What’s something that sectors as diverse as education, healthcare, retail, and politics have in common? They’ve all rapidly embraced digital transformation following the COVID-19 pandemic. This has proven to be a silver lining for the electronics manufacturing industry since the need for printed electronics and components has understandably soared.
In fact, since 2020, reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the number of electronic product manufacturing establishments has increased by 4,000. As the demand for IoT devices and wearable technology continues to increase, the need for professionals in this field will continue to grow accordingly.
However, to flourish in this ever-evolving industry, you do need to have a good mix of skills and assets in your professional arsenal. Here are a few of them:
Having relevant licenses not only adds credibility to your name but also makes you privy to the advanced training and knowledge that governing societies have. This is a very important asset in a field like printed electronics where advancements and discoveries are made regularly. As explained in Maryville University’s post on electrical engineering, the Professional Engineering (PE) license and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) certification are among the most valuable that a professional in this field can acquire. This is because these licenses are considered a sign of your skill and educational attainment. As mentioned earlier, these licenses can even give you access to special resources like the latest in printed electronics technical literature. If you’re already employed but have yet to pursue these licenses, you can consider asking your team leader as they may help cover any fees required. This shows initiative on your end, which many employers look for.
It’s never enough to simply be well versed in your own projects. This will only limit your view and prevent you from keeping up with the massive shifts happening in the industry. As such, try to be updated on the trends emerging worldwide. For instance, one of the major tech trends is eco-awareness. In Aarhus University’s review of printed electronics, their team even suggests that non-rigid, flexible electronics may soon need to be biodegradable. Given that plastic and electronic waste are a big factor in global pollution, it will do well for you to familiarize yourself with this pressing concept. By doing so, not only are you addressing an important ecological concern, but you’re also keeping yourself compliant with the preferences of regulators and consumers who are similarly leaning towards more green practices in tech.
Every day, this industry requires you to create complex elements like PCBs, where even the smallest error in communications can create a massive setback. Unfortunately, a survey by HR Technologist reveals that 57% of employees are not given clear direction and 69% of managers are uncomfortable communicating in general. To prevent this, it’s important for you to strengthen soft skills like communication and collaboration. This means knowing how to speak respectfully, how to explain clearly, and how to listen honestly. By doing so, you’re effectively optimizing a group into a team with a shared goal. What’s more, when you’re able to work well with others, you can gain invaluable insight that you may not have picked up alone. Regardless of whether you’re an entry-level employee or a team leader, having such soft skills will prime you for bigger responsibilities that come with career growth.
Last but certainly not least, you must have a true passion for your craft. Printed electronics can be a demanding industry, especially since it caters to essential services like healthcare and defense. Without an interest in the industry, your work can get overwhelming. Conversely, a genuine passion can fuel your drive and creativity. This is how we at e2ip are able to create printable electronic solutions like In-Mold Electronics (IME) that are timely and versatile. If you’re just in the industry for the prestige or the money, that will only get your career so far.
At the end of the day, printed electronics manufacturing is poised to become one of the most bustling industries of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. While many will want to pursue a career in this industry, those who understand that a holistic and well-rounded skillset is just as important as technical skills are the ones who will truly stand out. If you have any more questions about printed electronic technologies, e2ip can help.
Rédigé par Rhealyn Janean pour E2IP.COM