Featured Carousel Features January 2019

Online Training for the Win

Written By: Tim Broom

Using the Netflix effect to fill the skills gap

We know that IT professionals are in demand. These are your system administrators, network administrators and database admins. They keep your business operating on a day-to-day basis. Further, there is a near crippling shortage of those specializing in IT security, like penetration testers and cyber security analysts.

What does this mean to you? As a consumer, your data could be at risk with threats to your bank, mortgage company, or just the last place you used your credit card. For your business, it means that it’s going to be hard to find someone to protect the data that’s been entrusted to you by your customers. For the military, it’s placing nations in vulnerable positions.

Driven by need

The tech sector may help non-traditional learning method go mainstream solely out of necessity. Using traditional classroom methods, there is no possible way to train the sheer number of people needed to fill the current and projected shortages for IT roles. Other methods, like online learning, distance learning and even blended learning (classroom + video) will need to step in. Of these, online learning is the most cost-effective.

In the past, people may have chosen online learning for convenience or due to the cost savings. Now, driven by need, the number of people seeking online training in the IT space will result in record numbers of people using a low-cost option to obtain a highly lucrative career. Since the IT field is heavily dominated by certifications (and not necessarily degrees), it lends itself well to smaller segments of specialized learning on learner-driven schedules.

Netflix-style learning

The near-ubiquitous availability of high-speed internet plus the low cost associated with online learning memberships is also driving adoption. People already “binge-watch” their favorite shows on Netflix; binging on training is the next obvious step. Corporate giants like Skillsoft, Global Knowledge and LinkedIn Learning are cashing in on the growth of online learning with 24/7 access to learning worldwide. These companies have collective valuations
in the billions and growing
as the global spend on corporate training has
reached $359 billion.

Headquartered right here in Gainesville, ITProTV takes this a step further with training that’s engaging and even fun to watch. With complex IT concepts presented in consumable, 30-minute episodes, it’s easy to see why this local enterprise has amassed more than 100,000 members in just over five years.

It goes beyond IT learning, though. Online learning companies are essential to today’s business culture. With the speed of technology and the pace of business, professionals must constantly be learning to keep pace.Classroom training is not practical. What company can afford to have team members regularly gone for weeks at a time for training, let alone finding budget to absorb the exorbitant fees and travel costs? Companies that provide online learning are enabling local businesses and global enterprises to grow their teams and, by association, grow their bottom line. 

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