Companies looking to support their engineers’ continued learning have a wide array of options for promoting agile and effective learning and skill acquisition.

How We Should Design Learning Experiences at Work

Aug 26, 2022

by ASME.org

The last few years have permanently changed the nature of work. 

The work-from-home revolution, spurred by the confluence of the COVID-19 pandemic and readily available digital collaborative technologies, has led businesses to rely on flexible, often remote work arrangements for employees. Just as notable is the rapid change in relevant engineering skillsets. Engineering professionals need to constantly adapt their skills as the fourth industrial revolution remakes the technology landscape.  

This new world of work demands new ways to foster learning—and advances in learning experience design and remote technology have made learning for engineers more accessible than ever before.  

Importance of continued learning 

Investing in your employees’ ongoing learning isn’t just the right thing to do for their careers. It’s a vital way to retain talent and rise to the challenges of a changing industry.  

Retaining top talent 

A lack of career development opportunities is the second most common reason for employees to leave their current employer, and employers who offer professional development opportunities are 34% more likely to retain their employees in the long term. 

Supporting your engineers’ ongoing learning demonstrates that you care about their continued career development and makes it easier to retain your most knowledgeable and talented team members. 

Adapting to a rapidly changing industry 

Today’s engineering field is constantly shifting as new digital technologies reshape design, manufacturing, and more. According to some estimates, at least half of today’s engineers will need to learn new skills by 2025 to keep up with the industry's evolving demands.  

To maintain a competitive edge, you’ll need a plan to support your engineers’ continued learning and development. Many of the technologies that will shape the industry ten years from now don’t even exist yet, which means your engineers need the opportunity to learn as new developments arise.  

Helping your engineers retain licensure 

Your company’s professional engineers probably need to earn ongoing Professional Development Hour (PDH)/Continuing EducationUnit (CEU) to maintain their licensure with your state board. You can help your engineers retain their credentials by covering the costs of their PDH courses or offering them paid time off to pursue their ongoing learning & development. 

Designing new learning experiences for engineers 

In previous years, the conventional wisdom was that learning was best done either in the classroom or on the job. However, not all engineers have the time or resources for additional education, and on-the-job experience doesn’t always allow your engineers to develop the macro-competencies or new technological skills they’ll need to thrive in the engineering world of tomorrow.  

Companies that want to provide their engineers with relevant, accessible learning opportunities should embrace the latest trends in learning experience design.  

Online and on-demand learning 

Online learning is now more accessible than ever before. Advances in both learning design and remote technology have allowed for the development of increasingly effective online learning experiences.      

And while many online courses involve learning through online classrooms, on-demand self-study courses are gaining traction as affordable and convenient methods for building professional skills. Not every engineer has the flexibility to attend classes at a set time every week, but on-demand courses can allow engineers to learn new skills at their own pace and on their own time.  

Microlearning 

In recent years, learning experience designers have come to embrace the value of microlearning: small, easily digestible learning modules that engineers can complete in only a few hours. Courses broken down into microlearning modules can be significantly more helpful and accessible to busy engineers, many of whom have limited time each week to devote to professional development activities.  

Studies suggest that microlearning can also boost retention in an online learning environment, making this kind of modular learning environment ideal for engineers looking to build and retain new knowledge.  

Soft skills and collaboration 

In the past, education for engineers was primarily focused on the hard skills and technical knowledge engineers needed to perform their jobs. But as the industry evolves at an accelerated rate and remote collaboration becomes the norm, employers are realizing how vital developing employees’ soft skills can be. 

New engineering technologies are developed and adopted every year. The technical skill set today’s engineers use every day may be outdated in just a few years—but soft skills such as leadership, team management, and collaborative problem solving will always be helpful to your engineering team.  

Today, there are a number of virtual courses available that are designed to help your engineers develop essential soft skills and learn to collaborate effectively within teams and across disciplines. 

The latest engineering courses, now 25% off 

As a leading developer of educational resources for engineers, ASME offers a wide range of courses designed to help engineers develop both theoretical knowledge and applicable skills. Our team is composed of both experienced engineers and learning experience designers who work in tandem to create learning experiences that serve the needs of modern engineers.  

With hundreds of relevant courses to choose from, ASME’s accredited, skill-based learning solutions support the success of your employees and your business.   

For a limited time, get 25% off our on demand courses when you buy for a group of 5 or more. Use code 5FOR25 at checkout to train on: 


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