What Path is Your Career On?

Amid all the economic uncertainty we find ourselves in, now is a critical time to reflect on your development and your career path. At UW–Madison, we offer interactive, online degrees that not only teach new skills, but also guide you in discovering what your future career path can be.

Often “development” is thought to focus only on developing specific technical skills, but it is both technical and interpersonal skills that matter to your success. While technical skills like the latest in Industry 4.0 or connected devices are crucial for career advancement, communication skills, project management skills, and leadership proficiencies make all the difference between stagnation and progress.

“The Career Architect Development Planner” by Lonbardo and Eichinger, informed by surveys of over two hundred executives, introduced a new model. Often referred to as “70/20/10,” this model breaks down components of development. The “70” refers to the fact that 70% of training should be on-the-job training, including challenging assignments and stretch projects. To support this, we designed our program’s curriculum and class assignments to solve real-world potential problems in your workplace so that you have opportunities to learn from your own projects.

The “20” or 20% of your development should be direct feedback from mentors, managers, and trusted peers. By developing these professional relationships, you create the conditions to allow for formal and informal feedback. These key individuals will employ “See It, Say It” thinking to provide immediate feedback on your growth. In our program, we guide you on how to cultivate valuable professional relationships, how to ask for actionable feedback, and how to take that feedback in stride to further your growth.

Finally, the “10” or 10% is formal training—master’s degrees and professional development courses. Our Manufacturing Systems Engineering program at UW–Madison addresses both the technical and business skill sets for future operations leaders and senior engineers, giving you what you need to pursue the growth and progress you desire.

As you develop both your technical and interpersonal skills, think about balance between these two halves of professional development and how you might establish development goals for the coming year that work on both sides of your development.

One way to get started shaping your future goals is with an Individual Development Plan. We offer a template that you can fill out digitally or print, so spend a quiet moment to consider and plan out how you want to advance your career. Next, we recommend you discuss your goals with your manager to explore the advancement paths available to you.

Download the Plan

Learn More About the MSE Degree