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IEEE Communications Society

Published: 7 Sep 2018

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Benefits of Participating in Industry Conferences

Before the days of social media, one of the best ways to network with other professionals was to attend a meeting or an industry conference.  These events were a great way to learn the latest in your field and meet with others to share ideas and make connections.  Although there are many online resources that can help us to stay connected and keep current in our fields of interest, there are still significant benefits for these face-to-face events that just cannot be denied. 

In the Curtis and Coulter blog, “Why is it as relevant as ever to attend conferences in 2018?” the author discusses how our reliance on technology to communicate makes it more important now than ever to go to in-person conferences for a variety of reasons.  If you feel stalled at the office or in need of some inspiration, attending a conference could help to change things up.  Here are some benefits mentioned in the Curtis and Coulter blog:

  • Change of Scenery - Cure your wanderlust and get those creative juices flowing again!
  • Sharpen the Saw - The idea is that sometimes you have to take a break from the “work” of your work to sharpen your skills. A dull axe won’t cut a tree nearly as effectively as a sharp one.
  • Networking - Show engagement by being present – you’re representing yourself and your company, so make invaluable connections and leave a lasting impression.
  • Content / Takeaways - Conferences provide a unique convergence of networking, learning, and fun into a single package. A good conference forces you to grow and challenge yourself.
  • Learn Something New Outside your Field - Besides gaining knowledge about the latest developments within your own field, exploring uncharted territory may also prove extremely rewarding. Broaden your horizons and gain an eclectic overview of what’s shaping our future.

The convergence of all of these benefits in one place is what makes attending a conference so advantageous.  Moreover, if you are looking for something to help spark your creativity, attending an industry conference may be just what you need.  As you know, for an engineer creativity is an essential skill to have when developing new products and services or working to find new solutions.   Authors and innovators David and Tom Kelley recommend that developing a “traveler’s mind” can help to reinvigorate creativity.  In their article, “Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All,” they describe how “too often, we go through day-to-day life on cruise control, oblivious to huge swaths of our surroundings. To notice friction points—and therefore opportunities to do things better—it helps to see the world with fresh eyes.”  With this in mind, getting out of the office and out of your comfort zone can help you to see things differently and stimulate new ideas and solutions.

Industry conferences provide opportunities like no other online resources to have access to top experts, innovators, scientific researchers, and your peers in one common place.  Reconnecting with former colleagues and making new connections is another great benefit of attending these events.  In the IEEE The Institute’s article, “Three Ways to Get Ahead In Your Engineering Career,” networking is one of the most important things that an engineer can to help one’s career.  “Networking outside the office provides the opportunity to know others in your engineering field, learn about their projects and discover new trends. It's a way of cross-pollinating. Share your ideas and let them opine... By offering useful information to others, you build your reputation as a knowledgeable, reliable and supportive person—someone others would like as a co-worker or even as a boss. Having relevant connections in your business network will help in the job you currently have as well as the job you’ll have in the future.”  Technical sessions, social events, or even shared coffee breaks at conferences can offer significant networking opportunities if you are willing to take the initiative. 

There is still time left in 2018 to participate in an industry conference.  One of ComSoc’s premiere conferences, IEEE GLOBECOM, takes place in early December in Abu Dhabi offering a variety of technical sessions, keynote speakers, tutorials and social events to enhance your professional development and your career.  Can’t make it to Abu Dhabi?  Then check out the ComSoc conference home page for other upcoming events, which also includes a conference search tool so that you may find an opportunity that works better for you.

Did you know that you can receive credit toward renewing your IEEE WCET™ Certification by participating in industry conferences and events?  In the recertification through PDU option, you can earn professional development units (PDUs) for participation in conferences related to wireless communications.  Learn more about recertification on the IEEE WCET website.

Recertification News: Fall 2013 and Fall 2015 WCPs: Your Credential is Now Due for Renewal

A message from Dr. Mohamed M. A. Moustafa, Chair, IEEE WCET Recertification & Accreditation Committee.

IEEE WCP credential holders who originally earned IEEE WCET Certification in Fall 2013 and in Fall 2015, are now required to apply for the recertification to keep their credential active.

IEEE WCP credential holders, there are some things that you need to consider in order to keep this important certificatioin active.   Consider the following to determine when you need to renew your credential:

2015 – the present: Recertification is required after three years.

Before 2015: Recertification is required after five years and once these individuals renew their certificate, they will be on the three-year renewal cycle.

When it is time for you to renew your IEEE WCET Certification, you have two options to recertify:

  • Passing the current IEEE WCET certification exam, or
  • Showing a minimum number of earned Professional Development Units (PDUs), as appropriate for the length of the current certification.
    • 100 PDUs are required for those renewing and required to show five years of professional activities (i.e. WCP credential holders before 2015).
    • 60 PDUs for those renewing under the current three-year cycle (i.e. 2015 WCP credential holders and later).

All the certifications issued beginning 1 January 2017 are valid for a three-year period.

Important Dates:

7 September 2018: The last day to apply for the IEEE WCET Certification exam in 2018.

24 September - 20 October 2018: The final IEEE WCET Testing Window in 2018.

1 November 2018: The expiry of the IEEE WCET Credentials for the Fall 2015 & Fall 2013 WCPs credential’s holders (if not recertified).

If you choose to recertify through the path of showing the earned Professional Development Units (PDUs), the Recertification & Accreditation Committee is confident that your experience and your self-development during the last five years/three years will meet the criteria for recertification.

Should you have any difficulty completing the application form, you can send us your up-to-date resume and we can help you fill out the application.

Join your fellow IEEE WCPs who have already recertified and continue to maintain this valuable credential.

Recertification Tip: Presenting the documents of attending relevant technical sessions, workshops, and/or training activities offered at conferences and other industry events during the last three years gives you up to 15 PDUs out of the 60 PDUs recertification credit.

Learn more about recertification now.

Upcoming IEEE ComSoc Training Courses

The full list of courses being offered through year-end is now available.  Topics include 5G, Optical Communications, LTE, Wi-Fi, Security, IoT, and more.  Discounts available on select courses for early registration or registration for related courses as a “bundle.”  View the calendar of upcoming courses now.

Industry News

Why IoT cybersecurity solutions revenue will reach $6 billion- 03 August 2018
“According to the latest worldwide market study by Juniper Research, spending on IoT cybersecurity solutions is forecast to reach over $6 billion globally by 2023.” []

Zigbee will account for 85% of mesh IoT chipsets by 2023, report says 
“Research firm ON World has released findings of a report confirming that half a billion Zigbee chipsets have been sold to date. The report predicts that 3.8 billion Zigbee-based chipsets will be sold by 2023.” [FierceWireless]

ETSI releases security standards for distributed systems
The distributed, cloud-based technological environment required by 5G and IoT will present a novel set of security challenges. []

Japan, Korea to account for 43% of 5G global connections in 2019: study
Juniper Research said NTT DoComo, SK Telecom, LG U+, KT and Softbank will be at the forefront of 5G development. [RCRWireless]

Report: IoT Vertical Standards to Emerge and Then Merge
“Industries such as agriculture, health care and manufacturing will each act as their own IoT ecosystem, smoothly functioning with their own standards. At some point, the different IoT vertical clusters will seek to share information and even combine, with standards and regulation emerging to enhance their ability to work together on a common platform, according to the whitepaper.” [IoT World Today]

IEEE Task Force Works on Standard for Light Communications
“The new guidelines for Li-Fi are to enhance IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi standard” [IEEE The Institute]

Meet Martti, the Finnish Robocar That Uses 5G
“A Finnish consortium is testing the real-world capabilities of 5G networks for autonomous vehicles.” [IEEE Spectrum]

5G: from personal transformation to society & enterprise transformation
“With 5G, the telecoms industry will roll-out network features and technologies that will drive digital transformation across society and enterprises.” []

FCC order to streamline small cell deployments looks to speed 5G
“FCC: Small cell order will create jobs, stimulate the economy” [RCRWireless]

MIT Researchers Develop Seamless Underwater-to-Air Communication System
“TARF is a new approach to converting sonar to radar without any intermediary steps” [IEEE Spectrum]

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