In today’s global marketplace, technology is advancing faster than the span of the traditional 4-year degree. Employers are finding it more difficult to find qualified engineering and technology candidates to fill their open positions in fields like cyber security and the internet of things (IoT) while keeping their existing staff up-to-date on rapidly changing technological advancements. In addition, 1 in 5 workers (20%) say their professional skills are not up-to-date. (CareerBuilder 2017). Companies are realizing that it is imperative to fill these gaps with continuing education programs.
But where does this continuing education come from?
- Some employers develop in-house training programs that are custom-built for the needs of their company and industry. This can either be done through internal subject matter experts, or by hiring expertise from outside the company.
- Another approach is to purchase continuing professional education training from organizations that make it their business to keep technical professionals ahead of the curve.
Sometimes, though, the knowledge itself isn’t enough. Many engineering and technology professionals are required to complete annual accredited continuing education courses in order to maintain state licenses while keeping up with technological advancements. Providing employees with the opportunity to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or Professional Development Hours (PDHs) at the conclusion of the training your company provides offers a value-added benefit to the programs, increasing employee satisfaction and retention. Employees can display these credentials publicly on LinkedIn, demonstrating their knowledge and expertise.
Some continuing professional education providers are certified to offer CEUs and PDHs for their training. Training providers and in-house company trainers that are not certified often turn to organizations like IEEE that have programs that allow training providers to offer CEUs and PDHs for approved programs. Learn more about offering CEUs and PDHs for your technical training programs.
There are a number of advantages to employers that offer these education programs. Some of these benefits include (Kaplan University 2017):
- Train qualified future leaders from within the organization
- Through professional development programs, your employees hone skills needed to be the movers and shaker of the organization for tomorrow.
- Invigorate creativity
- When employees feel like their employer is invested in their growth and success, this creates an environment conducive to new ideas and creative problem solving.
- Increase profitability through efficiency
- Through sharing their learning experiences, employees can learn from each other and translate that into improved work processes and increased profitability.
Interested in providing technical continuing professional education for your company? Learn more about the IEEE eLearning Library, and how you can offer it to the technical professionals in your organization.
(2017) 5 Benefits of Professional Development. Kaplan University