Why Should Engineers Pursue CEUs?
In today’s highly competitive job market, professionals need to understand the value of keeping themselves up to date with the latest trends and technologies through advanced training courses and certifications. Those who want to climb the professional ladder must make continual efforts to improve their skills in order to stay relevant in today’s dynamic world. The importance of staying up to date is exceptionally high in several professions, including medicine, law, finance, and engineering. Engineers, in particular, can benefit significantly from pursuing continuing education units (CEUs). In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of CEUs and why professional engineers must seek continuing professional competency.
What are CEUs?
A continuing education unit, or CEU, represents ten hours of participation in an accredited program specially designed for professionals. These units are the metric used to analyze a professional’s commitment to any continuing education program. Registered engineers must complete a designated number of hours every year to keep their certificates up to date; however, the number of required CEUs varies from state to state.
Offered from accredited continuing education programs, these units allow engineers and other professionals to enhance their knowledge and skills. The International Association of Continuing Education Training (IACET) governs this system and has laid down specific sets of rules and policies, varying from profession to profession. According to IACET, the prime motive behind CEUs is to create a permanent record of professionals who have involved themselves with non-credit educational experiences. Any college, university, or organization that meets ANSI/IACET standards can award CEUs to participants.
Why Should Engineers Pursue CEUs?
Now that we’ve discussed what CEUs are, let’s look at the important questions that arise next: Why are CEUs considered important? And why do state engineering boards recommend or require that engineers participate in continuing education programs?
CEUs form an integral part of accredited continuing education programs that professionals use to enhance their knowledge base and skill set and to develop familiarity with the currently accepted practices. In this way, CEUs empower engineers with everything they need to excel in their field of interest. However, there are several other advantages to pursuing continuing education that are often ignored.
CEUs Enhance Your Marketability
In today’s world, where job postings can be expected to receive a response from multiple applicants, it is crucial to do everything necessary to project the right image. Since continuing education programs are designed while keeping the needs of the specific industries in mind, these programs can provide engineers with career-specific training, creating highly marketable candidates. Hiring managers may assume that applicants with professional development hours on their resume are more likely to perform better than a routine candidate, so they often show preference to people who show this kind of demonstrated commitment to their professional life.
CEUs Increase Your Earning Potential
A study conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed a direct connection between a person’s academic qualifications and their earning potential. In simple words, engineers with multiple certifications and degrees on their resume end up earning more money. CEUs not only help update an engineer’s knowledge base, but also empower professionals by helping them to sharpen the skills relevant to their field.
These days, companies are interested in hiring people who can handle multiple responsibilities. Instead of hiring two people for two jobs, organizations may prefer to hire a single person who can handle both the roles, even if that means hiring someone demanding higher pay. The valuable skills that professionals get from CEUs can allow them to diversify their abilities, which may give them more negotiating power with employers and more justification for asking for a higher salary.
CEUs Provide the Ideal Setting for Building a Professional Network
A person’s network can be their most significant asset in today’s highly competitive job market. Today, the most successful people are often those who are an integral part of several strong networks and can utilize these networks to their advantage. Continuing education programs allow individuals to meet like-minded people from their area of interest and strike up lifelong friendships that can also be pivotal in shaping their careers. In addition, continuing education events and conferences are ideal places to meet potential employers and partners. If you are an engineer who aspires to enter the world of entrepreneurship someday, pursing CEUs can prove to be highly beneficial for you.
CEUs Help You to Reevaluate Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Working in the same environment, with the same people, and doing the same tasks can leave a person feeling mentally exhausted. And, depending on how that person is performing in their role, they may also end up having either a very high opinion or a low opinion of themselves, based on their daily interactions in this environment. Continuing professional competency programs allow professionals to get out of their routine environment and test their skills and capabilities in a new setting. Thus, these programs allow people to reevaluate their strengths and weaknesses. When people know their strengths, they develop confidence in their abilities and are able to project themselves better in professional settings. Similarly, when people know their weaknesses, they can work on ways to improve and change themselves for the better.
CEUs Keep You Updated
In today’s dynamic and fast-paced world, to stay relevant, professionals must keep themselves updated with the latest skills and tools. This is especially true for engineers who constantly battle the pressure of keeping up with the latest technologies. Luckily, continuing education allows engineers and other professionals to do just that, which is one reason why state engineering boards encourage engineers to enroll in these programs. These days, it has become even easier and more accessible to complete continuing education programs and get certifications because you can do so from the comforts of your home. Gone are the days when working long shifts or not being able to leave the office or job site were excuses for not attending a course – several awarding institutions offer CEU credits through e-learning opportunities that can be accessed from anywhere.
As we’ve shown in this article, the importance of enrolling in continuing education programs and pursuing CEUs cannot be emphasized enough. Whether you are an ambitious person wanting to climb the professional ladder or an engineer wanting to recalibrate their career, continuing education units will go a long way in helping you to realize your professional dreams.