How an online ProfEd course can help young or senior engineering professionals and Master students

Updated: Jan 28



If you are a  frequent follower of my blog, you can’t have missed my lasting message that we are living in a rapidly changing world and that change is accelerating. Nowhere is this truer than in the world of engineering. Against this moving backdrop it is vital to ensure that everybody has a career where you thrive, feel valued and develop professionally.


In close collaboration with educational engineering researchers of the 4TU.Centre for Engineering Education and consultants of the TU Delft Career Centre,  I have been involved in the development of a six-week online ProfEd course that was launched for the first time in January 2018. The next admission deadline is 23 January 2019. We have geared it towards  working professionals, no matter what stage of life they are at, as well as engineering students who are nearing graduation and prepare for the world of work.


We will make the online course available 24/7, so that the participants have access to the discussion forums and the course materials when they want and need it, and can accommodate the course in their busy personal daily schedule. People who have never done an online course before will soon find out that an online community of diverse fellow professional engineers opens up unexpected possibilities for learning how to explore the options, design and land your next career move!


What is the course about?

Participants of the online ProfEd course will master a career-thinking model specifically aimed at engineers. It will help them to identify their career challenges and create scenarios that enable them to take the lead in moving your career forward. Whether you are in the early stages of your career or an experienced professional, the benefits of following a systems approach will give any participant a unique advantage when planning and designing your next career move.


Once enrolled, you will work through a five-step career-thinking model, in which you reflect on your personal unique experiences, attitudes and strengths. The participants will define their current career challenge, explore different solutions and walk away with a validated and tailored role that inspires and motivates.


  1. Review their career to date to identify personal strengths and potential.

  2. Define current career challenges.

  3. Receive expert and peer advice on potential solutions to career challenges.

  4. Experiment with ideas to tackle personal career challenges and conduct searches to identify a list of target companies and roles that best suit individual career aspirations.

  5. Validate preferred professional roles and test this option so they can make an informed decision.

  6. Create an action plan to actualise theit individual next career move.

By the end of this course, the participants have learnt how to define next career challenges, use a career-thinking model, create preferred professional role for now and in the future, get involved with a supportive community to seek feedback and open up possibilities, and develop and evaluate actions for testing personal options.

Professional roles

Various triggers from the professional field of engineering led us to develop this online ProfEd course. One of these triggers was the set of future engineering roles, that was developed by a Think Tank at TU Delft of professional engineers, by looking at trends in engineering, technology and society, thereby considering the knowledge and skills future engineers will need to thrive in these new situations.  These professional roles, that were subject of a previous blogpost, are used in this course as one of many vehicles to acquire interesting insights and context for people who want to explore paths for future development, no matter whether they are employed (or looking for employment) as a “routine” professional engineer, a scientific engineer or specialist, an entrepreneurial engineer, or a change agent or influencer.


In the ProfEd course the participants reflect on their unique experiences, attitudes and strengths through a five-step career-thinking model. They define their current or potential career challenges, explore different solutions and walk away with an inspiring validated and tailored role.

More information and registration

It’s a self-paced course that will take 3 – 4 hours per module over a total timespan of eight weeks. The next admission deadline is 23 January 2019. Please find detailed course information on the website of “Design Your Next Career Move.

Testimonials of 2018 participants

  1. “I got a clear view on my next career. I was able to change already quite a bit in my present work, which gives me rest and a more pleasurable life. I still will look around via informational interviews to make sure that I am at the right spot now or find the right spot somewhere else. All thanks to you! Thank you.”

  2. “Thank you for organizing this wonderful course. It really helps to strategically prepare the next career move and find the job that you would like to work for!”

  3. “The exercises were REALLY very useful and unique. I have talked with a lot of people about career and next steps in life, and never encountered such clear, concrete, practical exercises and the reflections give such good insights as in this course. That is most valuable to me. Unfortunately it was still difficult to find motivation sometimes, to sit down and work on it. I spoke with one of the organizers on the phone and we talked about how the discussion forum can get some more attention. At the start of the course it is mentioned that it’s a good idea to find someone who regularly asks you how the course is going so that you stay motivated. I asked someone and that person did ask regularly at first, but that also got less and less and after the Christmas break he also forgot about the course and so did I kind of. And then it’s hard to start again. Anyway, I don’t know what you can do about this. Maybe after each module a reminder to ask that person to keep you motivated? Overall, well done on this course, it was very inspiring to me.”

  4. “I think the course was very good, and enjoyed it a lot! I think there is a lot of content and things to do in the course for the five weeks allocated to it. I do think all parts are valuable, but think it could be spread out over more weeks (because some things take time inherently). The video with experiences from Peter were surprisingly good to see: I would place them at the start of a module though, since sometimes he gives useful tips that are good to see at the beginning (like what he found easy/hard, or what took him a lot of time). I would still place his filled in sheets at the end though (don’t want this to be too leading in the participant’s own idea formation)”

  5. “Thanks to this course I already made big steps in getting clear how my ideal career would look like and in changing my work at my present employer. Although this is work what I partly already did after summer 2018 I added it to my personal action plan because it is all due to this course. To get a real comparison with jobs at other employers there are still actions left which I want to perform in the (near) future, which are also in my personal action plan.”


#career #continousprofessionalisation #professionalprofiles

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