I'm 56. I learned how to repair all kinds of crap, including electronics. Just last month the power switch on my lamp broke, so I bought a new one and fixed it in about an hour, which included the time it took to go to the corner hardware place to buy the replacement part. But that's rare these days, and as others have noted, much electronics is integrated circuitry. Occasionally, yeah, a transistor might die, or a a capacitor leaks or fries up, bu that's very uncommon, and many things have such tiny parts that even if you could repair it, you need special tools.
So when my laptop fries up I can't repair it with my Snap-On collection of wrenches. So, when something like a laptop fries, I go buy another one. I never buy new - I buy used ones for cheap. I'm not going to fix my laptop or microwave oven or telephone. To imply that I should is stupid.
If that kind of throw-away society is suboptimal for the professor, then the problem is the *throw-away society*, not some deskilling operation.