Strong competition and rapidly changing technology require companies to continually improve their products and optimize manufacturing processes. This makes it important for engineers to continue their education throughout their careers because their value depends on the latest knowledge of the latest technology. In other words, their success to some extent depends on continuing education.
The pace of technology change varies for different specialties and industries, but advancements in technology have affected nearly all disciplines. In fact, there are many references to the adage that the "half-life" of engineering knowledge (that is, the time in which half of what an engineer knows becomes obsolete) is in the range of two to eight years. This no doubt varies with different engineering disciplines, but it reinforces the fact that continued learning is crucial to staying current throughout an engineering career.