Engineering is like many professional fields in that new methods, techniques and approaches are constantly being developed and recommended. This means that it is very important, in fact, essential that an engineer undertake continual learning to stay current within their field and profession. Continuing education thus should be made a priority for workers regardless of what sub-discipline of engineering they are working in. Workers should also realize that further study and acquisition of skills and knowledge could lead to promotion in their job. There really is no downside to studying further.
Those engineers that are licensed, have a Professional Engineer License , they should already be aware that they need continual education. Some states are requiring that engineers do such professional development, and in fact many courses are offered at universities. Courses can offer continuing-education units (CEUs) or professional-development hours (PDUs). For licensing requirements, it is recommended that professionals seek out courses that are taught by instructors that are authorized through the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). It is even better to find out from The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) which providers and courses should be taken.
There are various engineering societies that workers can join. These societies can also offer continuing education opportunities for their members. It is advisable for an engineer to really evaluate the course they plan on taking to ensure that the instructor is qualified and that the content is appropriate and aimed at the correct level. Sometimes it behooves engineers to take an extra course in areas outside of their discipline, it will help them with a specific job or project.
Today it is popular for engineers to take online courses or webinars, this saves time and money as it means that they do not have to travel and stay at a different location to take a course. Engineers who are not willing to undertake continuing education are more likely to lose their jobs or not be considered for promotion.
While in the past engineers would begin work with a bachelors’ degree, today employers in the workforce prefer to hire engineers who have postgraduate experience or education. For job security, not only should engineers take short continuing education courses, but they may want to consider the possibility of completing postgraduate degrees as well. As more and more graduates enter the workforce there is more and more competition for jobs and those candidates with higher qualifications or who have already taken extra courses, will be at an advantage during a job interview.
Taking continuing education courses also shows that you are a person who is looking forward to improving yourself and your skills and to learn new techniques. This makes you an asset for a company to have. Whatever field of engineering you are entering in, or you are currently in, you should consider completing continuing education courses.