How Suppliers can Improve Continuous Education

Aug. 13, 2012
In Spring of 2012, Automation World surveyed its readers to get feedback on improving education and training for the industrial workforce. For the most part, this training is rated by end users as “good” to “excellent”, but experience seems to vary widely depending on the vendor and the course.

Survey Question: Here are some write-in responses to the question, "If you participated, what was the quality of the training you received through vendor companies?"

· Vendor training is all over the map. So much of the training focuses only on the “how to” for their product but fail to address the “why”. Most of the “how to” is a verbal version of the manual.”

· Covers all the product fundamentals, but the real learning happens in the field, using the product.”

· What is needed is more practical knowledge transfer by offering best practices and use cases. It is just as important to know what not to do and why as it is to know what to do. Vendor training should include a learning lab so that real work scenarios could be tested during the class.”

· Vendors training is like trying to drink from a fire hose. They give too much info all in a few days. The training needs to be over a longer time with no more that 4 hours in a day. This gives time to absorb the info and build one class section on top of another.”

· Even their advanced courses are basic.  They walk you through scenarios that are geared towards showing you the features they want you to see, and to use them in a way that will not cause a class flow disruption. There’s a need for higher complexity, project-based education, where you take time over several weeks to use the products and create a working system or simulated system.”

· OK but would like more online classes to reduce the need for travel.”

· It is hardware oriented not application oriented. We need more application training for the various industries.”

· It isn’t bad but condensed, fast and expensive. If you are not prepared to use it continually, it is lost. Better approach would be good manuals with training on how to look up specific issue quickly.”

· Some are good, but it’s a people thing, most are very poor.  Issue is the people doing the training are product people, they generally do not have industry experience.”

>> To see more responses to this survey question, visit

>> To see responses from our July survey: What would you tell the curriculum planner to add or focus more on to prepare future students for their career in manufacturing/processing?, click

>> To see responses from our June survey: What should a new engineering grad know?, click