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Re: Continuing Professional Development

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Dennis S. Wish PE wrote:

> On Saturday, October 18, 1997 3:03 PM, Bill Polhemus
> [SMTP:poly(--nospam--at)flash.net] wrote:
> > Yah, I know.  But I DO manage to keep it 8:30 to 5:30!  The
> business doesn't belong to me, so I don't ALWAYS have to put in those
> extra hrs.
> >
> > I have a family, and an alternate life, so engineering only takes up
> MOST of my waking hours.
>
> Here is an example of what I stated. The majority of engineers
> are "9-5" employees and are not representative of those of use
> who are participating in this discussion. He is correct, and why
> shouldn't he be. His responsibility is finishing his work within
> the time alotted by his employer and is personal time is a
> priortity set to his family life.

> How many engineers actively belong to a professional
> organization. I don't mean those that pay their dues and read
> their monthly newsletters, but those that participate and
> support new technology - such as this list.
>
> Continuing education benfits all. It provides skills that can
> prepare an engineer to be on his/her own as well as the employer
> who seeks to expand out or gain the most skill for the dollar.
> I don't think that the majority of the profession will learn
> without incentive. Their free time is just too important.

These are all valid points.  Certainly as the president of the state
chapter of NSPE I'm painfully aware of how little time most engineers
want to put into the "profession" after work.  Unfortunately, though, I
think these points only further beg the question of how we can justify
call ourselves professionals if these attitudes represent the majority,
as they clearly do.  Given that we face opposition to the very existence
of professional licensing in many venues in many parts of the country,
on what do we base our defense of its continued existence when we know
that most folks don't act in ways we can call "professional?"  If we're
just technicians, why do we need licensing?

Nigel