Continuing Education in Engineering With Technology

Dr. Purushothaman
November 30, 2013

Engineering is a professional degree that is earned after four years of study. Engineers are in great demand as technology progresses at a rapid pace and requires technocrats to push the “perceived” boundaries. Sadly, not many people consider continuing education in engineering as it takes up too much of their time. Some may even move to other fields thinking that they had lost touch with the subject.

Thankfully, these days many innovative technologies have sprung up that allow users to learn while on the job. Many of these courses are designed by renowned universities such as Stanford, MIT and the like. This article explores the importance of continuing education and how technology can help.

The Need

The need for continuing education in the field of engineering is quite straightforward: there is more to discover. This simple mantra should be sufficient for the ardent engineer to continue his or her education. A simple graduation would introduce one to only the tip of the iceberg that is engineering. Further more, the boundaries of technology are regularly being drawn and redrawn as scientists all around the world discover more ways of doing the same thing, better. To keep in touch with the latest trends, it is important that one seeks to gain higher education.

In this fast paced world, where no one has the time to attend university classes, technology brings the classroom to them. With the advent of broadband mobile connectivity and wireless devices becoming ubiquitous, it is possible to, quite literally, have a university class at hand. Many universities around the world, such as MIT in USA, IIT in India, and Oxford in the UK are taking their world-class teaching methods online by providing free videos or tutorials through videos sharing sites like YouTube or through multiple CDs.

The courses that they offer online are very similar to the ones that they offer to their regular students at their campus. Some even conduct exams, after passing which the student receives a certificate of recognition that is more or less equivalent to the one that the university confers on its students. This has been especially helpful in educating students in far off areas.

There is a difference between computer based learning and computer based training. The former refers to the use of computers as a component of an established educational environment such as a classroom. Online classrooms belong to the computer based training category where the student learns subjects at his or her own pace. The videos can be reviewed as many times as the student may require.

Online chat programs allow students to out forward their queries to professional guides who are usually the regular faculty members of the institute.


Perceptions are difficult to change and there is certainly a lingering perception that the value of computer based training is much less than learning from actual classrooms. This is part true as the class environment and discussions are very hard to replace. However, this does not mean that the quality has to suffer for everyone to learn nearly the same thing. Quality teachers are hard to come-by on several fronts with the main reason being that teachers have still not moved away from classroom based teaching.

Continuing education is an important procedure if one requires to keep up the pace at which the world is moving around technology. With technology, this field will soon see a gradual growth in the number of students opting for E-learning.

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