Figure 1: UBM’s ‘Mind of the Engineer’ study, published in October 2014
Currently, according to the latest study by Design News, the average age of an electronics engineer in the US is 48 and they have been working in the industry for 18 years. If you want put this into context then have a look at this blog from PR Daily about how PR worked in the 90s; in short, there was a lot of paper. But paper didn’t stop with the PR agencies communicating with the press, rather it was integral to how people learnt about new products and techniques that would better enable them to do their jobs. Almost two decades later we have a whole range of media with which we can communicate with a vast number of engineers: magazine websites, blogs, social media, shared presentations, videos, graphics etc. All of these channels can all help companies communicate with their customers and potential customers.
The power and reach the Internet has bought us is undeniable, but the question is, does the average 48-year-old male engineer look at these other places for inspiration, or are they refusing to move on from paper?
Evidence would suggest that an engineer’s first port of call is a magazine, whether digital or paper (fig 1). However dominating the rest of the table are digital outlets. The Internet is becoming more prevalent in the way we live every aspect of our lives, so why should we imagine that the 48 year old male engineer is any different?