How Universities Can Build Digital Transformation Training Programs: Case in Study - Duke Continuing Studies

How to Build Top Digital Transformation Programs With Duke
Author

Naren Madan

Last updated October 11, 2018


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It’s easy to only think of rapidly changing technologies in terms of the things we use every day, such as smartphones, ride-sharing apps or Spotify recommendations. These technological advancements are driving other changes as well as including our learning needs. Earlier, you could go to a university, earn a degree, and start working in your chosen field without much consideration for skills you might need in the future. Now working adults regularly find themselves in need of additional skills or an altogether new set of skills to keep pace with the changing work environment of the 21st century. 

The question is, how do they learn these skills? Going back to a traditional university for a degree is not usually practical. How do academic institutions meet this new need in a new way? One approach is to partner with an eLearning provider that offers targeted, career-oriented content as an alternative. Listen to the webinar How to Build #1-Ranked Digital Transformation Programs with Duke Continuing Studies to learn how Duke University has partnered with Simplilearn to meet the needs of working adults to close the critical skills gaps that have become so commonplace as a result of emerging technologies. 

You can listen to the webinar here or read the summary below about the evolving training needs of the business community and how partnerships between traditional universities and elearning providers can work together to meet those needs.

A Critical Skills Gap

Everything is changing so fast with the rapid pace of emerging technologies that employees are challenged to keep up. Because they are working, they have little time to pursue additional training and businesses are ill-equipped to provide the training in-house. As a result, we end up with a critical and persistent skills gap, and businesses lose their competitive edge while employees become increasingly dissatisfied or even frustrated by their inability to stay current.

When faced with a skills gap, employees sometimes turn to a university for help, because that is traditionally where people have learned new skills in the past through adult education/executive programs. However, a traditional university can’t always teach the skills needed in a way that fits the needs of this type of learner because it’s usually mid-career professionals who need the training. They are working adults who are changing careers, adding credentials, or returning to work after a break. They don’t have the financial resources or the time to commit to a degree program. More importantly, universities find it very difficult to constantly upgrade their curriculum as per the industry requirements.

Solving the Issue: Continuing Education Program Offered Jointly by Universities and Elearning Providers

Universities can provide the training necessary in a way that fits into the schedule of the employees and the concerns of the employers when they partner with a third-party provider to offer elearning options. 

Simplilearn bridges the gap between the business community, the learner, and the universities to enable the workforce of today to keep pace with digital transformation technologies. There are two areas where Simplilearn does this: 

  1. Adaptation and Relevance - Simplilearn keeps up with technological advancements so the content is always current in areas such as Big Data and Cloud Computing. In addition, Simplilearn adds content categories as they emerge in the marketplace. Most recently, the elearning provider added Digital Selling and Artificial Intelligence courses to meet a growing demand for education in these domains. Once a content area is defined, Simplilearn works with global industry leaders to help define the coursework and objectives. 
  2. Content Delivery - Simplilearn delivers content in three ways: online self-learning, live instruction virtual courses, and a blended approach. Regardless of the delivery method, Simplilearn emphasizes hands-on learning and real-world application of the content taught to ensure mastery and comprehension. 

Award-winning Programs at Duke Continuing Studies

Duke Continuing Studies serves learners and businesses by partnering with Simplilearn. The university has been able to build a #1-ranked digital transformation program in digital marketing, with new programming in Big Data and Analytics that meet the needs of working adults seeking training to close the skills gap that can negatively impact a business’ bottom line. The program is very comprehensive and is completely online. 

For someone who is used to a traditional learning setup involving physical classrooms and interactions with fellow students on campus, transitioning to virtual learning can initially pose quite a few challenges. However, online training programs have proven to be very effective at Duke Continuing Studies. As stated in the webinar, over 94 percent of digital learners say elearning impacted their professional lives, with 18 percent getting a new job, 18 percent getting a promotion, and 10 percent getting a raise as a result of their elearning. At the end of the webinar, several Duke Continuing Studies alumni tell their own stories, offering testimonials to the effectiveness of the learning they received through the Duke/Simplilearn partnership.  

In an age of constant change driven by emerging technologies, universities must also adapt to meet the changing needs of learners in different life stages. Partnering with an elearning provider in order to stay relevant to working adults who strive to stay current in their skill sets can ensure these traditional centers of learning continue to serve their purpose, even in the face of rapid digital transformation. 

This article is the first in a two-part series to summarize the webinar and provide key talking points and takeaways. Watch this space for more.

Preparing for Digital Transformation? Learn more about how the Simplilearn Digital Academy can help your organization transform and succeed.

About the Author

Naren Madan is a Content Marketer with close to three years of experience in B2B marketing. An avid football fan, Naren follows the key trends in digital marketing and how sports teams leverage new marketing technologies and analytics to connect with their global fan base. This section provides access to all the insightful resources that Naren has contributed to our audience.

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