Electronics distributors, particularly those that specialize in engineering and design volumes, are seeing an increase in orders from do-it-yourselfers and hobbyists. Often, people that tinker with electronics are also involved in the market in some other way. Distributors such as Jameco Electronics have found engaging with hobbyists can lead to business orders down the line.
A comprehensive study of electronics hobbyists released by Jameco found that over 68 percent of hobbyists believe electronics as a hobby is essential to fueling the American economy. Over 1,700 electronics hobbyists participated in the study, the Great American Electronics Hobbyist Census, conducted by the electronics component distributor.
In 2014, electronic component shipments in the United States grew by 4.9 percent, according to the Commerce Department—well ahead of the growth of the overall economy. Participants cited component availability and affordability as a driving factor behind future growth in the hobby.
“By all measures, the electronics hobby is booming,” said Greg Harris, Jameco vice president of marketing. “Our study found an underlying passion for electronics that builds the kinds of skills that make the American economy strong.” Serious electronics enthusiasts expect growth of the hobby to continue. More than half of the study respondents state they plan to increase the amount of electronics projects they complete over the next five years.
The study also revealed that half of hobbyists surveyed had no professional ties to electronics and that while 19 percent of engineering students today are women, just 2 percent of the participating electronics hobbyists were women. The study is broad in scope and reveals topics ranging from the component most revered to the fact that 77 percent of participants report having blown something up while participating in the hobby.
There were several other surprising results regarding electronics hobbyists:
- Hobbyists admit to blowing up things when working on their projects, both accidentally and purposefully.
- Half of all hobbyists are self-taught and continue to teach electronics to others.
- Most hobbyists’ first experience with electronics involved deconstructing something.
- The majority of hobbyists admit to keeping components they know they will never use.
For more information, please email Press@Jameco.com, call (650) 802-1540 or visit www.Jameco.com/ElectronicsHobbyists.