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Training Is Biggest Obstacle for Industrial Engineers

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Elizabeth M
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Interesting stats
Elizabeth M   3/25/2014 5:52:12 AM
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This is interesting, Rob. I wonder if you ask employers of engineers if their biggest obstacle to hiring engineers is that many of those applying for jobs lack the training or qualifications for positions?

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Interesting stats
Rob Spiegel   3/25/2014 9:20:58 AM
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That's a great question, Elizabeth. And the answer is that training is probably the biggest deficit for incoming engineers.

ttemple
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Re: Interesting stats
ttemple   3/25/2014 5:47:57 PM
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If I felt that I was undertrained, I would take it upon myself to do something about it.  In the age of the internet, there is just no excuse to blame someone else for one's self diagnosed lack of training.  If there are not adequate online resources, there are books about everything.  I have gone to college book stores and purchased textbooks when I wanted to learn, but couldn't put the time in to attend classes.  I would get the books and study them myself.  Maybe having an instructor would have been better, but I didn't let that stop me when I wanted to learn something.

There are trade magazines, websites like this, youtube, etc., etc., etc.  Not to mention public libraries, where educational resources can be used at no cost.

I translate the lack of training as a lack of desire to learn.  I spend a lot of my own time learning, because I enjoy it, and it increases my marketable skillset.

 

Daniyal_Ali
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Re: Interesting stats
Daniyal_Ali   3/26/2014 3:29:49 AM
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Good points ttemple. There are two types of training as far as engineers are concerned, the one we find in the literature and the one we gather hands-on. 
You are right, we can find almost everything online these days, and not having the theoretical knowledge of basic concepts is liability of the engineer, but when it comes to practical knowledge, proper training needs to be done by the firm itself.
Being an engineer myself i have experienced that every firm has a unique way of doing things and consists of equipment that might be different than other organizations. Even if the engineers have an in-depth knowledge of how things work theoretically, the firms can't trust them with their equipment without proper training of the newbie. So yes training is something mandatory for the firms and can be considered as the biggest obstacle, as it not only costs money but also wastes valuable time. But it's all worth it if you consider the long term benefits a trained engineer could offer you.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Interesting stats
Elizabeth M   3/26/2014 4:45:42 AM
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I am not an engineer, but I personally find it far more difficult to learn merely by reading books or manuals. I think nothing beats hands-on, as real world as possible training, and I have no doubt many engineers and anyone learning anything new would agree with me.

William K.
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Re: Interesting stats
William K.   3/26/2014 2:43:51 PM
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Elizabeth, I am an engineer and while it is usually more fun to learn things "hands on", that is seldom an option when one is taking the initiative to become more educated. So I have availed myself of books and manuals and on quite a few occasions learning from "masters" of some skill, all on my own. Many employers were simply not willing to pay for educations, nor willing to allow the time for them.

Of course the other part of the education was always being willing to takle whatever was requested, which provided chances to polish my skills through using them on new things. So it is possible to become educated without having to depend on an employer to pay for the education, but it does take a bit of effort. And, on a few occasions, I also had to answer the question of "Where did you learn to do that?"

Pubudu
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Re: Interesting stats
Pubudu   3/29/2014 1:23:38 AM
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Elizabeth I think that it's a human nature.  Demonstrate is the best way of learning when it comes to new thing in the subject, cause that they will now the subject area. 

Elizabeth M
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Re: Interesting stats
Elizabeth M   3/31/2014 6:07:18 AM
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Yes, true, Pubudu. I know some people who can teach themselves new things quite easily out of books but I am not one of those people! And I suspect a lot of others are not either.

Pubudu
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Re: Interesting stats
Pubudu   3/31/2014 12:48:15 PM
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Elizabeth Yes some are born to teach, they will direct followers to go to the right of the top by passing the them self. 

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Interesting stats
Rob Spiegel   3/26/2014 10:12:45 AM
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Good points, Ttemple. As an example of what you're sahying, Design News has plenty of free online training programs, both radio shows and webinars. And they'll all archived, so we have quite a library.

ttemple
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Re: Interesting stats
ttemple   3/26/2014 10:28:19 AM
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Rob,

I have taken advantage of some of the Design News webinars.  I like the format, and have found them very beneficial.  I have listened to the first two in the PIC series that is going on this week, as a matter of fact.  Unfortunately I can't always participate when they are live, but I do when I can.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Interesting stats
Rob Spiegel   3/26/2014 10:38:02 AM
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I understand about not always being able to attend Design News programs live. That's the big advantage of the archive. You can listen on your own time.

Charles Murray
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Re: Interesting stats
Charles Murray   3/25/2014 5:49:07 PM
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Personally, I can understand why training would be critical for industrial engineers. Industrial engineering curriculums in school understandably tend to emphasize subjects like process optimization, systems engineering, ergonomics and queueing theory. Those kinds of subjects can form a foundation for success, but only when combined with good training in practice.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Interesting stats
Rob Spiegel   3/26/2014 10:14:34 AM
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Thanks Chuck. Good point. Another aspect of this is the ever-changing technology. Industrial engineering is on a steep tech ramp.

Pubudu
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Re: Interesting stats
Pubudu   3/27/2014 2:04:53 PM
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True Charles, I am also in the same thinking that you are in and I do believe that there should be an attention in attitude and positive thinking in order to get the maximum out of subject matter in practice. 

a2
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Re: Interesting stats
a2   3/27/2014 10:25:53 PM
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@Pubudu: Attention to detail is a must and also commitment is something which has to be 100%. If so there will be more and more openings and more and more positive signs to be seen in the future.       

Pubudu
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Re: Interesting stats
Pubudu   3/30/2014 12:15:15 PM
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You are right a2 cause this is engineering detail is also a must. 

a.saji
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Re: Interesting stats
a.saji   3/30/2014 11:26:03 PM
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@Pubudu: Yes technical specifications and the knowledge on it is a must. That will make things easier 

Elizabeth M
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Re: Interesting stats
Elizabeth M   3/26/2014 4:28:30 AM
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Interesting, Rob, so this is definitely an area that needs major improvement, and both hiring managers and engineers themselves are feeling it.

Gorski
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Industrial engineer training
Gorski   3/27/2014 9:04:24 PM
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In the "old days" when I attended college ther was something called a co-op program. You signed up for a major, attended two years of college then strated to work for a company on alternate semesters. It took about 5 1/2 years to graduate but the company had a trained and somewhat experienced engineer who could "hit the ground running." I don'e hear much about thesse programs now. If industry needs better trained engineers this is a proven way to go. Plus teh engineer hasa a job after graduation.

a2
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Re: Industrial engineer training
a2   3/27/2014 10:18:15 PM
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@gorski: Yes training is the best tool to develop and bring out the skills of the people / workers. Investing on training is essential but sadly certain companies do not believe in that.  

Pubudu
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Re: Industrial engineer training
Pubudu   3/29/2014 1:33:36 AM
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Exactly a2 Training is a not an expenditure it's an investment where it will bring the value for money in long run. It may not have a short term result where it can be measure. 

William K.
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Re: Industrial engineer training
William K.   4/4/2014 10:56:38 AM
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But consider who is talking! Of course a seller of training seminars is going to tell you that his product is the solution for all of your problems. What else could thel possibly say? Almost any good sales person would explain that the product that they sell will be the very best choice for solving whatever problem you have. That is what advertising is all about: Creating the need, percieved or actual. BUT Just consider the very high profit margin in seminars, and that there is almost no capital expense involved. MY brother did a detailed study about seminar presentations a while back and was able to present to his employer that they could double their profits by also selling seminars describing how the products that they sold would benefit their potential customers. 

Consider that a two-day seminar for a dozen people at $800 each would take in $9600, and the expenses would be typically the rental of a small conference room at a hotel, $500, coffee catering for two days, $250, and hand out materials, $100. Also two days pay for the presenter and an assistant, and there is still over $8000 profit. That is quite good for an organization that has only advertising and registration paperwork as expenses.

So if one's small company could use a boost in profits for very little investment, seminar presenting is a great way to get an income boost. And it would not interfere with the regular business very much.

NadineJ
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Re: Industrial engineer training
NadineJ   3/29/2014 8:57:08 PM
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About 15 or so years ago, I remember suppliers coming in to companies with instructional seminars.  It was great.  I don't see anything like it today.  It may be because I freelance but no one even talks about that type of informational session or training.

Overall, the workplace has changed.  Many seem to think that anyone who admits to needing training or refreshers are weak or unqualified.  It's unfortunate.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Industrial engineer training
Rob Spiegel   3/27/2014 10:27:43 PM
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Thanks for the comment Gorski. That sounds like a very useful program. That sould be widespread.

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