New Opportunities for PCB Education with John Watson

Zachariah Peterson
|  Created: May 12, 2023  |  Updated: July 1, 2024
New Opportunities for PCB Education with John Watson

Today we're thrilled to be joined by John Watson, Customer Success Manager at Altium. He and Tech Consultant Zach Peterson chat about the importance of education for designers, what it's like working with students, and what new opportunities there are for PCB designers in today's market.

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Key Highlights:

  • Introduction to John Watson, Altium Customer Success Manager
  • John talks about his teaching profession at Palomar College in San Marcos, California where he teaches Basic and Advanced PCB design
  • The Middle College Program at Palomar College was created for junior and senior high school students to give them a head start in taking college courses
  • The demand for PCB designers is driven by a lack of interested individuals in the industry
  • An increasing number of young engineers are drawn to computer science and software development, while the fields of hardware, electrical engineering, and PCB design are experiencing a declining interest
  • John elaborates on the content covered in his comprehensive 32-week course, encompassing both fundamental and advanced aspects of PCB design
  • Companies are losing their talent every single day through retirement. Now more than ever, there is a huge need to fill the pipeline
  • John shares his early days as an electrician on the kitchen floor with a screwdriver in the toaster
  • John finds Ai concerning, and he doesn’t allow it in his class
  • John describes the kind of students he has in his class
  • Overanalyzing is a typical problem for electrical engineers
  • PCBs are works of art
  • Zach describes a PCB designer as a “constraint manager”
  • John works with different organizations to give the students a leap towards their next step after they finished his 32-week course
  • From a janitor to a PCB designer, a winning moment to one of John’s students
  • Give back no matter what level we’re at, this is John’s message to his peers and everyone in the electronics industry
  • There are 25 spots available in John’s PCB design course, those who will not make it will be on the waiting list. You can check more information here.

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About Author

About Author

Zachariah Peterson has an extensive technical background in academia and industry. He currently provides research, design, and marketing services to companies in the electronics industry. Prior to working in the PCB industry, he taught at Portland State University and conducted research on random laser theory, materials, and stability. His background in scientific research spans topics in nanoparticle lasers, electronic and optoelectronic semiconductor devices, environmental sensors, and stochastics. His work has been published in over a dozen peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, and he has written 2500+ technical articles on PCB design for a number of companies. He is a member of IEEE Photonics Society, IEEE Electronics Packaging Society, American Physical Society, and the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (PCEA). He previously served as a voting member on the INCITS Quantum Computing Technical Advisory Committee working on technical standards for quantum electronics, and he currently serves on the IEEE P3186 Working Group focused on Port Interface Representing Photonic Signals Using SPICE-class Circuit Simulators.

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