At one time, amateur radio was a good gateway into an engineering career, but I have real doubts this is true today. In my younger days, when I started as a professional radio engineer nearly everyone who was any good was a radio amateur. When I left 7 years ago, I was the only person doing any amateur radio building over my lunch break. The magic is no longer there. In fact people are embarrassed to admit they are radio amateurs. We need to find what connects with the younger generation or the future of our hobby is at great risk.
I think I have mentioned on my blog before that when interviewing potential RF design engineers with good honours degrees I was appalled to find that most knew nothing about radio. I knew more as a schoolboy. This is a sad indictment of our times. It was not that I was good (I was not) but the quality of good engineers was not there any more. There was little intrinsic interest in radio – if it was in the course they might know about it. As youngsters, we were excited about radio! Where is that spark today?