There are not always classes on heat treatment/metallurgy at local vocational/technical schools, so there are only two choices:
- Online educational courses
- Education in the classroom
Which is better: online or classroom? It is debatable. Classroom means that you meet with other heat treaters/metallurgists and engineers who may have experienced similar problems as you or your company. In terms of education, you are able to obtain continuing-education credits.
The online course will be of very practical value to each and every student, and it is accomplished at the pace of the student with access to the presenter with e-mailed questions and comments.
There is an awakening occurring within the industry – both captive and commercial heat treaters – of the vital need to understand more fully what is occurring within the confines of the furnace, whatever metal they may be treating.
In conclusion, I cannot stress hard enough the need for metallurgical education within our industry. Process techniques are changing almost daily. Process-control systems are changing almost daily, and yet the principles of metallurgy and heat treatment remain the same today as in the early years of our civilization. Heat treatment touches the very fabric of our lives. Sewing needles are heat treated, as are surgical suturing needles, knives, scalpels, auto parts, aerospace parts, body implants and off-road vehicles. We need education in order to stay on top of our game.