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Showing posts with label skills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label skills. Show all posts

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Dumbing down of skills

In my professional life I interviewed many graduates aspiring to become radio frequency (RF) engineers. Very few, in recent years, had what I would call "the knowledge". By this I mean a "gut instinct" for RF that does not come from an academic course, important though this is.  Rather, this "jizz" came by living and breathing RF through building radio things themselves, however simple. A great many "good" graduates in communications electronics knew little or nothing about radio or radio engineering, had never touched a soldering iron ever and were rejected.  A good RF engineer could usually be spotted within 2 minutes of the interview starting.

In the UK we have a growing, and very serious, issue with poorly educated science and engineering graduates who come out of universities without the skills needed to start work in industry. One answer was the sandwich course in which young A-level students were accepted on a company training scheme that married "on the job" skills training with educational training, usually to HND or degree level. People spotted young, with real RF "jizz" (easily judged in interviews) usually went on to become the best engineers we had.

The problem that I saw in radio engineering recruitment is also seen in other areas of electronics and engineering. We are risking our nation's future unless we educate young people well and equip them with the skills they need to live and work in the 21st century. Good creative and innovative engineers are essential.