Attractive short courses Introduction Continuing education is becoming a professional necessity in IT and computer related fields. Short courses that are attractive to the industry may be quite different from academic courses. Industry participants expect to develop their knowledge and acquire technical skills that have direct relationships with their day-to-day professional activities. For this the selection of a title and content is one important task towards the success or failure of each short course. Before you propose a short course ask yourself the following questions: Has there been a recent short course given on this subject? Who are you trying to reach? Is there a wide interest in a given subject? Is this subject one for the future, or is it burned out? Are you really willing to take the course responsibility? What are the short courses that are conducted by business training centers? Are there wide industry continuing education programs on the same topic? Once you have settled on an idea that is wanted by the industry and not being offered by others, ask yourself: How many professionals might come? Be realistic! How can you best advertise? How you best personally reach the people that you would like to attend? Can you get the best people to reach the course, even if they must pay their own way to the course? Do not attempt to provide only your personal answers to the above questions. Seek the opinion of other course coordinators in the department, college, university. Modify your idea as needed and try to offer a topic that is really needed by the industry and not being currently offered by others. A systematic approach How to find out what the industry needs. The most effective way to get the right information is the direct contact with the industry. However, one may also use a variety of indirect approaches such as (1) phone calls to relevant industry, (2) ask students returning from COOP and Summer Training and identify major reported topics, (3) seek opinion of other coordinators, (4) consult with part-time students, etc. Emphasize professional development. Generally, short course participants expect to be introduced and trained on a material that concentrates more on developing their hand-on experience. The topic needs to be shortly introduced before developing its application such as associated tools, case studies, and other practical and professional aspects. Specifically, the participants need to be trained on how to operate software and hardware tools, run experiments, interpret results, and generate the right decision. Have many lab sessions. A recommended common figure is to allocate at least 50% of the instruction time for lab activities. One approach is to set morning lecture session followed by an afternoon lab session as a direct application of morning session. For this prepare the lab experiments ahead of time and include them in the course material. Select lab supervisors among those experienced people. Select a suitable title for the short course topic that is the most representative of the technical content.