|Volume 1: No. 15|
Leisure time for Americans has shrunk 37% since 1973, and the average work week has jumped from 41 hours to 47 in that period. Employers can't reduce the hours required, but they should help people work smarter. The U.S. average is 4.5 classroom hours per year; in Japan it is 200 hours. Motorola found a 30-times payback on training; it now invests 2.5% of payroll, and even trains suppliers. IBM workers spend at least 40 hours per year in the classroom, and the success of their Zurich lab helps to draw top scientists. [Alain Beaulieu, Dept. of National Defence, Ottawa. Electronic Design, 6/13.]
Perhaps U.S. engineers get their continuing education from books. Stacey's Bookstore (Palo Alto, CA) reports that the best- selling technical books in EE and CS include C Language Algorithms for Digital Signal Processing; Object-Oriented Design with Applications; C++ Primer; C Programming Language; PostScript Language Reference; and The Power of PenPoint. [Electronic Design, 6/13.]
Then again, why bother with technical training if it's irrelevant to current projects? The knowledge will be out of date in five years anyway. Shouldn't the time be spent on developing managerial or presentation skills?