The present-day engineering students are the future inventors and innovators. The quality of their education will influence the development of global industry and economy in the nearest future, as well as have an impact on the most of areas of our living.
In the course of study, many students of engineering specialties often face the same problem – lacking access to the software that is used generallyin their field. This creates extra obstacles for skill consolidation and practical use of knowledge.
For example, soft licenses for power generation or industrial automation fields are too expensive, their price can be about $2,500. At the same time, students should master several such programs prior to begin their professional activity.
As an example, let’s talk about 3 companies representing a great assortment of industrial automation tools.
- Allen Bradley;
For full-fledged work with the mentioned software brands, you will need at least $7,000, that is out of reach for most of the students.
Ways for problem solving
Studying the engineering profession using student’s books and even doing special exercises will come to necessary result without practical experience. That’s why using software is critically important in the course of students study.
Simulating the complexity of real projects in the educational environment is not an easy task and sometimes impossible. That’s why it is necessary to pay attention at solving the software related problem, as well as at the ways for the design work efficient integration in curricula.
Offers from soft developers
Some companies that produce engineering software provide demo/students versions of their products but having limited access to their functionality. This simplifies the situation but does not solve the problem completely.
Such licenses allow using software for academic and non-commercial purposes only. Students can use soft for preparing their term papers and personal projects, take part in the engineering competitions, but their activity must not be aimed at gaining profit. For this purpose, a professional version should be purchased.
It sounds not bad but studying the half of the program does not ensure high-level skills the students need to make perfect.
The most of the known software and hardware developers give large discounts for educational institutions, including for the following software:
- TIA PORTALS Siemens;
- STUDIO 5000 ALLEN BRADLEY;
- MARKVIe General Electric;
These solutions can seem entirely altruistic but, in fact, it’s not all so simple. Company managers and marketing experts understand that they invest in future specialists, and they will get a lucrative compensation in the foreseeable future. Students are also likely to look for companies where their skills will be valuable and easily applicable.
The specialized platforms interested in supporting students also offer a quite efficient solution. Thus,fseXpert, a platform assisting for users to find and connect with technical specialists quickly, cooperates with engineering universities actively. As a result, students get an opportunity to use expensive software free that considerably simplifies the learning.
How universities solve the problem
To solve the problem, some universities provide remote access to software for their students. Thus, they can use the engineering soft within a limited period of time.
Free use of the engineering software is quite necessary and this is critically important for training of qualified specialists. Anyway, students bear considerable costs to get high education, that’s why colleges and universities offer them sometimes to use free soft. And in this case, we face a problem related to computer labs.
Students should regularly make time to study the course for getting successful results. But computer labs have, as a rule, limited capabilities that significantly complicates access to software. In simple words, if every engineering student of a group needs the same software, you will need to wait for a free PC for a couple of hours.
To solve this problem is to install necessary soft in students PCs. In this case, they will be able to use software functionalities any time. For this purpose, many educational institutions have a special license agreement that makes it possible for students and teachers to upload the software to their laptops and PCs. Such agreements usually provide for a limited period and require registration at the academic IT service department.
Considerable number of innovations and revolutionary achievements have their origins in colleges and universities. When students have access to up-to-date programs and teaching methods, bulk information, advanced technologies and tools, they increase their creative and learning potential at a quicker pace.
The engineering education should ensure the preparation of young specialists for entering the professional society, as well as the skills and knowledge they require for success.
It is extremely important for engineering students to study using software products in the course of training, so that they will have no difficulties during their internship or application for employment. Despite of several ways to solve the software access related problem, it is still a pressing issue for many students.