PCB Design is considered as one of the most important fields in electronic industry. And, every electrical/electronics engineer should have some basic knowledge about it. Here we have listed the 4 important reasons to learn pcb design and it will primarily answer the two questions listed below,
1.Why it is important to learn PCB Design if you are an electrical / electronics engineering graduate who is currently looking for a job in your core industry ?
2. Why should learn PCB Design if you are a college student studying electrical or electronics engineering?
1.PCB is the foundation of Electronics
Basically,PCB is the foundation of electronics. Without a Printed circuit board no one can make a electronics product. Consider any electronic product that you are using in your day to day life. It may be a mobile phone or a laptop, television or whichever the product is , you can see a printed circuit in it.
Electronics components like resistors, capacitors, Ics are mounted and soldered on a PCB by using it as a base. That’s how important is PCB and it plays a vital role in the electronics industry. So, PCB design is a mandatory skill for every electronics or electrical engineer.
But In colleges, people use breadboards right ?. Actually Breadboards are meant for experimentation and testing purposes. Consider a case where, without testing a circuit PCB Manufacturing is done and after placing all the components you come to know that it is not working due to some errors or faults in the circuit..
In this case it’s tough to make corrections on that PCB since the tracks are static and it will waste a lot time, energy and money. So to avoid this problem, breadboards and simulation softwares like LTSpice are used to test the circuit to ensure its functionality before fabricating it in to a PCB.
2.Design Engineering Final Year Project on your own
You can design a PCB for your final year engineering project on your own. Most of the colleges and universities in india don’t teach PCB Design. Even if they teach, only some basic introduction is given to the subject. and I studied in a college under a famous university in chennai where PCB Design was not a part of the curriculum.
Basically, I am an electronics and communication engineering graduate. During my final year of engineering, myself and my project mate designed a UWB antenna i.e Ultra wideband antenna. My project guide motivated and helped us to design a prototype antenna on our own using the software Advanced design system.
After finishing the design we simulated it and plotted the prototype design on a PCB. It was my first ever encounter with PCB Design and it has triggered my interest to learn it more . After graduation, this project helped me to get a job in the PCB design field.
Likewise, designing a PCB for the project on your own will improve the knowledge and skill more deeply and eventually help to you get a job in the core industry.
3.Stand out from competition while searching for a Job
As I discussed earlier, only few colleges teach PCB Design in our country. This makes the particular field less competitive and you can easily differentiate yourself from the crowd and get a job.The reason why people don’t choose PCB Design as a career option is the wrong perception and lack of awareness.
But, PCB Design is still one of the safest jobs when compared to IT or software jobs. And you can get a very decent pay if you are really skilled enough.
4.Freelancing Opportunities in PCB Design
After my graduation, I decided to take PCB design as my career. So I learnt more about it by joining a pcb design course in a training institute. Immediately after finishing the course, I applied for jobs on around 10 – 15 pcb design companies. I have got few replies from some companies stating that they recruit only experienced PCB Design Engineers. So I was jobless for more than a month after finishing the training course.
By the time it was almost 6 months after my graduation and I was really frustrated for being jobless and not earning any income. Then I tried to do freelancing in PCB Design. Luckily I got a few projects and after finishing them, I showed it as a work sample to the employers and got a interview call letter.
The reason for sharing my experience is, usually freshers complaint that core companies are asking for work experience if we apply for a job. No point in criticizing companies here. Most of the Electronics or PCB Design companies don’t have time and budget to train fresher engineering graduates and offer them a job.
But, it does not mean that they don’t recruit freshers, they want people who are really skilled in the subject or that field. For that you have to differentiate yourself from other candidates by projecting your skills to the employer. Moreover, the demand for PCB designers is not as huge as the software engineers in an IT or Software industry.
So even if you learn PCB Design now, it may take a month or two to get a job. In the meantime, you can look out for various freelancing opportunities.available on the Internet. And you can get a very good income from those projects. I will be discussing about these freelancing opportunities in more detail on the later part of this pcb design course.