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Is continuous training in engineering vital?

I have heard about engineering continuing education though I have to complete my undergraduate degree in electrical engineering. I understand that this kind of training is for practicing engineering professionals. However, I fail to understand why I need to train again after enduring so many years in college studying for the course. Even if I love the career I have chosen to do, do I need to take lessons throughout my life to become an expert?  Why do people have to do continuous training? Is doing electrical continuing education when you are employed mandatory?

Dana Keller

in Higher Education

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Melissa Norris on May 9, 2018

The science professions such as medicine require more than a bachelor’s degree to enter the job market. This requirement is rare for engineering professions. Once you finish college, you will likely get absorbed into the industry immediately. This exception could be because that some engineering fields do not require licensing. Some practicing engineers may work very well their entire lives without a license or further education!

However, I would still recommend continuing education in your engineering specialty for these reasons:

  • Engineers need to keep abreast with the latest technology.

According to a recent survey, technological advancements in engineering is the top concern for most engineers. An engineering career primarily entails working with machines. These same machines have upgrades and new models are released every year with advancements in technology. Without advancing your knowledge to keep up with the times, you will encounter problems or issues that you are unable to handle.

  • Training helps you qualify for a higher salary.

In the recent times, there has been pressure on young graduate engineers to obtain more education immediately after undergraduate studies. This demand stems from the desire to attain a higher job status and salary. If you do not wish to start from the bottom, I would recommend you enroll in your master’s degree as soon as you are done with your bachelor’s. Alternatively, you can search for CE professional courses that can add value to your employability.

  • Licensing

It is not mandatory to obtain an engineering license, but it helps you. You are regarded as a Professional Engineer or PE once you are licensed by the state board. This license allows you to prepare and submit plans/ drawings to work on private and public projects for approval by the public authority.

However, this license is not easy to acquire. As an electrical engineer, this is where continuing education in electrical engineering comes in. Once you graduate, you should take a Fundamental Engineering exam (FE) then get at least four years’ experience under a licensed engineer (PE) before you can attempt the licensing exam. The ASME salary survey estimates that PEs have a significantly higher median salary per year as compared to their unlicensed counterparts.

Therefore, the importance of continuing with training cannot be stressed enough for technical courses. Not only will you get better remuneration, but also give better quality services to your clients. 

Wilson Hansen2 years ago

I think primarily continuous training in any field or career, not just engineering, is so that you can get a competitive advantage over your peers. Let’s assume in your undergraduate class; you have 30 other students. Among these students, three quarters are likely to complete and graduate. These are about 22-23 students.  Count the number of universities offering the same course in your city and state. They too are likely to have more or less the same number of students expected to graduate. Therefore, once you are out in the real world and look for employment, you will have the same papers as hundreds of other applicants.  So you will be asked at interview, “do you have anything else?”, this means any other certificate or qualification that makes you different from other interviewees.

Even if you plan on self-employing yourself, you will need to enhance your skills to get more projects. 


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