I like to play with new devices and breadboard them. Nothing is better than to see the results of having something new work out, or troubleshooting something that didn't work out.
Plus, Design News has lots of on-line training, as does DigiKey. And reading these articles, and those of other publications as Electronic Design or EDN gives me a smattering of new information from lots of perspectives.
Then of course, Ideas for Design is my all time favorite for keeping up with circuits.
Depends on how they stand on State reissue proceedures and Inter State association agreements, etc. For example Jack, CCCCD in Plano TX 10 years ago under the dirrection of Dean Ann Beheler, started the Convergence Technology program that quickly found huge success. So much so that Dallas TI engineers attend CCCCD to upgrade their 90K$/yr jobs into 120K$ to 150K$/yr jobs.
This became a new registration opportunity for states (many over the last 10 years) that also codified these opportunities into/for revenue production not to mention gold for the the educators. In CCCCD's case the federal grant cash was so persistant that Orange County CA stole Ann away to start their West Coast program. Expansion has continued ever since coast to coast, boarder to boarded. In short one of the best new producers of cash flows in the last ten years for folks that like hands on (other than a computer keyboard) employment!
I should note that Systems Technology Integration, offered at schools like UT Dallas, is sometimes confused orwrongly refered to as Systems Convergence Technology, which is NOT the same and the terms should not be used interchangeably. [For those interested see the CCCCD Convergence Technology their web site.]
Ozark Sage, I understand what you're saying, however, what's the financial advantage for the State to change the registration requirements? Most of the continuing education will be done through private sources, rather than through the universities. In fact, most of it will probably be done online, through the employer or through out-of-state businesses, yielding nothing to the state - or to the Department of Licensing.
Jack you infer a good question which requires an elaborate detailed anwser. Since I seem to have, unknowingly, been blessed by (of use to) various players of widely differing agendas and opinions relative to educational degrees, certifications, and CECs I should like to relate my experiences to you and all who read this.
It all began in my attending several colleges in New England at the same time. It became a mess due to several of the schools I was attending being merged and moreover name changes and staff consolidation that followed. I didn't help the matter since I insisted attending certain night classes to get the profs that did consulting days while their grad students taught the classes they should have. In short disputs exist about my transcripts to this day. PS I will be 70 next year.
So how did this affect me over the last 30 years? Not badly at all as I see it! I enjoy a good reputation in various fields, have served on advisory boards of three colleges, built four corporations, am a retired military officer, a high time pilot, still married to the same woman, have nine grand kids, one greart grand kid and one more on the way.
So how does the scrambled eggs behind your name group (professional educators, state certification offices, pro-orgs, etc.) see this? They see it ALL FOR THE MONEY! Ask yourself why a full time programmer, engineer, teacher, or other worker using standard software, code, specs, techniques, etc and attending their relative professional groups meetings is required to meet standards set by others external to their chosen profession. Yes it is FOR THE MONEY!
My state recently changed the requirement for maintaining my PE license. Instead of being able to focus my limited training time on things that are of specific interest to my job and professional development, I now need to make sure they have CEU's or PDH's attached to them. Luckily, some of this is available through my membership in the IEEE Computer Society. Unfortunately, another requirement is that a chunk of the hours have to be with a "live" instructor with student interaction.
I agree with that, Chuck. Asking questions can get you behind the public details (be it press release or presentation) to the real story. Asking questions can get you to the real story on how products or events affect how engineers do their jobs.
Your comment "Giving back is both gratifying and useful for staying informed" and "Researching the topics for a presentation can be very useful" reminded me of a past remark I made herein (DN) about education and how the IEEE, SPE, and local executives supported school systems in the North Texas Metroplex. One of the replys made to me was how to circumvent higher education to save thoes costs via chosing other vocations. This surely is true since I have met Hot Dog vendors that make far more than PEs. I guess the question becomes, what human inter- actions satisfy ones personality needs?
For systems oriented people l think a wide variety of publications contribute to our widely varied opinions, so for kicka I offer my perferred reading list as a commercial systems corporation exec.
In no particular order, it is:
Sound & Video Contractor, Boating Industry, Via Satellite, Healthcare AV, Digital Signage, Live Sound International, EE Evaulation Engineering, Power & Motoryacht, Showboats International, Information Week, SVC sound & video contractor, Commercial Integrator, event DV, Sound & Communitations, and other digital pubs such as DN. We retain all print publications in our reference libarary for at least 3 years and those we are featured in permanently.
Chuck, I am a systems and software engineering consultant. I have been a member of the IEEE for over a quarter of a century. I have always found the conferences useful. Lately I have been involved in the local section (I am the secretary for a subsection and the chair of the local Computer Society chapter). Giving back is both gratifying and useful for staying informed. I also like the publications. I am never without one and I read whenever I have a chance. I have also started giving lectures at IEEE meetings. Researching the topics for a presentation can be very useful.
Of cource, publications like Design News and EE Times are very informative. It helps to keep up with trends in the industry.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.