My oldest is beginning to look into colleges and I can’t help but prick up my ears whenever I hear a story about the high cost of higher education. Last week it was all about Americans having more college debt than credit card debt (I suppose money spent on education is better than on shopping, but its still frightening). This week it is the cost of tuition, room and board averaging $20K per year. With comparisons to the housing bubble, it is conceivable that the weight of this debt will someday lead to a major disruption in how individuals finance their higher education.
The future may lead to a greater emphasis on apprenticeships and tighter arrangements between higher ed., students and corporations, one in which learning is more tightly integrated with working. A recent article in the New Yorker, “Get Rich U - Is Stanford Too Close to Silicon Valley” examines what happens when education, industry, entrepreneurs and venture capitalist converge. It’s a good read, I recommend it. I’m a fan of industry getting involved in education, after all business has a pretty good sense of the problems that need addressing and the human resources and skills they need to get the job done.
Working at Microwave Journal provides a good opportunity to witness the trend that is occurring between industry and continued education. For instance, the number of webinars that our clients sponsor and produce has gone from one every few months to double digit quantities each month - in just a few years. Many of these same companies produce user group events, present at application-focused conferences and host special traveling seminars just to keep engineers up to date on the latest design technologies, software tools and embedded systems. While the company hosting a webinar or live event may ultimately have future sales in mind, most of them have realized that providing useful (i.e. non-marketing) information to a prospective customer is the best way to earn their trust and future business. So it’s a win/win.
Attendance to these webinars continues to draw a sizable audience even as the number of online offerings has increased significantly, an indication of the value they deliver. The same can be said for the high quality technical features, application notes and white papers that appear in the Journal and online, thanks to the working individuals who continue to generate content for the masses with the support of the companies they work for. Clearly, the Journal would not exist if it weren’t for these on-going efforts to educate and train professionals by professionals. Our focus at the Journal will be to help provide the optimum platform for this education.
Next week we will provide this service from CTIA Wireless in New Orleans as the organizer of two expert panels on (MIMO OTA Measurements – The Next Generation Platform for Wireless Testingand Over-the-Air Signal Challenges and Implications – Recommendations for LTE RAN). These two panels were fully prepared and sponsored by Agilent Technologies, ETS-Lindgren, EB (Elektrobit), Spirent and Anritsu, Azimuth, Rohde & Schwarz and ElectroRent, respectively. In June, we will be organizing two more industry-developed panels for MTT-S IMS in Montreal, a nonlinear device characterization and design panel (Agilent, Anritsu, AWR, Maury Microwave, Anteverta and AMCAD) and a special GaN business forum (Strategy Analytics with leading GaN MMIC suppliers).
These four examples demonstrate that the industry trend to provide training is picking up speed. In a few weeks time, we will have much more to say about Microwave Journal’s evolving role in this trend. For now, enjoy this month’s crop of webinars, white papers and technical features in your May issue (coming May 15th). Oh, and don’t forget to register to attend these live events if you plan on being in New Orleans or Montreal, register for the simultaneous webcast if you can’t make the trip. Either way, you’ll be the wiser.