By Milena Nutrobkina, Chemical Engineer, 2020-2021 SCS Student Advising Leader:
As an engineer earning your degree provides you with a lot of the engineering knowledge that you’ll need to have in order to be successful in your career. However, what you will learn in school is not everything. You will have the responsibility to understand the impact of the product in a global and societal context. So, it is important to engage in life-long learning. Typically, continuous learning in the industry comes from attending conferences, taking stretch projects, and seeking out extra training. To get in the groove of seeking out other skills besides what your curriculum, research, and jobs can provide, you can start by taking courses on Coursera or EdX as well as on LinkedIn learning.
LinkedIn Learning is a great starting point, as the course videos are short and can be resumed at any time without a deadline. Nevertheless, both Coursera/EdX and LinkedIn learning provide content to learn about a variety of subjects. This can include innovative tools and technologies, new business techniques, which are becoming increasingly more important in a time where a lot of businesses work remotely, and other concepts that may help you stand out from the crowd. Some LinkedIn courses that I have taken are:
- MATLAB Essentials: This course is one example of innovating tools. MATLAB was first introduced to me during my out of department research. Many engineers in the industry utilize some sort of coding software for modeling and solving complex equations. This course covered the basics of MATLAB, a useful tool used for complex computational problems. The modules went over the functions within MATLAB and examples to help solidify the concepts.
- Lean Six Sigma Foundations: This principle was first introduced to me in one of my internships. Many industries are starting to implement Lean Six Sigma principles into their manufacturing and business administration segments. This course covered the main focuses on Lean Six Sigma, explained its importance, and build the foundation to start learning at a higher level later on. This course is an example of a technique that businesses use in order to increase efficiency and productivity.
- Systems Thinking: Systems thinking is an important concept to understand and internalize with dealing with situations and events in our daily personal lives and careers. This is one aspect that is taught in the Leadership Certificate Program. This course laid out what systems thinking is, why it is valuable, and how to understand it. This course is great for people to enhance their leadership and interpersonal skills.
- There are many other courses that provide content about these examples as well as other topics such as personal growth and productivity.
Both opportunities, Coursera and LinkedIn learning provide certificates to indicate that you have learned a new skill. This will show that you have the drive to learn skills outside of what is provided for you as well as that you take initiative. These characteristics show strong internal skills that employers often look for during interviews. By starting to continuously learn early, it will distinguish you from the rest and maintain up-to-date technical skills.