A COVID-19 and PE Licensure Update

Due to increased health concerns and state-mandated stay-at-home orders, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) has canceled the April 2020 paper-and-pencil PE exam. This has impacted about 16,000 examinees. To accommodate these examinees, dates have been added for October 2020. 

New dates for the PE exam are as follows:

Thursday, October 22, 2020
Civil: Geotechnical
Civil: Transportation
Civil: Water Resources and Environmental
SE Vertical Forces Bridges
SE Vertical Forces Buildings

Friday, October 23, 2020
Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Architectural Engineering
Civil: Construction
Civil: Structural
Control Systems
Electrical and Computer: Computer Engineering
Electrical and Computer: Electronics, Controls, and Communications
Electrical and Computer: Power
Metallurgical and Materials
Mining and Mineral Processing
Naval Architecture and Marine
SE Lateral Forces Bridges
SE Lateral Forces Buildings


Will my April registration roll over to the October exam? 
No! Registration for the October 2020 pencil-and-paper exam will open at 10:00 a.m. EDT on June 1, 2020 and close at 3:00 p.m. EDT on August 20.

Will my money be refunded for the cancelled April PE exam?
Yes! Examinees who are registered to take an exam in April 2020 are receiving a full refund of fees paid to NCEES. 

What about the computer-based tests?
Pearson VUE, which administers NCEES computer-based exams, closed its professional test centers and will remain closed until conditions are deemed safe to reopen. If you have been impacted by this closure, you are able to reschedule your exam without paying a rescheduling fee.

PE Licensure Updates

2020 license renewal deadlines are officially pushed back until June 30, 2020. Renewal applications are all by mail this year. They were mailed out in February 2020 and will NOT be available online! The renewal grace period has been extended as well between July 1 and July 31, 2020. 

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Resources for Learning New Skills

Being stuck at home, many of us have a lot of extra time on our hands. Don’t let that time go to waste! We’ll likely never get time like this again, we might as well use it productively! If you’re in between jobs or fortunate enough to be working throughout quarantine, we suggest that you use this time to learn a new skill. The more you can add to your resume the better! Check out these online engineering educational resources for growing your skills:

1. Udemy

Udemy.com offers thousands of online courses teaching every subject under the sun. Yes, you can learn dog training and industrial robotics all in one place! The best part is the courses are usually between $10 to $20 and you’ll have lifetime access. Take a look at some popular engineering-related courses here.

2. edX

edX is similar to Udemy except their courses come from over a hundred different institutions and universities. You find courses on different subjects like computer science, language, data science, business and management, engineering, and more! Because these courses come from reputable institutions, the price point is higher. Most courses are a couple hundred dollars. However, you will receive a verified certificate, and some of the courses even fulfill actual certificate programs. Check out your course options here.

3. Coursera

Coursera is another platform that offers online courses, certificates, and degrees online from a variety of universities and companies. According to their website, 87 percent of people learning on Coursera report career benefits like getting a promotion, a raise, or starting a new career. See what you can learn on Coursera here

4. Future Learn

Future Learn offers an extensive selection of STEM-related courses. If you want to brush up on basic science or master more advanced topics like robotics and forensics, Future Learn is a great place to start. Again, these courses are coming from universities and institutions from all over the world so you can be sure you’re getting good material. Check out the STEM courses on Future Learn here.

Bonus: Continuing education opportunities

Don’t miss out on opportunities to earn PDH credits! NJSPE is always offering both online and in-person courses to fulfill your requirements as a professional engineer. The next event is a six-credit webinar on April 30! Register and see more continuing education courses here: https://bit.ly/2Ksvv3i 

We hope you take advantage of these affordable, engineering educational resources to grow your resume and see new opportunities come your way!

STEM Learning Activities to Try with your Kids

During these crazy COVID-19 times many of us have the difficult task of working from home and homeschooling your kids. While we’re stuck at home, there’s are easy and fun ways to keep your child’s STEM learning going with activities that you can do together! We’ll suggest a variety of STEM learning activities to do based on age and ability. 

Keep in mind for guiding your child through the activities:

  • Do a quick overview of the activity. Have your child assess what they already know so they can activate some prior knowledge and memory of past experiences. This will help with the activity overall!
  • A big part of STEM is letting your child explore and figure things out. Make sure you’re not just lecturing them and you’re letting them create things needed for the activity and work things out on their own.
  • If you see an activity is too easy, make it a little more difficult! 
  • Short on supplies or resources for the activities? There’s always a workaround! Another fun part of the activity could include finding these alternate options or creating your own materials. 

STEM learning activities for parents and students

1. Nature hunt
Going on a nature hunt can be fun for all ages and is super easy to change the difficulty level. Not to mention, you and your child will get some much needed fresh air after being cooped up in the house! Have your child identify plants/flowers/birds/whatever you want. Before beginning, go online and look up regional plants/flowers/birds that are likely around your home and neighborhood. You can make a checklist with pictures or just have some fun going on a walk and writing down what you find.

2. Weekly coding activities
These coding activities are mostly meant for the middle school level and up. vidcode offers hour-long challenges. At the end of each, your child will have made something awesome! Things like design your own typeface and map your neighborhood are a few examples of projects offered on their website. 

3. Coding for 5 to 7 year-olds
It’s never too early to get your child started with fun coding activities! ScratchJr is a great opportunity for 5 to 7 year-olds to be introduced to coding concepts in a way that’s fun and they understand. 

4. Spaghetti challenge
An easy and fun activity for a rainy day is testing how strong spaghetti is. All you need is a box of spaghetti and other household items to test its strength with like books, blocks, etc. Try out a spaghetti bridge by laying spaghetti across two books/blocks/etc. See how much weight you can add to the spaghetti bridge before it breaks.

5. Easy science experiments
We all remember those fun and simple science experiments from school. Now it’s time to recreate those at home (don’t worry, there’s no fire involved)! Check out these ten science experiments that you can do with just the things laying around your home.

While the reason for being stuck at home is not ideal, it’s important to make the most of the extra time we have at home with our kids. We encourage you to experiment, learn new things, and make some positive memories from this strange experience. Let us know how it goes! Show us your activities @njspeorg on Instagram and @NSPENewJersey on Twitter.

Engineering Job Search Tips During Coronavirus

During the coronavirus pandemic, just about every industry has taken a hit. Many companies have laid off employees leaving hundreds of thousands of Americans wondering what the next step will be. With no set expiration date on this pandemic, it’s important to be as productive as you can during this time. If you’ve been laid off, are between jobs, or are just about to graduate with an engineering degree, these tips are for you.

1. Keep applying

Most companies are moving to remote work to comply with federal and state guidelines and it’s undoubtedly a big switch. This can take some time for a company to adjust and they might not be hiring right away, but don’t assume that you shouldn’t continue to send out resumes. If companies aren’t hiring now, they will be eventually. If you keep applying, your resume will be on file for the next time they need someone new. Be aware that available positions might disappear from the web for the time being. During a transition period like this, companies may be putting job openings on hold for a few weeks but they are likely to return!

2. Your next job doesn’t have to be your dream job

If you’ve had your eye set on a certain company or position but they’re not hiring right now, you have two options. You can put your job search on hold if you’re in a position to do that or you can find a job elsewhere so you can start generating some income. During an uncertain time like this, you don’t need to be looking for your dream engineering job. There are a handful of industries that still need help during coronavirus. Anything in the medical or medical supply industry is likely going to need help. It’s worth a quick Google search of different industries to see who’s hiring.

3. Find ways to build business relationships online

You shouldn’t give up on networking and building relationships just because you can’t meet someone in person! Get creative and take to the internet. Linkedin continues to be one of the best online resources for connecting people and building professional relationships. With all this free time on your hands, try to get on Linkedin and interact with people or companies for at least ten minutes a day. 

If you had a networking event or conference in your calendar, it’s likely been canceled. However, it could’ve been moved to a virtual platform! Check and see if your event has been moved online and afterward reach out to the organizers/speakers to continue the professional relationship. 

4. Stay in touch with hiring managers

We don’t mean to bug the hiring manager by repeatedly asking about the status of your application. After applying for a job, check in with the hiring manager by email to see where the company is at with future hiring in light of the pandemic. That being said, it’s important to acknowledge that the company may be scrambling during the transition from office to remote work. In your email, acknowledge that you know this isn’t an easy time for companies but you’re here to help whenever the company is ready to hire again. This thoughtful approach can connect with someone on a human level and could keep your name at the front of the application pile.

5. Use this time to perfect and reflect

The free time you have can be used in smart ways! You can perfect your resume or grow your skills to add even more to your resume. There are tons of online resources for learning new skills, earning certificates, or, if you’re already a professional engineer, earning continuing education credits! See what skills you can perfect with an online course. NJSPE offers continuing education courses here

It’s also a great time to think about what you really want to do next. Think about where you want to work and the type of role and title you’re looking for. You can think beyond the pandemic by determining where you want to be in the next five or ten years. If you create a goal now, you’ll be able to map out the path to achieving it!

Finding a New Jersey engineering job during a global pandemic may not be the easiest thing, but it’s not impossible. Keep up your search and don’t give up! If you use this time in a productive way, you’ll be able to get your hands on more opportunities later.

For more COVID-19 updates as it pertains to the engineering profession, keep an eye on our blog page!

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