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Classes on the Cheap

Continuing education is essential. It keeps us moving forward–as an individual professional, as a company, and as an industry. Continuing ed. has historically been both costly and time-consuming; yet, it needn’t be. In an age of dwindling budgets and resources, a wealth of us in the mil/aero community increasingly are taking advantage of free and other low-cost courses and other educational and informational venues.

The thought of spending my nights or weekends in class, listening to lectures and taking notes and tests, makes me cringe; yet, I find it is more a matter of the cost that keeps me from registering for classes. How do I know this? If I had access to an employer-sponsored educational benefit, I’d jump at the chance to take a course or two (or even get my Ph.D.) on “the company dime.” Such a benefit can be rare in a challenging economy, so I am quite accustomed to seeking out and taking advantage of low- and no-cost educational opportunities.


For example, people interested in learning more about the DO-254 standard (RTCA/DO-254, Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronic Hardware, a document providing guidance for the development of airborne electronic hardware, published by RTCA Inc.) can tap into a tremendous amount of free information available online from industry firms, such as Mentor Graphics.

Mentor provides a wealth of DO-254 information, insights, and even answers to burning questions online ( Just on this singular topic, Mentor’s Web site offers such valuable, free resources as white papers, videos, a glossary, a list of partner companies (a.k.a., additional resources), the latest related news, a user group, and the lastest addition: the DO-254 user community. This geek is a proud member of the latter, and looks forward to participating in thoughtful online exchanges with like-minded individuals. See you there!

Milaero, Mil-Aero, Military, DO-254, Aerospace, RTCA, Mentor Graphics,, Geek, Mentor

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