September 3, 2002

Contact: Bob Bruce, 503-725-5714
Source: Bob Dryden, 503-725-5705

Continuing professional education supported by veteran engineers

PORTLAND - Working professional engineers in Oregon are walking the talk when it comes to supporting and participating in continuing education, according to a new survey.

A majority of engineering and technology managers, just surveyed for the Oregon University System, rate ongoing career education as very important and are active participants in courses designed to stay on top of technology and management changes. In August, 110 members of the Engineering Education Roundtable (EER) responded to an online survey developed for the office of the vice chancellor for engineering and computer science.

The EER represents engineering, technology and human resources managers from companies and institutions throughout Oregon. The EER was formed earlier this year. Fifty percent of survey respondents have 20 or more years of professional experience and 45 percent hold a master's degree or Ph.D.

"The survey gives educators valuable marketing information and shows us where public institutions can do a better job of supporting Oregon industry," says Robert D. Dryden, vice chancellor. (Go to for the complete survey and Dryden's analysis of the survey results.) Surveyed on continuing professional education issues, the EER reported that:

  • 84 percent say continuing education is essential or very important.
  • 77 percent take two or more continuing education classes a year.
  • 91 percent of the respondents are likely to take a professional continuing education class within the next 12 months.
  • 81 percent say continuing education would benefit everyone in their profession

Most roundtable members (70 percent) say continuing education classes are very or somewhat accessible to their home or work and are taught at convenient times. Most engineering or technical professionals take classes sponsored by a professional association (68 percent) or as part of a company, in-house training program (59 percent). Just 18 percent have taken continuing education classes via the Internet and 22 percent say they are very likely to take a class online.

The type of classes that will best meet the needs of engineering and technical professionals re non-credit short courses or programs that offer Professional Development Hours and Continuing Education Units for licenses. Roundtable members prefer to take continuing education classes in a traditional classroom setting or in a Web-based format.

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