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.
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.
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?"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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