This article was published in the October 2017 issue of benchmark magazine. The full issue can be downloaded here.
Look, we've known each other for a while now. I write to you every three months, trying to be witty, wrapping a 600-word editorial around 70 or so pages of content that our small editorial team has spent weeks pulling together and arguing about. You know the score. And I know that you're reading this at your desk, possibly with a cup of coffee or an avocado sandwich you're having for lunch because someone told you it's good for you (when really, you'd rather go across the road to that sandwich place which does the most awesomely calorific lunchtime deals). You're feeling guilty because there are a million and one other things that you should be doing. Multiple deadlines to hit. That project you're working on that's already overdue (yes, that one). And yet, here you are, reading the ramblings that some Scottish marketing guy wrote at 7:42am on a Tuesday over his 3rd coffee of the day.
It's a familiar feeling. Yet the hope is that by setting aside some time to read magazines such as this, you'll come away a little more informed, a little more knowledgeable, and that that, in turn, will make you perform better in your role. I do it myself. I've just triple checked that I can use the phrase "that that" without sounding stupid. And I've just learned that if I'm going to sound stupid, it won't be that particular phrase that does it.
In theory, we all know how important education is, how vital it is to keep learning long after we've passed through the gates of formal education. But none of us (yes, I'm still talking to you) manages to set aside adequate time and head-space to ensure we do it.
This issue of benchmark is all about education and training. We struggled for a while, trying to think of the strapline for the cover. One of the phrases I found myself using during the discussion was "education and training isn't exactly a page turner". But it should be. You know, probably better than I do, that this technology moves at a frighteningly fast pace. You need to keep up with that. And we also have to ensure that formal education, i.e. getting the right quality of graduate into the industry, is up to speed with the latest developments.
So how do we do that?
Glad you asked. Took you long enough.
We've got some great content for you in this edition of the magazine, ranging from a detailed look at what NAFEMS is doing for academia, and how education and training have been, and continue to be, at the heart of our mission. We also look at some innovative online training from Cornell University (p.39), a unique partnership between Ohio State University and Honda (p.44), as well as an insight into the £300+ million engineering campus development at Manchester University (p.36).
And at NAFEMS, we like to think we've got your "on the job" learning covered. Our wide range of e-learning training courses, which has seen over 6,000 individuals take part of the past few years, continues to develop and give you that flexible, bitesized learning that's ideal if you can't spare time out of the office. Add this to our well-established range of "in-person" training courses which can also be provided at your own site and tailored to your company's needs, and we've got a training programme that can give you the independent and expert focus you need to keep you learning.
So, go top-up your coffee, grab that deli-deal you're craving for lunch (go on treat yourself), settle down, and enjoy this issue