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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.