Our decision to launch an extensive portfolio of Online Short Courses (initially 25) in digital technology, digital business, design, and innovation is very timely. Training providers have come under scrutiny in the past few years, particularly within the corporate sector. The challenge companies face in aligning skill needs and development objectives with relevant training among what is available, has often led to ineffective use of clients' time and resources. The corporate training model, therefore, is in need of an enhanced approach, and Digital Skills is a leading provider which offers such an enhanced approach.
The Great Training Robbery
In 2012, Professor Michael Beer from Harvard Business School, Magnus Finnström, Director at TruePoint Consulting Firm, and Derek Schrader, Partner and Director at TruePoint, published a study that described the $162 billion spent on corporate training companies each year as “the great training robbery.”
Their thesis questioned the amount of corporate money wasted by companies failing to perform any kind of skills audit, prior to buying corporate training sessions. According to Beer, Finnström and Schrader, “numerous studies evaluating the effectiveness of training and education found that it succeeds only where an individual's goals are aligned with training objectives, where managers and peers support newly learned skills, where trainees have the opportunity to apply the acquired competences and where there are sufficient resources (time and money) to practice new learning.”
The scholarly experts aren't shunning corporate training entirely, but rather argue it can only be effective if companies redefine learning development strategies across functions, regions and operating units and align talent strategy with organisational development. “Organisations need 'fertile soil' in place before the 'seeds' of training interventions can grow” argue Amy Edmondson, Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School and Anita Woolley, Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Theory at the Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University.
According to Professor Beer “other studies also suggest that as little as 10% of corporate training is actually effective”. Staff must be incentivised to upskill and the most effective way to do that is by giving employees a sense of what the company's leadership development strategy is. This type of inclusion makes staff feel they have more of a stake in their employers' success.
“We don't see ourselves as an academic institution 'outside' of industry,” says Paul Dunne, CEO and Founder of Digital Skills in Dublin's Digital Hub. “On the contrary, we aim to be at the heart of transforming for the digital economy. Therefore, it's in our best interest to respond quickly to industry trends and align our training expertise with the digital skills needs of companies. That's why we've added online short courses to our proven International BSc Degree and Professional Diploma portfolio. The subjects covered in our wide spectrum of Online Short Courses will help corporate businesses to rapidly upskill their talent pools with industry-relevant digital competency outcomes and ultimately drive digital transformation. Nevertheless companies must identify their own digital skills gaps before they can address them effectively and provide the right training.”
Paul Dunne - CEO and Founder of Digital Skills
Unlocking substantial digital potential
While deemed “urgent” by Deloitte in a research piece on Human Capital Trends, digital upskilling must be tackled effectively by companies. The corporate learning landscape is facing disruptive changes with the recent arrival of low-cost online learning solutions. New learning tools such as MOOCs might provide clients with what appear to be quick-fix solutions to bridge particular skills gaps. However, companies aiming to sustainably upskill their talent pool with advanced digital competences need transformational learning solutions.
“Like our BSc Degree programmes, our Online Short Courses combine academic rigor and industry expertise via an agile, learning-by-doing approach.” highlights Barry McAdam, Director of Programmes at Digital Skills. “The work-based project experience, intensive group-work assignment, peer learning, and coaching and mentoring sessions that we provide are critical components of our new portfolio. These underpin the industry-relevant and transformational learning experience we deliver.”
This article first appeared in CISION PR Newswire on October 5 2017.