Is Continuing Education Worth the Effort?

by Albert J. Morris, Pres.; Genesys Systems, Inc., Palo Alto, Calif.,

Serial Information: Issues in Engineering: Journal of Professional Activities, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 2, Pg. 107-122

Document Type: Journal Paper


A pilot study was performed aimed at determining the relationship between measurable performance of engineers on the job and participation in continuing education (CE). It was expected that inherent ability and the willingness to work aggressively and diligently and spend extra hours when required (DRIVE) would most likely be the best predictors of performance and that the effects of CE would be small. The results appear otherwise. CE participation is the dominant predictor of performance. Participation in technical, business, and other CE are significantly positively related to growth in compensation, and participation in business CE is significantly positively related to growth in supervisory responsibility. DRIVE is most strongly related to the rating of chief engineers. The results seem to indicate that the effects of CE participation may be cumulative over time. The findings also suggest that mental stimulation, provided by exposure even to non-job-related courses, may be an important factor.

Subject Headings: Education | Quality control | Personnel management | Ratings

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