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Upgrade your skillset: Go back to school

LearnIf you’re not learning, you’re allowing yourself to become obsolete, argues Josh Cosford in his article in Mobile Hydraulics TipsBack to School (for hydraulics training).

Cosford maintains that the availability of classes and the constant changes in technology give you good reason to continue to upgrade and diversify your skill set, which will keep you competitive within the industry and within the worker pool.

He gives suggestions for finding local educational sources and we have a few suggestions of our own:

The Motion & Control Network (FPDA) offers a comprehensive sales-based certification exam - the Motion & Control Sales Professional (M+CSP) – which focuses not only on sales and business knowledge, but incorporates hydraulic, pneumatic and motion control technologies.

FPDA also works with The Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) in their education and outreach program, which helps arrange Fluid Power Graduate Internships and provides industry knowledge through their Fluid Power OpenCourseWare.

Learn-lead-earnThe International Fluid Power Society (IFPS) offers a wealth of training tools including online training, web seminars, certification review training, fluid power training, safety information and customized training. They also provide a list of colleges and universities that offer accredited fluid power programs.

The International Society of Automation (ISA) offers online courses, online instructor-assisted courses, DVD training, and live webinars on fundamental topics such as automation and control, electrical maintenance, industrial awareness, machine technology, mechanical maintenance, predictive maintenance, workplace skills, and more.

NAHAD (The National Association of Hose & Accessories Distributors) offers members a wide variety of educational tools for further industry training, including brief online seminars, full-day training events, the annual NAHAD Convention and a partnership with University of Innovative Distribution.

They offer training guides, exams, and certification through their Hose Safety Institute to ensure customer appreciation of your company's commitment to hose assembly Safety, Quality and Reliability.

NIBA (The Belting Association) members have access to free online training in October. Classes being offered: 3T Track, Train and Troubleshooting for Heavyweight Belting; Lightweight Basics; and vast array of e-training through BizLibrary.

NIBA members receive deep discounts on training offered through the Association Education Alliance (AEA), which exists solely to identify, provide and develop targeted industry training.

The Hydraulic Institute has a wide variety of in-person, webinars & e-learning courses on almost everything to do with the hydraulic and pump industry.

ToolingU-SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers), a good source of technical skills training, offers a wide variety of learning tools, certifications and workforce assessments for a number of industries to beef up your staff's knowledge and capabilities.

Training-developmentThe University of Innovative Distribution (UID) is offering a wide variety of courses in March toward earning the Professional Certificate in Innovative Distribution awarded by Purdue University.

Members of participating trade associations like AHTD, ISA, ISD, FPDA, NAHAD, and NIBA get a substantial discount on the program if they register by January 14, 2015.

Veterans can find industry training through Get Skills to Work coalition member schools, which offer accelerated training in manufacturing skills or programs like Workshops for Warriors which provide training for manufacturing careers.

And many top universities offer online classes toward advanced degrees in specialized fields such as Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals Master of Science online programs in Mechanical Engineering, Systems Engineering and Space Systems Engineering.