Strategies to Maximize Your CEU Investment
Many continuing education programs for professional engineers provide essential knowledge and training in rapidly evolving engineering practices. Few fields of study change as rapidly as engineering technology advances. Engineers are required to keep current with trends to maintain their licenses and certifications.
According to a recent survey, employers often don’t assist engineers in meeting their ongoing education requirements. Fortunately, there are free, low-cost and self-study programs for entry-level engineers to strengthen their skills and open opportunities to learn other specialties. The benefits of employer-based, PDH and self-study educational resources include:
- Building Confidence
Getting more experience in critical engineering-related calculations gives engineers more confidence in their abilities to engineer workable solutions across a range of challenges. The more exposure you get to the problems engineers face, the better prepared you will be a real-world situations.
- Covering Your Weaknesses
Everyone has an area of weakness caused by poor training, lack of native ability or simple interruptions of study time. Taking development courses can help you shore up any areas of weakness.
- Teamwork Practice
Working with others online can help you master teamwork and collaboration skills that are essential applications in the digital workspace.
- Essential Training for Specific Jobs
Degrees are commonly used immediately to join the workforce. Most engineers receive their bachelor’s degrees and anxiously try to find jobs. Many jobs don’t require licensing or advanced degrees, but engineers stuck in a dead-end career often decide to take courses for advanced certifications or to earn a master’s or doctorate degree.
- Changing Your Engineering Field
As you grow and learn in real-world jobs, you might decide to change your specialty for better income, greater personal satisfaction or easier physical work. Education courses can provide an easier path to advancement, and today’s online and self-study programs make it easier for anyone to pursue continuing education
Online courses for engineers to meet continuing education requirements are less expensive and intrusive than going to college full-time. You can study to meet state licensing requirements, change your core specialty, cross-train in a related field and earn a more advanced degree. Unlike college, you can interact with students as much or as little as you prefer.
Online studies cut to the chase. You only pay for the courses that you want, and you’re not saddled with general tuition, transportation expenses and the costs of accommodations. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection to get started.
Types of Programs for Engineer Professional Development
Career advancement for engineers can be vertical or horizontal. Education can help you explore other interdisciplinary areas – such as mechanical, electrical, civil or chemical specialties. You might want to take courses that better prepare you for new developments in technology or just brush up on basic math and science skills.
PDH-Pro offers many inexpensive online courses for exploring interdisciplinary programs, math courses, scientific advances and other topics. The costs are highly affordable – usually between $15 and $130, and you can pursue your professional development goals at your own pace.
It’s important to make a plan for development – if you want to get practical results. Educational programs for engineers include courses, webinars, podcasts, textbooks for self-study and other resources from ASCE and other engineering-related programs. Employers often sponsor training courses for their employees for advancement, cross-training and development purposes.
Professional Engineers Keep Informed for Career Advancement
You should keep current with advances, but it’s also important to network with other companies and people, join engineer associations and meet thought leaders. It’s much easier to build your contacts network when you take professional development classes.
The dynamic work of engineers doesn’t really change in the basics – math and science. However, new developments are introduced every day. Even if you work in a vacuum wearing blinders, you still need to know about advances in your core specialty. You need to know what’s going on in your field to stay on top of best practices.
Learning doesn’t stop, and keeping informed about changes, qualifying for updated certifications and meeting others in your industry are just a few of the benefits of professional development. Check the internet, ask your employer or get recommendations from your personal network of contacts about how to advance your skills.