January 26, 2024 min read

AE Learning Paths: The Secret to Retaining Architects & Engineers


AECEngineering & Design


Architecture and DesignOnline Training

Competition for skilled AEC industry workers has been a challenge for a while, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) presents exciting opportunities for firms but also increases talent shortages. So, it’s no surprise that retaining architects and engineers is a top issue nearly all AEC firms are focused on.

But the good news is there is a simple solution to unlock higher levels of employee retention. The secret? Invest in your employees’ learning and development.

Why You Should Invest in Developing Your Architects and Engineers

A study from Engineering Management Institute found that the Great Resignation is still alive and well for engineers and architects. They found that more than half of architects and engineers would consider leaving their company for a new opportunity.

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Here’s why:

  1. 53% want more career advancement opportunities
  2. 40% say their compensation is not competitive
  3. 32% report a high level of work stress
  4. 31% don’t feel valued at work

While there are many other reasons that contribute to employee churn, most of these issues can be solved by investing in training and development programs.

So, you see, the secret to keeping your architects and engineers from seeking opportunities elsewhere isn’t much of a secret.

People want to feel invested in, valued, and like they have a career path that excites them. And the reality is, your architects and engineers are in high demand. If firms can’t provide them with reasons to stay and a compelling career path, they will find it elsewhere.

And the data behind making these investments is compelling. Organizations that offer professional development opportunities have 15% higher employee engagement rates and 34% higher retention rates.

But now you might be wondering how you can provide these learning and development career paths to retain your architects and engineers. One of our favorite strategies: learning paths.

What Are Learning Paths?

Employee learning paths are a curated program of content designed to teach specific skills or develop someone in a specific role.

For example, you might choose to invest in learning paths to teach employees about a specific competency and the latest advancements with accessible design. Or you might want learning paths to educate employees within a certain role on a variety of topics.

At Vector Solutions, we believe it is most valuable to put together learning paths based on role (e.g., Interior Designer, Project Managers, Architects) and then show the various key topics and courses that are relevant to that role.

Remember, when you use our learning path, you can always customize it further to meet your needs!

What is the Career Path for an Architect?

Licensed architects have already gone through a lot of schooling as well as internships to hold their position. They then have required continuing education (CE) requirements that they must fulfill to retain that license.

Architects can move up to become a senior architect/designer, a department head, or even a partner at a firm. But you may also show them other ways they can grow, such as going into project management.

Providing curated learning paths for your architects can be a fantastic employee benefit. Not only does it help them fulfill their CE requirements, but it also saves them time finding training content to meet that requirement. This shows them that you value their time and that you care about providing them with the highest quality training to help them grow in their careers and achieve their professional goals.

What is the Career Path for an Engineer?

There are many career paths for a licensed engineer, starting even from when they are still an engineer in training (EIT). There are various levels of certified engineer (e.g., Engineer I or II) as well as types of engineering (e.g., civil or structural engineering). Engineers then can continue to rise through the ranks, or they might choose to go into project management or leadership positions at AEC firms.

And, like architects, engineers need to maintain their licenses. Offering them easy ways to access high-quality continuing education materials can be a huge perk and a reason to remain with an employer long-term.

A Learning Path Template for Architects, Designers & Engineers

Download our learning path template to unlock new ways to onboard, retain, and upskill your architects, designers, and engineers

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Benefits of Our Architecture & Engineering Learning Path

Our template recommends various learning paths for architecture and engineering roles. The curriculums cover a wide range of important topics such as:

  • LEED/Green Building
  • Alternative Energy
  • Sustainability
  • Climate/Disaster Resiliency
  • ADA/Accessibility
  • Engineering Fundamentals
  • Architecture/Design Fundamentals
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Project Management
  • Safety Fundamentals
  • Professional Development (and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion)

By training your workforce with a structured program, you can unlock several key benefits:

1. Fulfill Continuing Education Requirements

Your architects and engineers must fulfill their annual requirements to keep their licenses. Instead of having them find that training themselves, a learning path maps out a thoughtful, custom program to fulfill that requirement.

By choosing Vector Solutions, you gain access to our AEC Complete Library with award-winning content. This library is the most extensive and high-quality library of training for individuals in the AEC industry.

2. Retain Talent with Customizable Development Plans

Half the challenge with providing your workforce with development paths is creating that plan and strategy in the first place.

A learning path has already been custom-built by subject matter experts with specific courses already mapped out for you.

Offering these pathways to your employees then becomes an employee benefit that makes them feel valued and invested in. They may also find other ways to grow within your company rather than feeling like they must seek opportunities elsewhere.

3. Onboard Employees Fater and More Effectively

Learning paths are a great tool to continue developing your employees and an invaluable resource for onboarding new hires.

These learning paths help fill skills, knowledge, and leadership gaps for young workers or those who are changing roles.

AEC Roles Included in Our Learning Path

Our architecture and engineering learning path covers a variety of different roles. But remember that this template can be customized by you further and adapted for additional roles!

  • Engineer in Training (EIT)
  • Engineer I and II
  • Architect/Designer
  • Interior Designer
  • Landscape Designer
  • Planner (Urban/Land Use)
  • Project Manager
  • Safety Manager
  • And more!

Start Retaining Your Talent

Are you ready to tap into this retention strategy? Download our Architecture & Engineering Learning Path today to get our customized learning plans.

And if you want to see our content and award-winning learning management system (LMS) in action, please request a demo.

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