Key Findings from Our State of AEC Training 2020/21 Guide

Key Findings from Our State of AEC Training 2020/21 Guide

Earlier this year, Vector Solutions AEC published a new guide titled The State of AEC Training in 2020-2021. As the global leader in training and continuing education for the architecture, engineering & construction industries, we based the guide on experiences with our own customers but also additional research, surveys, and more.

We encourage you to download the entire guide and we've conveniently placed it at the bottom of this article to make it easy for you to do so. That said, we also thought we'd share some if not all of the highlights in this article. We've got those highlights from the guide to the state of AEC training for you below and we hope you find some valuable insights there.

Before you begin reading, you may enjoy watching the short overview video below of the Vector Solutions training and continuing education solutions for the AEC industry.

Top AEC Training Challenges

Recruiting & retaining qualified employees

This was a challenge in the AEC industry even before the COVID pandemic and COVID only made it worse. Of course, AEC firms in many cases had to adjust how they hired new employees, often moving from in-person meetings to online meetings through tool like Zoom. And employers faced new retention challenges as a result of the "new normal" of working during the COVID pandemic, as workers had to adjust to new workplace procedures and policies and new ways of interacting with coworkers.

For example, AEC workers now had to make more and different use of remote collaboration and productivity tools, such as building information modeling (BIM), 4D simulation, digital workflow management, real-time progress tracking, and advanced schedule optimization tools.

Keeping up with new AEC technologies

As our guide explains:

Utilizing new technology has often stood out for AEC professionals. Last year, more than one-third of respondents placed technology in their top three training challenges—and COVID-19 has likely accelerated the need for companies to kickstart their digital transformations.

In the AEC sector, there has been increased adoption of solutions that are digital building blocks for the construction industry, such as BIM and integrated project management platforms. In the future, firms can expect to see even more augmentation, automation, and other technologies that enhance the work of their architects and engineers.

Regulations and compliance

Compliance and compliance-training concerns have always been significant in the AEC industry. Those concerns didn't go away in 2020/21, but were added to by the COVID pandemic and health concerns about working together safely. And those changes continue even now in November, 2021 with OSHA's recent publication of their Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for COVID.

New/increased cybersecurity concerns

With more organizations and more workers using online productivity, collaboration, project management, and communication tools comes more risk and legitimate concerns regarding cybersecurity. AEC firms have responded by strengthening their IT infrastructure but also by providing additional cybersecurity training to employees on topics like hacking and phishing.

See our recorded, on-demand Essential IT & Cybersecurity Certification webinar to learn more about how Vector Solutions AEC can help improve the skill set of your IT department and make your organization more secure and resilient.

Increased time and budget for training

AEC organizations have reported in our "State of AEC Training" surveys in recent years that they intended to increase their organization's overall budget for training and the time employee spend participating in that training. For example, in our 2019 State of AEC Training Guide, nearly 1/3 of respondents said their organization planned to increase their spending on training, and more than half reported they provided their employees with as much as 40 hours of training each year.

And here's an interesting cost-nugget, too: "In 2020, our study of the industrial manufacturing and AEC sectors revealed that the average training and development spend per employee was more than $1,200."

It's not clear how the COVID pandemic affected training budgets and overall training time in 2021 just yet, but stay tuned for future "State of AEC Training Guides" from Vector Solutions AEC to learn what others in your industry have been doing.

Increased use of various types of online training and online training technologies

There has been a long-term trend of increasing use of online training and online training technologies, including elearning, video, virtual instructor-led training (VILT), and more for many years. This has been fueled by the availability of the internet, by the availability of high-speed bandwidth connections, and by the effectiveness, ease, convenience, and cost-effective nature of online training.

Need some help with all this? You might find some of these resources helpful:

Beginner's Guide to Online Training (written guide)

Guide to Online AEC Training & Continuing Education (written guide)

Beginner's Guide to Online Training (recorded, on-demand webinar)

Online Training & Continuing Education for the AEC Industry (recorded, on-demand webinar).

Thanks for reading, let us know if you've got questions, and please download the guide below!

 

Jeff Dalto, Senior Learning & Performance Improvement Manager
Jeff is a learning designer and performance improvement specialist with more than 20 years in learning and development, 15+ of which have been spent working in manufacturing, industrial, and architecture, engineering & construction training. Jeff has worked side-by-side with more than 50 companies as they implemented online training. Jeff is an advocate for using evidence-based training practices and is currently completing a Masters degree in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning from Boise State University. He writes the Vector Solutions | Convergence Training blog and invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.

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