School is back in session.  It is a great opportunity to see what kind of great things we can learn this year.  We can learn from the students as much as they learn from us.  Working with college students, in bridging that connection between my real world clients and my students keeps me engaged and allows me to act as a conduit of information between the two sectors.  That conduit potentially includes jobs for students and technology for clients.  It is remarkable how much the skills sets of the students have changes and increased in certain areas in five years, let alone 10.  I remind them that 5 years after they graduate, the skill set of the next group will be far ahead of theirs. Get your license and keep learning and staying up to date with technology.  It is far too easy to get behind and it is surprising how many graduates figure they are done with learning when the graduate.  Far from it.  The advances and changes in the industry move so quickly.  All my students are doing 3 dimensional projects versus cad drawings 5 years ago.  And those cad drawings were so far above the cad drawings of ten years ago.  All three groups are ahead of a lot of engineering firms with respect to technology.  And there accompanying utilities as well.  My students make great interns for GIS – it comes naturally to them.  My older friends?  Well, let’s say there is a bit of a learning curve.  As we try to be more efficient, training and skill development become continuous exercises.  It is obvious when you compare skill sets of recent, current or older graduates.  Of course skill sets may not translate to knowledge, for there is no substitute for field experience, especially in the water and engineering fields.  The reality is often much different than you expect, for a variety of reasons.  How you adapt means experience.  It is why the older crowd and the younger crowd need each other and need those communication avenues.  I find that my teaching keeps you engaged in the changes in technology, viewpoints and the new generation while maintaining the relationships with the real world

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