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Updating the Training of Research and Development Personnel

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1 Author(s)
Monroe W. Kriegel ; Jersey Production Research Company, Tulsa, Okla.

Although there has been some leveling off in the expansion of established research organizations, normal business growth plus requirements by government-financed research and new businesses will keep the demand for manpower high. There is little likelihood that the output of scientists and engineers by universities will keep pace with the needs. Thus, increasing productivity by retraining researchers hired since World War II is the best way to raise substantially the nation's total technological effort. Technical obsolescence is due in part to the rapid growthrate of knowledge, the major modifications of collegiate training in recent years, the influence of computing machines, and the industrial practices of encouraging specialization and emphasizing supervisory training. The most common updating aid is the tuition refund plan, almost universally adopted by industry. Plans of this type encourage degree-oriented employees early in their careers, but do not provide sufficient motivation for older workers in need of refresher training. For these, companies are using university short courses extensively, and hiring professors to teach subjects at their plants. For the technical training of managers, one university has developed a 6-week course in modern engineering. Currently the greatest need is for training specifically designed for the employee 10 years or more out of school which will bring him up-to-date in the developments in his field of science or engineering. The suggestion is made that some universities offer such programs during the summer months.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Education  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 2 )