How Engineers are Investing in Their Professional Development
2021-03-16 | 6 min read
It’s hard to believe that nearly a year has passed since a large swath of the business world began working remotely, and many of us transitioned to doing just about everything from home. At times it has felt like the longest year, but it also seems to have passed in the blink of an eye. We’ve learned that people are incredibly resilient, and we have seen this first-hand in our families and friends, our colleagues, our customers, and our businesses. It is truly inspiring.
One of the benefits of remote work has been carving out more time for professional development. The dramatic halt to business travel has undoubtedly been a factor. According to the U.S. Travel Association, there has been a 70% decline in business travel spending. And while I miss it, let’s not forget how exhausting business travel could be at times!
I’ve always been passionate about continuous learning, in part due to my natural curiosity and engineering background. I know I am not alone. A recent report by LinkedIn Learning notes they have seen a significant surge in learner engagement on their platform, reporting that from 2019 to 2020, the number of enterprise learners has more than doubled. The amount of learning has also increased by 58 hours per learner.
As a leading technology company, Keysight partners closely with our customers to help them accelerate their innovation strategies and bring new technologies to market faster. This requires that we anticipate customer needs by innovating ahead of the most advanced and emerging technologies globally. It also underscores why continuous learning is an essential part of our culture. Over the past year, we’ve worked hard (and fast) to develop robust professional development resources to help customers stay productive and make the most of the remote work environment.
Customers Value Ongoing Learning Opportunities
In May of last year, our team launched Keysight University, an interactive online learning platform for engineers and students to learn test and measurement fundamentals and best practices. The platform was initially scheduled for release later in the year but was accelerated due to the remote-work environment. It launched with half a dozen courses covering mainly measurement techniques and
how-to product basics.
Fast forward to now, Keysight University offers 50 courses, with more in development, and provides users with custom learning paths based on areas of interest. More than 25K engineers have registered for the online courses, which span beginner to advanced, across a wide variety of topics, including automotive, ethernet, data center security, high-speed oscilloscopes, IoT, and quantum to name a few. I recently took some of our latest courses and found them both interesting and informative, including The New Space Frontier, 5G and Industry 4.0, and Architecting a Real-Time Radar Recorder.
As a marketer, I’m always interested in understanding what our customers find most valuable. To gather more insights, we issued a survey to over 50K engineers to gain insights on how they learn, where they learn, and what topics they find most interesting. Some of the key takeaways include:
• 95% of respondents are investing in learning, with 69% committing to more than 5 hours a month
• Their preferred learning format is videos ranging from 10-45 minutes in length
• In terms of biggest challenges: 28% of respondents said it is keeping up with the latest standards and 24% said it is making precision instruments
• 38% of respondents indicated artificial intelligence is the emerging technology they are most interested in exploring
It’s gratifying to see the growing numbers of customers from industry-leading companies, as well as educators and students from universities around the world, leveraging our learning platforms to support their professional development. A recent report from Monster stated that 23% of professionals reported learning new skills and improving existing ones is a top priority. Keysight is committed to enhancing our learning tools in 2021 and beyond to support you in building your skills and continuing your development journey, and I’ll be right beside you. If you haven’t explored Keysight University, I encourage you to do so and think you’ll find the courses valuable.