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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Online 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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Online 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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Online 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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Online 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
 

Offline RJSV

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #50 on: June 04, 2024, 05:13:34 am »
   A person might want to include (at least) some Diversity / Inclusion dynamics;   what it is, where it is being 'deployed'.   That's also 'equity' based as well, using the DEI handle.
Who gets the equity boost ca$h granted, etc.  Maybe region by region, where things sit, currently, in the D.E.I. push.
   I'd appreciate, also, if you would give an intro that 'includes' those who get a bit 'put-off' by the new rules, somewhat unclear.   Actually, rules that are very 'clear' to understand might not be so visable.
   Explain how D.E.I. and Climate Activism 'intersect'.   When the student gets confused, over the materials, and the relevance, you should offer a sampling, of newer University curriculum, with tons of real examples.

   When others object, to any relevance, then SHOW them the real amounts, budgets etc. involved today.

   Preparation can't hurt.   Personally,  I believe the Climate Change aspects, of technology future, are going to be huge, as it's a huge and very visible problem...diversity or no.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #51 on: June 04, 2024, 05:10:41 pm »
Wow.  I had no idea EEs were so undervalued (or is it oversupplied?) in the UK.  Is this a worldwide thing?
Electronics engineers in the UK are not highly valued, as the country has abandoned being an industrial power. The oversupply is because the demand is so low, even a handful of people studying electronics is more than the UK can absorb. Most people either study electronics because the maths and control theory is valued by the finance industry, or because they want to work abroad. 50 years ago, when I was at uni, the vast majority of graduate electronics engineers went into some kind of electronics work. 30 years ago at the top tier colleges this had already dropped to only a handful going into electronics. Now even the low tier colleges are not realistically training people for a life in electronics.
 
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Offline RJSV

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #52 on: June 04, 2024, 05:54:51 pm »
I'd like to hear more, if you have more thoughts, on the UK industry and economy.

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