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The World of Electronic Engineers

04/11/16 Adam Walker Director

Why choose a career in Electronics?

The UK electronics industry offers engineers the chance to specialise in a number of areas including consumer goods, medical technology, military equipment and products for the automotive and communications industries.

Earlier this year, the Electronics Systems: Challenges and Opportunities (ESCO) report announced plans to significantly grow the UK’s electronic systems industry to £120 billion (up 55%) by 2020 and create an additional 150,000 highly-skilled electronics jobs for the UK. The rise from today’s £78bn to £120 billion would place the electronics sector among the top 5 UK industries. The sector would also support over 1 million skilled jobs, making it a top-5 UK employer.

According to the Manufacturer, British Electronic manufacturers contribute 800,000+ direct jobs the UK’s economy with a £78bn annual turnover. The UKs Electronics sector is the world’s fifth largest in terms of production with 14 of the world’s top 20 semiconductor companies having established design and/or manufacturing sites in the UK.

Electronic Engineers are universal in the modern world, the industry encompasses many areas of expertise, including consumer goods, automotive, medical, and military and communications equipment. At one end there are very high-volume consumer products such as smartphones, and at the other end are products such as medical scanners. Sometimes a company might only produce 100 units of particular electronic product per year because the electronic components are so expensive.

There are many trends and developments in the electronics industry. In recent years there has been a shift towards the electronics involved with smartphones and tablets and standard computing devices have remained a current focus in the electronics industry in the UK. The main concern for the future of the electronics sector is the development of ‘wearable’ devices such as Google Glass, which feeds information as and when required in a non-intrusive way. In reality, it is seen as a piece of science fiction coming to life!

Automotive electronics are produced in moderate volumes so fall somewhere in the middle. The major players range in Automotive electronics are Samsung and Apple and in consumer electronics to EADS and BAE Systems in defence electronics.

Most roles in the global electronics sector require flexibility in terms of travel because of the international nature of the industry. In the past, we have witnessed UK based electronics companies ‘offshoring’ and now they are returning to the UK. However, the precise type of work depends on which area of electronics a candidate wants to enter. Safety is at the forefront of both medical, automotive and defence electronics, which have long product development cycles, involving lots of research. In contrast, consumer electronics is very fast-paced and highly competitive because companies need to release new products approximately every six months. As a result, electronics engineers in the consumer electronics sector tend to work in large teams to make rapid progress.

Adam Walker, Redline Group Director comments: “From my experience of working in Technology recruitment, there are many highlights which have been expressed by clients and candidates over the years. Electronics careers involve working in a very diverse industry and engineers often get to explore creative ways of solving difficult technical problems with innovative solutions. Careers in Electronics are ever so important in society today and that a career in this field has millions of opportunities to influence people’s daily lives.”

Redline Group provides permanent, interim and contract recruitment solutions in conceptual design, development, integration, test, support and manufacture, throughout the UK and Europe. Our team of technically specialist electronics recruitment consultants work with a broad variety of clients in some of the fastest moving industry segments. Our consultants provide complete solutions for electronics jobs sectors including both hardware and software engineering / systems for a variety of industry segments including Telecommunications, Wireless Communications, Broadcast, Semiconductors, Aerospace, Consumer, Automotive, Medical, Industrial, Computer Hardware and Process Control sectors. To see a list of the electronics jobs that we typically recruit for, click here.