I had the pleasure of I speaking to about 20 8th graders this month about careers in electronics.
It took me back to my first real introduction to the industry: the Summer Consumer Electronics Show in 1992. There I saw the prototypes for HDTV and widescreen TVs, and more interesting, the first foldable screens.
I was enthralled with some of the devices and innovations I saw there, some of which have yet to come to mass production. They were a far cry from what I was used to at that point: floor TV models as large as a desk and computer terminals the size of small ovens.
I like to remind folks that it takes a generation or more for most ideas to become mainstream. At this year’s CES, there were transparent TVs (thanks to LG and Samsung), foldable OLED PC monitors (Asus), and a portable rolling robot projector (Samsung again) that, well, you really to see to understand what it is capable of.
Of my cohort that January morning, two of them are already thinking in terms of engineering careers, but in my opinion what’s more important is that none of them rules out this path.
Mentoring peers is great and important, but I’m a big proponent of talking to youth and helping them connect the dots. After all, we are often reminded that if you want to see the future, take a look at your kids.
And if you agree that we need the next generation to consider careers in electronics design and manufacturing, are you doing what you can to encourage them?