My son went off to college this past fall and left at least a partially empty nest back at home. His parents were left with a mix of emotions from excitement about his new beginnings to the terror that he might mix colored laundry with whites in the same load. So it's not surprising that I've been thinking a lot about education lately and it's importance to all of us—even for those of us who resist learning new tricks.
The more young people (and even old people) that discover how exciting learning can be, the more our society will benefit as a whole.
As we said good-bye to my new college freshman, I offered him a few choice words of wisdom, "In all likelihood you'll be working your entire life. Sadly most people dislike having to work, but imagine if work was really fun. College gives you an opportunity to discover your passion and find a career that is both fun and rewarding."
From Jameco's perspective, electronics is creating this passion for many everyday. We get emails from students excited about robotics. We get emails from grandfather's wondering how young is too young to teach their grandchildren soldering. And we get emails from our customers with exciting inventions and projects that their children have created.
The future of electronics rests in the hands of the students. To make an even grander statement, our society's advancement is dependent on motivated young people with a passion for building on our collective knowledge. So from my perspective, investing in education, whether it directly benefits your child or not, will benefit all of us.
Creating a passion for electronics doesn't need to involve a college at all. Jameco is lucky enough to have an employee that never saw college as a good investment. He remembers that as a high school sophomore going to college just looked impractical. He wanted a career where he could use his hands and so he went to work in his family's house painting business. That's where he would be today if the economy hadn't taken a turn for the worse.
He came to Jameco shortly thereafter. Starting in the warehouse, it was quickly evident to all of us that he was capable of doing whatever he set his mind to. Interacting with the electronics components that Jameco sells, he discovered his new passion—electronics.
He quickly learned that a formal electronics education was not required to follow his newly found passion. Before he knew it he was designing electronics projects for others, wowing those with a more formal education and teaching others (including me).
While college is an opportunity to discover your passion, it's no guarantee. I had long graduated before I discovered mine. So allow me a moment to encourage everyone in our experienced audience to help spread the word about electronics.
Find someone to inspire. Find someone to teach. Find someone to introduce to electronics. Find someone to share your passion with. You may well make the biggest difference in their life.
Vice President, Marketing