Invest in Yourself Through Continuing Professional Education


For many people, formal education ends in early adulthood. However, today’s fast-paced and rapidly evolving world requires professionals to stay up-to-speed in their field or risk falling behind. Investing in continuing professional education throughout your career is critical to remaining a high-performing contributor in your field. A wealth of research also confirms that companies which promote a culture of continuous learning and invest in their employees’ development and career advancement benefit as well.

Here are a few examples of the tremendous impacts that continuing education are having on today’s workplace.

Reported Benefits of Providing Educational Opportunities

According to a survey of 4,000 professionals within LinkedIn’s recent Workplace Learning Report, 94% of employees said that they’d stay at a company longer if that organization invested in their professional development. 

A recent Pulse of Talent study by HR software and service provider Ceridian revealed that people who work for companies that invest in employee professional development are 83% more likely to feel happy in their job. This study and other research confirms that job satisfaction contributes to greater employee retention, loyalty, engagement, and productivity.

Based on an analysis of three million worker surveys by employee recognition and engagement expert Bob Nelson, Ph.D. in his book, 1,001 Ways to Engage Employees, learning and development opportunities ranked as the second most important factor, after compensation, in determining employee engagement.

The benefits of an engaged workforce— aided by a culture of learning and development opportunities— are significant to companies. According to a 2022 Gallup poll, highly engaged business units experience 81% less absenteeism, 14% greater productivity, 18% higher sales, 23% greater profitability, anywhere from 18-43% less employee turnover, and 10% higher customer ratings than business units with less engaged employees.

According to The Enterprise Guide to Closing the Skills Gap, a recent IBM survey of over 5,250 executives worldwide, the half-life of professional skills— which was once 10-15 years— has declined to just 5 years. This means that “half of the knowledge associated with those skills will become irrelevant within 5 years.” Given the rapid rate of technological evolution, the report noted that the half-life is even shorter for technical skills. This finding has led many industry experts to contend that employee career development and continuous learning opportunities, particularly in the technical fields, aren’t just a bonus, but rather a company’s responsibility and obligation.

Corporate Approaches to Continuing Professional Education

Companies around the world are employing a number of creative approaches when it comes to their employees’ professional growth and development.

For example, computer network manufacturer 3Com encourages its engineers and other technical workers to meet with customers as a way to help “behind-the-scenes” employees build customer-facing skills. It also helps 3Com employees gain a better understanding of how their engineering efforts are utilized in real-life applications.

US-based software firm Full Beaker, Inc. provides each employee with US$1,500 each year for their professional growth— to be used on books, courses, professional conferences, “or anything that makes the employee better at what he or she does for the company,” said company SEO Director Shavkat Karimov.

Another example is Cisco Systems GmbH, headquartered in Hallbergmoos, Germany, which is proud to give employees regular access to what they call “the three Es”: education, experience, and exposure.

Build IEEE Into Your Continuing Professional Education Plans

Former Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterme once said that if you feel good in your role, “that’s the perfect time for you to experiment with something new, to get out of your comfort zone.”

However individuals and companies choose to engage in continuing professional education, the positive contribution that continuous learning makes to both employee and organizational growth is undeniable. IEEE offers a broad range of courses on relevant topics that can help individuals keep building their skills in order to advance personally and professionally. Furthermore, from an organizational perspective, companies who foster a culture of continuous learning can enjoy positive forward motion as a result of the proactive investments they make in their workforce.

Here are some of the newest course programs from amongst the extensive breadth of continuous learning opportunities from IEEE:

Energy Efficiency, Sustainability, and Climate Change

Minigrids, which distribute electricity generated by renewable sources such as solar panels, wind turbines, battery storage, hydropower, and diesel generators, are becoming increasingly critical for the nearly 800 million people worldwide who currently have no access to electricity. Given that two-thirds of that number live in sub-Saharan Africa, IEEE created a new four-course program, Minigrids in Africa. In this course program, learners will explore the context and roles for minigrids in Africa as well as appropriate technologies and maintenance, sustainability, operational, and regulatory and policy considerations for connecting to national grids. Learn More>>

Given the many facets of climate change and their far-reaching effects, Engineering Solutions for a Sustainable Future, a new course from IEEE, provides a solid overview of the extent of activity and innovation in sustainability solutions. Broken into seven easily digestible 7-10-minute modules, this course covers everything from intelligent urban networks that can alleviate congestion and Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) solutions for distribution system reliability to hybrid home energy management systems for emission reduction, sustainable IoT device development solutions, energy-efficient data center climate control policies, optimal resource scheduling based on export rates, and electric vehicle battery swapping stations. Within the convenient timeframe of just one hour, learners will receive a thorough overview of modern-day engineering solutions to some of the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges. Learn More>>

High Performance Computing

Though high performance computing has been used for decades in academic and government settings, the massive quantities of data now being processed and shared across a broad range of industries and mission-critical applications is driving the demand for greater and faster computing power. High Performance Computing Technologies, Solutions to Exascale Systems, and Beyond, a five-course program developed in partnership with IEEE Future Directions, introduces learners to techniques for addressing challenges in the Exascale era, insights into the leading edge of HPC research, and other topics. Learn More>>

Configuration Management

With the threat of costly and destructive cyber attacks involving ransomware, malware, computer worms, and other nefarious forms of software on the rise, configuration management— an IT process that establishes configuration standards for each asset in a company’s network and automatically alerts business leaders of inconsistencies— is becoming an increasingly standard approach for companies to reduce their vulnerability. Software & Hardware Configuration Management in Systems Engineering, a five-course program, takes learners through the basics of building reliable software, employing best systems engineering practices, and other topics. Learn More>>

Invest in Yourself and Your Career Today

In addition to the sense of personal achievement that comes with investing in your own professional development, successfully completing continuing education through IEEE can help get you recognized in the field.

Through the IEEE Credentialing Program, learners who demonstrate proficiency in a topic can earn an IEEE digital badge, a credential recognizing the completion of continuing education or the acquisition of a skill through participation in an IEEE course or event. With the ability to be displayed on resumes, social media, and email signatures, digital badges can elevate an individual’s professional status and career. They can also help companies to develop their employees’ individual knowledge base and collective strength in the market. As the world’s largest technical professional home, IEEE offers the relevant content that engineers need to stay ahead, and digital badges represent both an assurance of quality education for employers as well as a source of pride for learners.

Make an investment in yourself and your future today by checking out the aforementioned course programs or the many other continuing professional education opportunities available through the IEEE Learning Network (ILN)!


Markovic, Isidora. 7 Statistics That Highlight the Value of Continuous Learning. eduMe.

Nelson, Bob, Ph.D. (25 September 2018). How Learning & Development Impacts Employee Engagement. Training Industry.

Harter, Jim. (13 August 2022). Employee Engagement vs. Employee Satisfaction and Organizational Culture. Gallup.

Gurchiek, Kathy. (30 September 2019). Employers Need to Broaden Strategies to Close Skills Gap. SHRM.

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