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PCB Designer Certifications and Learning Programs

Judy Warner
|  Created: July 10, 2019  |  Updated: February 5, 2021

Today we’re going to talk about the importance of learning, as Eric Bogatin emphasized at last year’s AltiumLive. Please join my conversation with Ben Jordan where we explore a variety of ways that you can continue to learn and drive your career forward.

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Show Highlights:

  • A current hot topic on the forum is the value of CID or Certified Interconnect Designer Certification. This certification fills in many knowledge gaps not necessarily learned in college, such as the materials sciences and these classes are taught by gurus who started out as materials scientists.
  • CID and CID+ are offered by IPC and are very useful by including how to present the results of your design to all the other stakeholders like testers, fabricators, and assembly. 
  • The IPC was floating the idea of recertification and it was not well received mainly due to the cost. 
  • Lack of practical experience is a barrier to job entry.
  • Multi-disciplinary and systems-based thinking are terms we often see as criteria for finding jobs, not only the core technical skills.
  • We would love to hear from our audience on whether a formal certification on a tool would help your career? 
  • IEEE has a recognition path called a Certified Professional Engineer which requires continual learning to maintain. 
  • The common thread from most industry experts is that continued and ongoing learning is crucial.
  • The motivation for learning is the excitement of new technologies and most PCB Designers are very curious people by nature. 
  • PCB Design is never monotonous, every board is a new board. 
  • Robert Feranec will be a keynote speaker at the next AltiumLive; his curiosity drove him to research optimizing the hardware design flow in your company and he will be presenting his conclusions. 
  • AltiumLive is open to anybody, not just the Altium Designer user - pre-registration is now open.
  • Keep your eye on our YouTube channels and our next Podcast.

Links and Resources:

Kelly Dack Podcast: What is PCB Design? 
Circuit Assembly/UP Media article that raised the whole question on CID
Slide of core hiring criteria: Director of Raytheon Missile Systems (See Below)
AltiumLive Summit 2019
Altium YouTube channel


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About Author

About Author

Judy Warner has held a unique variety of roles in the electronics industry for over 25 years. She has a background in PCB Manufacturing, RF and Microwave PCBs and Contract Manufacturing, focusing on Mil/Aero applications. 

She has also been a writer, blogger, and journalist for several industry publications such as Microwave Journal, PCB007 Magazine, PCB Design007, PCD&F, and IEEE Microwave Magazine, and an active board member for PCEA (Printed Circuit Engineering Association). In 2017, Warner joined Altium as the Director of Community Engagement. In addition to hosting the OnTrack Podcast and creating the OnTrack Newsletter, she launched Altium's annual user conference, AltiumLive. Warner's passion is to provide resources, support, and advocate for PCB Design Engineers worldwide.

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