The Value in Continuing Professional Education

Surveys of IEEE members regularly show that continuing professional education is one of the main reasons they join IEEE. IEEE members believe that continuing professional education should be a benefit of IEEE membership. 

Investing in lifelong learning allows individuals to learn about new and upcoming technical and career-focused topics that help them further develop their skills after they have entered the workforce. A university degree alone no longer provides all of the knowledge an engineer needs throughout their entire career. It is essential that technical professionals continue to grow in their knowledge and skills in order to achieve career advancement.

Anis Ben Arfi served as the general chair for the 2020 IEEE Rising Stars Conference. Currently, he volunteers with IEEE Ottawa Section and chairs the IEEE Canada Humanitarian Initiatives Committee. Arfi recently graduated and started working with radio transmitter architectures. He used the IEEE Learning Network (ILN), an online platform that offers educational content from across IEEE, to search for online courses to better understand Radio Frequency Transmitters’ performance. 

“At my workplace, creativity and innovation are highly encouraged. I consider that regular literature reviews are a good way to stay current with the new inventions and proposed technical solutions,” stated Arfi. “In fact, I always investigate new methodologies and techniques and propose them to my team. ILN is a great resource for research findings and informative professional development lectures. The educational material on ILN  provides valuable content that I know will have a positive impact in the advancement of my career.”  

After completing a course from IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society (SSCS), Arfi saw the value in the educational material available and joined SSCS.

Other ILN users also found that they were able to find content that not only helped them earn continuing education units (CEUs) or professional development hours (PDHs) for their professional licenses, but helped them learn about topics that were of interest to them personally. 

In a recent survey of ILN users, one respondent wrote, “I need to complete continuing education courses to maintain my professional engineering license and want to use this opportunity to enhance my knowledge in engineering that can apply to my work or to keep abreast of new developments. The courses I most recently took provided a good overview of topics that are relevant to the background knowledge I think is necessary to keep up with technological changes.”

While many professionals may have reached the end of their formal education, learning never stops. A majority of ILN users say that they purchased a course to help them learn a new skill or topic or refresh their knowledge. Over 65% of survey respondents said that they plan to apply the skills they learned through the continuing education courses to their current positions. 

What is the IEEE Learning Network (ILN)?

With hundreds of courses offered from 19 course providers – and more added all the time – ILN offers the latest in continuing education for engineers and technology professionals who want to advance professionally, refresh skills, or stay up-to-date with the latest trends.

In the past, finding all of the continuing education offered by IEEE required an individual to search more than 60 different websites, platforms, and portals. Members and volunteers have shared their desire for a centralized site for educational offerings. 

ILN provides users the ability to: 

  • Search through IEEE’s hundreds of online educational offerings
  • Bookmark a place within a course and return to it later
  • Access a transcript of learning in progress and completed
  • Learn what’s new in the world of continuing education at IEEE
  • Earn digital certificates immediately, then view and print on-demand
  • Complete dynamic assessments to test knowledge of course content
  • Participate in surveys/evaluations to provide feedback and recommendations for improvement 

Anyone can access ILN and search the catalog of course offerings, which offers educational content on a variety of topics such as engineering, technology and more. Visit iln.ieee.org to learn more. 

Are you an active IEEE member? Check out IEEE Educational Activities weekly selection of courses that you can purchase for US$10 each.