About Engineering Professional Development
The Office of Engineering Professional Development at the Watson School of Engineering, provides professional development and outreach services to the engineering community and technology intensive industry. Programs sponsored by the Office of Engineering Professional Development also support technology transfer and share the school's intellectual expertise with the global community. As part of the office's mission to support lifelong professional development, regular seminars, symposia, short courses, workshops, conferences and other programs are offered to the engineering community. These programs address emerging engineering issues vital to innovation and global competitiveness.
The Office of Engineering Professional Development also works directly with industry to design educational programs meeting very specific needs. Programs are made available via traditional classes and also through distance learning methodologies.
Today, it is the wise company or individual that recognizes that life-long professional development is an investment in the future and essential to corporate or personal success. We are seeing companies of all sizes begin to establish guidelines for employees regarding minimum numbers of class room hours needed each year. More companies are also investing in their employees and making professional development and educational programming more accessible for their people. We are also seeing a rebirth of the professional education plan for individuals where near-term and long-term professional development objectives are set cooperatively between the employee and his or her manager.
This more strategic approach to maintaining technological currentness has yielded dividends for the company in the form of increased productivity, new product development, shorter cycle times, and strengthened position in respective markets. We will certainly see continued emphasis placed on the importance of life-long professional development be it credit work toward an advanced degree or non-credit courses that keep people attuned to the latest advances in their field. Maintaining technical competence for engineers and other technical personnel is recognized by most technology oriented firms as an essential element of competitiveness. The technology oriented company must be agile and able to apply its engineering creativity toward the achievement of the company's mission. Anything less will spell disaster. However, keeping technical staff abreast of the latest technological advances is a challenging task in itself due to the demands on staff time. Thus, it is important to select programs that provide the greatest amount of new knowledge in an optimum time frame.
The Watson School National engineering symposia provide a brief but intensive exposure to leading developments in several product sectors. Other Watson School courses may be taken via distance learning technologies as needs and time availability dictate. Technical personnel can also keep up to date on a number of emerging technologies through the professional development lecture series.