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Written by: Richard Agard
 ETA International certification competencies and resources can provide you with an opportunity to pursue a career in electronics. They inform you of what you need to know and allow you to demonstrate your knowledge with an industry-accepted certification. Competencies are available on ETA’s website, www. Competencies are a great resource for you to understand what the certification entails. If you are looking to test in a certain area, make sure to check out that specific competency beforehand to get a head start.
So, why choose the certification route? Certification sets those with the credential apart, or above, those without it. There are a number of advantages to seeking certification. Certification provides recognition of professional achievement. For many, achieving certification becomes a personal professional goal, a way to test knowledge and measure it against one's peers. Others see certification as an aid to career advancement. Many employers refuse to hire applicants if they can't show that they are knowledgeable in their field. Certification provides this proof. Certification holders also increase their earnings and promotion potential. ETA offers more than 80 different certifications in a variety of technology fields.
high school electronic engineering teacher once told me that there is a great deal of material from online sources, but he would often have to go through ten hours of online resources to find an hour of useful material.
You must find something that works for you. Look for material that holds your interest and talks to you at a level with which you are comfortable. You may come back to the material at a later point when your understanding has improved. There are a variety of videos available on YouTube, from commercially produced material utilizing animation to class lectures recorded with a cell phone. Former ETA CA, Bob DuHamel has a YouTube channel with 70,000 subscribers to his RSD Academy.
There is open courseware available from MIT and other schools and complete training programs available that were developed by the military. The NEETS (Navy Electricity and Electronics Training Series) can be found online. The NEETS program includes training manuals, tests, and answer keys to check your understanding. The Navy training program is great but is written at a high level. I find some of the training programs produced by the Air Force are easier to read.
Another route is an online electronic simulator called Tinkercad Circuits which will allow you to perform your own experiments. Tinkercad was designed for educators and provides a lot of support for those looking to test their skills. It allows you to design and test your circuits in a simulation. There are many tutorials available on Tinkercad, including editing and wiring components, adding components, breadboard simulations, Ohm’s Law simulations, and much more. Tinkercad also allows you to explore microcontrollers and coding. The various website forums can help answer your questions and give you circuit ideas.
There are also electronic kits, that are great for hands-on training. The Awesome Cube is a great kit that provides experience with surface mount training and is used by the industry for training employees.
The immense resources and information available on the internet are incredible. ETA International can help you to utilize that information to advance your career in the electronics industry and proudly display your achievement through accredited certification.
 This is in no way trying to discourage you from pursuing a formal electronics education, but rather to give you a way to pursue the field and get started before making a financial commitment. ETA is an affordable and trustworthy option.
You can see the competencies associated with each exam to the right of each certification listed on ETA’s website. Think of these competencies as your syllabus directing your course of study. By researching each individual competency, you will be developing your own learning plan.
However, there are a variety of study materials available online, free of charge, that you can utilize alongside competencies. A
   6 | highTECH NEWS | MARCH/APRIL 2023

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