As we are in the voting period for the 2017 IEEE President-Elect, I’ve been taking some time to reflect on the many conversations I’ve had with IEEE members around the world during the campaign. These have given me great insight into what’s most important to a lot of our membership, whether in discourse with young or mid-career professionals, or with IEEE leaders. One subject that is repeatedly mentioned is better positioning IEEE as a career development partner that brings measurable value, and that helps members advance in their respective careers.
The great sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer Michelangelo once said, “the greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that our aim is too low and we reach it.” In respect to career development, IEEE already has a plethora of resources, such as tutorials, webinars, E-learning libraries, and more, that can be utilized as we aim much higher in our efforts to build upon the Institute’s value proposition through career development.
By establishing a repository of existing technical and professional career materials and resources, we can better leverage and provide easier access to what already exists, but there’s more that can be done. We need to conduct gap analysis to identify areas where we are falling short, and look to partnerships as a means to better meet our memberships’ needs. By more closely identifying and tagging lifecycle transitions, IEEE can also tailor its career development offerings as technologies evolve and back offerings with IEEE certification to provide recognition and visibility for accomplishments.
Another opportunity is to work more diligently to retain IEEE student members after they graduate, which could be done by facilitating connections that result in career opportunities. One approach key to my platform is to reach out to industry professionals and corporate universities to better understand industry needs and develop interdisciplinary offerings that will better prepare young professionals for success with job skills aligned to a rapidly changing work environment.
Of course, we also need to promote how IEEE content and career development offerings support career growth. One method I support is to hold IEEE career development workshops in conjunction with major technical conferences where IEEE is participating. In doing so, we can demonstrate greater value and engage more closely as a true career development partner for our members.
My focus on career development started years ago and I believe my track record and experience in this area can make a real impact for IEEE being recognized globally as a facilitator of educational and professional advancement. Careers are increasingly more global, multi-disciplinary and collaborative than ever before. Meanwhile the pace that technology is increasing so it is critically important for IEEE members to invest in their career to remain relevant. As IEEE President-Elect in 2017, I would help IEEE bolster its ability to fill this educational need, bringing more value for members and industry.
Please take the time to vote in this very important election before 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on October, 3 2016. I appreciate your consideration on the issues that are key to advancing IEEE and building our Institute’s global relevancy for the future.