This guest post is from the CEO of SolidProfessor. Our 3D Engineer readers can currently get a free SolidProfessor account.
Engineers and designers who want to get (and keep) their skills sharp, can no longer rely on one-time training to stay on the cutting edge. Often, the engineers who need training the most are the ones who have been in their professions the longest. Why? They are frequently still using the best practices they learned when starting their career, instead of current capabilities and techniques. Engineering software is evolving more rapidly than ever; engineering training has evolved as well.
The new iteration of engineering training is based in continuous learning, helping engineers and designers stay current with the latest capabilities and best practices. Training is most effective when incorporated into someone’s work, delivered in short segments, and available on demand. Here are some hallmarks of the next generation of engineering training:
Incorporating Training into Daily Design Challenges
The most effective way to retain new skills is to learn while solving everyday engineering challenges. Committing to a few minutes every day to learn the right way to complete a task, instead of powering through a makeshift solution, is a small habit that can change your career. The old model of “once and done” training, or even annual training, is no longer enough to maintain proficiency with the tools – much less stay competitive with increased rates of innovation in product design and development. Skills retention improves dramatically when you’re able to immediately apply concepts to real life situations.
Bite Sized is the Right Size
When presented with material in small doses, people retain more information. Learning with short lessons, also called microlearning, is essential for increasing knowledge retention and long-term productivity. In addition, concise lessons combined with interactive elements and hands-on exercises, keep people more engaged than long, monotonous lessons. Especially for busy engineers juggling multiple tasks and interruptions, training with short lessons is an easy way to build learning into your workday. By carving out just five minutes a day to learn a new skill and keep up to date, learning becomes an efficient way to stay at the top of your game.
Advancements in tools like 3D CAD software and rapid prototyping have accelerated how quickly engineers can bring their ideas to life. As the engineering industry evolves, it’s important to be prepared with the right software and tools for every job. Engineers and designers increase their ability to innovate when they have access to the learning they need, when they need it. Having access to on-demand training allows you to keep up with the speed of change, knowing the information you need is always at your fingertips.
Especially in engineering, the speed of change is rapid. An ongoing skills development program, scheduled into your work week, is essential. Smart investment in ongoing training is the hallmark of successful engineers, both today and in the future.
About the Author:
Tony Glockler is the CEO of SolidProfessor, which provides next-generation learning for teams, schools and individuals to keep up with rapidly evolving engineering tools and technologies. Sign up for a free SolidProfessor account and start learning today.