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Question about PCB design career

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  • Question about PCB design career

    Hi all.

    This question is for Robert Feranec, but anybody with experience that want to help will be wellcome!!

    I finished years ago ADVANCED HARDWARE DESIGN course and currently I am enrolled in ADVANCED PCB LAYOUT course at Fedevel. I have some questions that I think you can answer as you have been working as a pcb designer for a long time. If it´s ok for you, I would like yo ask you these two questions:

    1.- I have seen at IPC two courses. One of them is PCB Design for Military & Aerospace Applications. The other one is PCB Design for Radio Frequency (RF) Boards. These are the links if you want take a look: %3DHigh%2BReliability%2BForum%2B2023%2BSearch%26ut m_source%3Dadwords%26utm_medium%3Dppc%26hsa_acc%3D 890 %3DHigh%2BReliability%2BForum%2B2023%2BSearch%26ut m_source%3Dadwords%26utm_medium%3Dppc%26hsa_acc%3D 890566652

    It seems they are interesting and it´s also interesting the certification, because you know that it´s not only important to know something but it´s (maybe) more important to show that you know it showing your diploma. The problem is the price. I don´t mind to invest in my education, but any course I chose has to be worth the money. Do you think they worth the money they cost?

    2.- I have been working as a hardware designer for 8 years. I have worked for CERN for two years. But I am not an engineer, but a Higher technician in electronics. I have been thinking about the possibility to become a full-time PCB designer. What I want to ask you is if you think that being not an engineer could be a problem.

    Thank you in advance for your time. I wanna also say thank you for your courses. You are bringing knowledge to people at a cost almost everybody can pay. Thanks!!!

  • #2
    I have been an embedded engineer (schematic, layout, firmware, etc.) for over 20 years.

    Let me start of by mentioning that I am not someone for diploma's. I do not care if you have them or don't. I care if you understand it. If you are able to to 'match' theory with practice.
    During that time I have done 2 'electronics' tranings:
    - One on EMC, paid by my employer
    - One from Rick Hartley, paid by me (my company)
    Were they worth it? Hmm.. I must say I could only watch about half of Rick Hartley. But they weren't a waste of money either.
    Most of Rick Hartley can already be seen on Youtube.

    What is an "engineer"?
    "Engineers, as practitioners of engineering, are professionals who invent, design, analyze, build and test machines, complex systems, structures, gadgets and materials to fulfill functional objectives and requirements while considering the limitations imposed by practicality, regulation, safety and cost." --
    Does not mention education or level of education.


    • #3

      Thank you for your response. I understand why people ask for a diploma. They need to know before they see how you work and if you are able to find solutions to problems that you have, at least, the minimum understanding of electronics...

      I just finished my Technical Diploma and started to work designing hardware. Before I started to study, I spent many years as a hobbyist. But when you are looking for a job, you see that the Degree in electronics is mandatory...

      I don´t know if for PCB design it´s different.


      • #4
        - diploma: some positions and companies simply filter out CVs without diplomas in the very first round. So, they don't even may not look at your experience or knowledge. So without diploma it is harder to catch attention - that is what you need to focus on - you need to somehow catch their attention e.g. by projects you have been working on on by writing a very good cover letter.

        - ipc: I am not sure how much that helps, probably only if there are a few candidates left to decide on

        The most important is to show your attitude - to show that you can learn by yourself, you can solve problems, you are reliable and precise and you really like what you do. Many companies hire for personality, not for immediate knowledge.


        • #5
          Thank you for your help.