Educating the 21st Century’s Engineers and IT Professionals

Educating the 21st Century’s Engineers and IT Professionals

Antonios Andreatos (Hellenic Air Force Academy, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0243-4.ch009

Abstract

In this chapter, some important aspects of preparing engineers and IT professionals of the 21st century are examined, especially in the context of new media communication skills in trans-national and trans-cultural globalised environments. Initially, the chapter refers to the value and need of informal and continuing education; next, it reviews recent learning theories aiming at covering learning in today’s complex, networked, and trans-cultural landscape; it also presents competences demanded in contemporary and emerging engineering and IT workplaces, as well as the skills needed by the 21st century’s engineers and IT professionals. Finally, the chapter has proposed educational policies, enterprise policies, and suggestions for self-directed learning which will help preparing engineers and IT professionals for the workplace and will also enable them to continue learning, individually or in teams, both face to face and distance mode, and participating in real or in virtual communities of practice.
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Introduction

This chapter is mainly for engineering and information technology (IT) students and teachers; it is also of interest to higher education institutions policy makers, responsible for the design or review of programmes, as well as, enterprise human resources departments. This chapter will be useful to working engineers and IT professionals who want to learn how they can profit from new media in order to remain competitive in today's highly antagonistic work environment. We look at things from the perspective of an individual, as well as, from the high level of decision-makers of organisations. The assertions are based on rich bibliography for further reading; case studies and examples have been used to clarify the discussion.

The chapter tries to elucidate the current landscape learning theories, the evolution of new media and how engineers and IT professionals can profit from new media in order not just to survive but also to succeed in the trans-national and trans-cultural globalised environment. Another goal is to show the need for continuing education, informal education and lifelong learning. Exactly for this reason it contains continuing education ideas and propositions. A wide range of case studies have been used to illustrate various issues related to the discussion.

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