Education versus Continuing Education – That tis the Question

Education vs Continued Education

Why do we pay SO MUCH attention to College Education? If you have any high school kids in your household, then you probably are going through the process of guiding them to choose the right path to the right college or university for them to further pursue their higher education. I know I am, since we have a rising junior in our house and the endless choices presented in front of them from picking classes to the type of college entrance tests to take or even the class to take to prepare for these entrance name it it is endless rigor and hard work.

Then you spend the spring break and summer planning and trying to visit some of the colleges that your junior wants to visit because, he/she may be interested in those schools. The thing is, it never ends. Pursuing education in this day and age is endless.


Isaac's Notes: Today's post is a guest post by Ramya Spaulding at where she has been building courses and material surrounding continued education. Obtaining your continued education credits is not only mandatory for keeping your PE license but it should be something we as engineers should desire to pursue to gain more knowledge and sharpen our saws in engineering!  RG was also a member of The Ultimate Civil PE Review Course and we love to see our members succeed!

If you are a recent graduate from bachelor's degree, then you may have to continue your MS or PhD depending on what your goals in life are. If you are an engineer, then you already know that you have to first take the Engineer-in-training (EIT) exam and then gain some work experience under the guidance of experienced licensed engineer and then attempt to take your PE (Professional Engineer) license.


That is what brought you to this site (Civil Engineering Academy) to review The Ultimate Civil PE Review Course and find additional material to help. If you thought you are done now after all these years, then you are in for a rude awakening (at least in several states), you have to obtain continuing education credits in your field to maintain your license that you worked so hard to obtain. 

A Question For You

You see, how much work has gone in all these steps to come up to this point? Why would you not want to pay a fraction of this same attention to detail to obtain your continuing education credits? There are genuinely some decent courses organized by well established organizations like ASCE, ASME, etc., but most of the time the expenses associate with these courses are steep in the hundreds of dollars for 1 or 2 hours of credit (ouch). 

There are also many really cheap online courses available for $7-$9 per hour that are nothing but PDF downloads that you can download and answer a predetermined set of questions in order to obtain your PDHs (Professional Development Hour) or CEU (Continuing education units) credits. 

Most of the time, you can answer the questions before you even read the material and sometimes the material is very dated! It is the kind of course that you just take to check off a box in your PE license renewal process and get things over with.

Compromise and a Deal

I believe there can be a compromise, a sort of middle ground where you can get quality continuing education for a reasonable price. I urge the PE's to spend a little bit of time to seek out and support classes that have great quality so your investment in taking these classes will pay off in the long run.

If you are in the market for some quality continuing education credits, check out the following "Brand New" course at You will not only obtain the PDH credits but actually learn to design something useful that can be applied to other areas of design.  We have a few others and are always working on more!  It's time to support quality content that will help any civil engineer to apply concepts learned in school to real life.  Time to stop checking off boxes and really learn.

Right now only students and readers from Civil Engineering Academy will receive a special 25% discount (type CEA25OFF at check out) on the latest course "Data Center Design-Role of Civil-Structural engineer."  Go check it out and grab some quality PDHs.

Data Center Design

Thanks and good luck on your continued education!


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Bio: Ramya G. Spaulding, PE

Hello, My name is Ramya G Spaulding, but since most people can't pronounce my first name I use the pen name of RGSpaulding. Feel free to call me RG if you like. I am okay with that.

So a little about myself. I am a licensed civil engineer in the State of California and State of South Carolina. I got my MS in civil with Structural Engineering emphasis from Clemson University.

I have over 20 years experience designing structures. New work opportunities and family commitments have resulted in my moving all the way from east coast to west coast with a stop in the middle. As a result, I have been fortunate to learn many new things every time I switched jobs. This kept work interesting and allowed me to learn a variety of designs and construction techniques.  I was fortunate enough to not worry too much about climbing the corporate ladder and instead take the time to learn to design new and interesting structures.

So now after 20 years, I have decided to develop courses online so other young engineers starting out or engineers looking for continuing education credits can find my experience useful. I am planning on researching online and including as many publicly available education materials (creative common license) as possible to make things interesting. Engineers are born out of curiosity and I hope to keep this site interesting to peek your curiosity.