Bridging the Skills Gap - Learning Even as You Work Full-Time
It’s hard to escape news of the skills crisis that has gripped the global job market. There has been a widening gap between what employers want and what employees can offer – and the gulf has now reached epic proportions!
This skills gap has a huge impact on a company’s operational performance and its overall growth. As technologies continue to develop at a rapid rate, organizations with employees behind the curve are finding it harder and more challenging to keep pace with emerging trends.
Companies around the world are waking up to the urgent need to address this problem in a way that will help both job seekers and potential employers. But while large companies are proactively addressing the problem by introducing training programs for employees at all levels, statistics show professionals themselves are not doing enough to skill up.
How bad is the skills gap?
The numbers make the scale of the problem clear. In a 2013 Talent Shortage Survey conducted by the ManpowerGroup, 39% of employers in the US admitted to having a hard time filling jobs.
A study by Career Builders showed that 38% of hiring employers cannot find qualified candidates and are understaffed, resulting in loss of revenue, lower quality of work, and a reduced morale.
A report by McKinsey Worldwide shows that by 2020, there may be as many as 20 – 23 million workers in developed economies without the skills employers are looking for.
And what’s scarier still is that the rate at which this gap widens is accelerating, owing to the rapid pace of technological advancement.
The problem is not limited to technical proficiencies, either. Employers report that this condition extends to soft skills, too, including organizational management, communication, project management, as well as leadership skills.
Who is to blame?
So how did we get here?
Funnily enough, the answer to that question is pretty straightforward. There are a number of factors that have contributed to this state of affairs, factors that we are pretty familiar with.
Factor #1: Outdated Educational Frameworks – The pace at which technology is advancing has made it difficult for education systems around the world to deliver up-to-date content and training. Most educational institutions do not have the financial leeway to change & update their curricula often.
Fresh graduates are thus falling behind even before entering the job market, with skills that are at least 1-3 years old.
Factor #2 –Revolving door syndrome - A decade or two ago, employees would stay at a single company for at least a few years. This made it possible for organizations to train them adequately.
But with the growth of the fast-paced startup ecosystem, even mediocre talent is able to find employment quickly. As a result, average attrition rates have gone up, and companies just aren’t able to hold on to employees long enough to train them well. This results in diffusion of an unskilled workforce throughout industry.
Factor #3 – Dearth of time - Companies now expect employees to learn and update their skills on their own.
But there is a single, major constraint that hinders self-learning, today – an abject lack of time.
Rigid work schedules, heavier workloads, and digital connectivity that has made it possible to work from anywhere have all made it nigh impossible for dedicated professionals to devote time to learning.
What is the one feature that any eLearning school offers over graduate schools and unis?
With eLearning, employees have the opportunity to learn as they work. Working professionals could learn even as they worked or on the commute. With web-based learning, learners in one part of the world can connect with trainers and instructors from another, making a global education standard a reality.
eLearning thus offers a way out for busy employees looking to skill up.
How can eLearning help you?
#1 The advantage of flexibility –
Self-learning with digital solutions can be asynchronous or synchronous. Self-regulated learning enables students to learn information up to 60% faster than in the traditional training environments.
eLearning platforms allow flexible access to the study material from anywhere and on any device with an internet connection, including desktops, smartphones, and tablets.
#2 Efficiency –
It has been demonstrated that eLearning enables learners to absorb close to 60% more of the material than traditional modes of delivery.
For enterprises, the advent of LMS (Learning Management Systems) cloud platforms has made it easy to document, deliver, track, and monitor the courses taken by specific employees. This has made the training process smoother and more efficient.
#3 Affordability –
When slashing budgets, it’s training programs and eLearning initiatives that are often the first to go. Businesses would rather focus on revenue development and profitability than pouring money into cost centers such as L&D.
The solution to this is that business can use affordable eLearning platforms to develop and improve the skills of their internal workforce. Most of the eLearning tools out there are customizable to specific industries. Employers can foresee as well as adjust the costs and easily scale up or down as the training needs change.
#4 Motivation comes easier with eLearning solutions!
Most employees want to advance as well as succeed but are rarely able to drum up motivation with conventional learning tools. Poor experience with job training in the past causes many to stay away from training altogether.
With this in mind, eLearning incorporates features like gamification that keep trainees engaged and involved. Sharing accomplishments and progress also motivates employees to continue with their training.
The eLearning revolution is gathering steam
Currently, 8% of companies around the world are using MOOCs and LMSes, while 7% are actively considering experimenting with them in the not-too-distant future.
This number is said to increase in the next two years to a decent 28%.
This goes to show that the number of companies turning to eLearning to fulfill their training needs is increasing by the day.
Keeping the constraints of traditional learning methods in mind, Simplilearn, the world’s largest professional certifications company, offers an Online Classroom Flexi-pass that gives you unlimited access to 90 days of instructor-led training and 180 days of self-paced learning.
With high-quality and updated eLearning content, training by industry experts, and industry recommended learning paths, this is a comprehensive package to cater to your every upskilling need.
With the Flexi-Pass, all you need is a laptop or smart phone and an internet connection to learn on the go and get to work on your skills.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and get certified today.
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