Skills-based learning has developed beyond a conversation and has become the focus of many learning institutions from higher education to community colleges, career-specific educators, internal company training, and more. Why?
When we talk about education, we often describe it as a tool for economic mobility. We tell high school kids to go to college, get a degree, and that is the path to a good career. For adult learners, we advocate that they go back to school, finish that degree, get a master's or a doctorate - easy ways to “get ahead” and enhance their ability to move forward in their careers.
In a recent article titled “College Ed Must Adapt or Die”, Jason Wingard, the President of Temple University in Pennsylvania stated simply, “Consider this my burning platform memo for higher ed.” What was he referring to? There is a crisis happening in higher education right now, and if it were any other type of business, there would be widespread panic.
There is an entire ecosystem that revolves around skills, and that ecosystem is changing. It started with education, and the rise of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which, while it did not have the impact many thought it would, spawned an era of self-paced alternative education that created a boom in online courses.
So far in our Lens on Learners series, we have looked at lifelong learners, those who are unemployed and underemployed, and those still in grades K-12 (or their country equivalent of elementary and high school). However, we haven't as yet addressed one group, one that we still need to talk about - those learners who are recent college graduates. These learners currently face the question “What now?” Let's dive in and see...
Continuing our Lens on Learners series, we come to one of the most challenging and perhaps most important topics of all, yet one of the most difficult to navigate. We talk about the skills gap, the need for soft skills and ways to quantify, measure, and document them when it comes to universities, trade schools, and even adult learning, but what about starting even earlier?
LIfelong learners or adult learners fall into a few different categories, but the broadest ones are those who have been displaced from their current careers for whatever reason (as covered in our previous article) who have an urgent need to reskill or upskill to reenter the workforce and preserve their means to make a living. The second, and the topic of this article, is the group of lifelong learners that want to upskill or reskill to advance in their current career, switch careers, or prepare for potential displacement that may be on the horizon.