Professional Development Fills the Knowledge Gaps in Mining Left by Universities

In a recent interview published by CIM Magazine, George Demopoulos of McGill University laments the shift away from metallurgy programs in the mining and materials curriculum (see Separating Sciences, CIM Magazine, June/July 2016). In his words … “grooming young materials engineers is becoming more challenging … creating a crisis of competence and a divide between the traditional metallurgical industry and the universities of today”.

This is but one symptom of the modern trend at universities to streamline their curricula in the interests of cost-saving. There are other specialized topics in mining, such as geostatistics, financial modelling and risk analysis that are suffering similar fates. Which means that, although young graduates of today may have a good grounding in the basics of their profession, there are numerous specialized topics that they will have to catch up on in their own time before they can be really effective in their careers.

More and more, these gaps are being filled by professional development courses, available in either an online, on-demand format, or an instructor-led, live webcast format. A big advantage of these courses is that they address an online audience that is larger than the typical university classroom, and therefore justifies the cost of developing such specialized courses. Other advantages include elimination of any travel requirement and qualifaction as formal CPD (continuing professional development).

An example is provided by the following selection of courses on metallurgical topics available from EduMine …

Access to these and many other courses for study and research purposes requires enrollment at little more than a dollar per day. Qualification for CPD benefits requires certification.

Simon Houlding was Vice-President of Professional Development for InfoMine Inc. He founded Edumine in 2000, and was responsible for this InfoMine division which provides learning and training programs to the global mining industry until 31 October 2017. He is a professional engineer and author.

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