Welcome to another year in review at Civil Engineering Academy. Can you believe that another year has flown by? And what a year it has been!
In spite of all the crap that has been hurled at us including COVID-19, civil unrest, elections, school and business shutdowns, and the great toilet paper and sanitizer shortage of 2020, we still have had plenty to look back at and show our appreciation for things.
Gratitude is also something that I want to express not only because of its benefits psychologically, physically, spiritually, but because I really am grateful for many things this year.
Here’s just a shortlist of them:
- I’m grateful that I was able to spend more time with family than ever before. With no programs, dance, swim, tennis, soccer, basket weaving, school, friend parties, cheer camp, doctor visits, zoo visits, aquarium stops, birthday parties, etc., going on I was able to take a breather and just spend time with the wife and kids. We were able to reconnect and it was great. Time flies faster when you have kids so it’s good to reconnect and notice their personalities, how smart they are now, and more.
- I’m grateful for being able to discover nature and being able to spend more time outside.
- I’m grateful for the technology that has allowed us to still connect and chat with family, friends, and YOU.
“Be thankful for everything that happens in your life; it’s all an experience.”
― Roy T. Bennett”
Lastly, I want to say that I’m grateful for YOU. Yes, YOU. If you have followed us at all then you’ve seen where we have been and hopefully, this outlines where we are going and if you’ve been along for the ride then I want to express my thanks.
Okay, having said all of that, let’s get to 2020 in review and see where we’ve been and take a peek at where we are going.
It’s kind of exciting!
COVID-19 and the NCEES
COVID-19 has rocked everyone’s world including the NCEES organization. It got so crazy that I reached out to the director of the exams, Charles Thompson, and he jumped on our podcast to describe what the NCEES is doing and what their plans were moving forward because of the effects of COVID.
This includes opening special regionalized areas for test-taking in January (they never test in January) and then moving the PE to computer-based (CBT) early. Originally the PE was going CBT in 2023 but now it’s accelerated to 2022. We’ll be adjusting our PE course to match the new spec and dive into the new resource they’ll be providing to help reference material to it. It’ll be a monumental task as I’m sure it will be for everyone including the NCEES.
If you’re considering taking the PE then I’d recommend doing it in 2021 if you can as you’ll be up a creek without a paddle sort of speak as it goes from open book to closed.
If you ended a course then check out The Ultimate Civil PE Review Course and we can help you.
Speaking of our course.
Results from the October PE Exam
With COVID came cancellations. The April PE exam was canceled and everyone pretty much shifted to October. The problem then became capacity which is why they had to open up January to accommodate the crowd.
In any case, if you found yourself taking the PE exam in 2020 then I applaud your efforts. I’ve received many replies via email, Facebook, and other places about passing scores and we could not be happier for you.
Here are a few:
The FE exam wasn’t affected too badly because it’s already CBT and you could take that as soon as the testing center was open, which was awesome. If you passed this in 2020 then I congratulate you as well! Seeing students pass these exams was a HUGE bright spot in 2020.
What was Released in 2020
We here at CEA released quite a bit of stuff this year! It’s been awesome.
Looking back we released our podcast, The Civil Engineering Academy Podcast, and we’ve been listened to now in over 64 countries and had over 23K listens so far. I mean, civil engineering is not the most POPULAR subject in the world, but I’m happy with these numbers and we are happy to release this to share tips, tools, and resources to help you on your journey to becoming a professional engineer.
I’ve had various guests including the NCEES exams director, my brother (a few times), students of our course, the Engineering4Free creator, the amazing Melody Gonzalez, and many more. We’ve hit 62 episodes as of this writing and we haven’t slowed down.
If you haven’t subscribed to our podcast then do so! It’s fun and a bit educational 🙂
PE Depth Courses
Students of The Ultimate Civil PE Review Course had suggested that they wanted some specific instruction for the depth section so we teamed up with Andy Richardson, PE, who not only runs his own civil engineering company but also was a part of PPI in pioneering online education. Andy has created depth material for all five major depth sections of the PE exam and we’ve launched this in one sweet package called The Ultimate Civil Depth Review Courses.
You won’t find a better deal out there and we are constantly updating it to make it better. Check it out if you’ve found you need a boost to your depth section of study here.
FE Course and Exam Updates
We are constantly updating our exams. This is just the natural progression of any engineering exam. Mistakes are found, errata is made and new releases follow. This year we saw an update to the FE specifications in July and with that, we updated all of our FE Exams as well as our entire FE course. If you haven't check out the course then do it here!
Updating a course is a monumental task that requires a huge effort to keep things organized. New recordings, organization, and specifications all had to align so that we can produce a great product for YOU! It was a fun update to make and we are glad we could do that in 2020.
Team Members at CEA
I can’t keep going without thanking the CEA team for all of their efforts. Fransisca helps to run our customer support and can answer civil engineering questions faster than I can even look at them. Jason has helped to produce some amazing video practice problems and continues to do so. Check out this one! Maithili Dey has contributed to help with our FE exam, Mark has helped with course creation, and many others keep the ship moving.
If you want to join our team then reach out! We’d love more support to help the CEA team grow.
What’s Coming in the Future
With 2020 almost in the books we have some great things in store that should be coming out in 2021. Let’s dive into it.
- More LIVE study sessions – students have asked to do more LIVE problems solving sessions so we are. Andy Richardson is going to kick on 3 study sessions in January and we’ll do more throughout the year. These will be available LIVE on our Youtube channel but will eventually be taken down and archived in our courses. So if you aren’t a member then sign up!
- Site Redesign – yes, we are taking things up a notch and we are getting a fresh new design around here. This will be coming soon and it looks awesome!
- CA Seismic and Survey Course – we haven’t slowed down on our course offerings yet. Mark is hot and heavy laying down some sweet material for the CA Seismic and Survey Course that will launch in 2021. If you need to get your PE in California then this is for you. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter here and be the first to know when it’s launched (we may or may not have a deal for you). The course will be combined so you don’t have to purchase each one separately (what a pain).
- Awesome Podcast Interviews – we’ll continue to have awesome interviews and conversations with guests of all flavors. I don’t limit our selection to just the big wigs. I want stories and experiences from all walks of life and backgrounds, and we’ll have more for you in-store. It will rock! By the way – if you haven’t left us a review on Apple Podcasts please do! It helps us a lot in the rankings and all of that.
- Career Advice – we currently have coaching if you need help with your LinkedIn profile, resume, or cover letter that you can find right here. But we want to take it up a notch by helping you with major tips on what you can do to boost your career. In the future, we’ll lay out a course to help any engineer grow their own brand (You, Inc) and help you no matter if you are just out of school looking for work or if you are ready to jump ship to land the job of your dreams. More is coming. If you do want coaching though find me here and I’ll help you out!
Look, 2020 was rough! I myself landed COVID-19 in October and had to quarantine myself from my family for a few days. While I only had mild symptoms, I know firsthand how it can turn for the worst if it does. There were many other downs in 2020, but by looking back and checking out what we are grateful for you can see that things were actually pretty bright.
I’m sure if you look back you can find a bright spot or two as well!
Until next time,
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