“I can see a day soon where you’ll create your own college degree by taking the best online courses from the best professors from around the world … paying only the nominal fee for the certificates of completion. It will change teaching, learning and the pathway to employment.”
InformationWeek’s 2013 U.S. IT Salary Survey found professionals rank “training opportunities” as a more valuable perk than “commute distance”, “bonus/promotion opportunities”, and “corporate culture and values.”
A similar study by Computerworld looked at the 100 Best Places to Work in IT 2013. Of those companies profiled, employees were reimbursed, on average $5,471 per year for technology and $6,399 for continuing education programs. If you don’t offer paid training to your employees, they can find a company that will.
GIIMs 2015 Global IT Trends research has found that the overall IT budget allocation for education/training has averaged 4.52% of the IT budget.
People often use the terms “training” and “education” interchangeably. However, there is a vast difference between educating and training. Perhaps more important is recognizing that both are integral to any teaching/learning experience, albeit there are some jobs/responsibilities that demand more practical training than formal education, and vice-versa.
Wikipedia suggests that training “refers to the acquisition of knowledge, skills and competencies as a result of the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies.” For example, training an individual on how to use Microsoft Project® or training an individual on how to properly respond to business partners (users) questions. In essence, training is focused on obtaining a specific skill. Training is taken to master a particular task or job and is mostly imparted to experienced IT professionals to help them become proficient with a particular technology.
Education, on the other hand, is defined in Wikipedia as “any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character, or physical ability of an individual.” In essence, education is helping someone learn how to think, how to problem solve. For example, providing an individual with the theory behind different communication styles, an understanding of how others communicate based on their style, and helping them understand how to read a situation to understand how to best communicate influentially with other individuals.
The basic purpose of education is to impart knowledge about facts, concepts, events and principles. All of these form the foundation upon which skills learned later work effectively and efficiently. It is through these foundation concepts that candidates obtain the ability to solve more complex problems and become effective leaders and managers.
Education is typically measured by duration; for example you spent a day in the seminar or four years in college. Training, on the other hand, is typically measured by what you can do when you have completed it. Universities tend not to be responsive in providing a timely and appropriate balance of practical training and education, especially in today’s dynamic environment.
While seminars are often engaging, they are generally not the best way to change behavior. Most of the content in a traditional seminar flows in one ear and out the other. Researchers report that people remember 90 percent of what they do, 75 percent of what they say, and 10 percent of what they hear. Hence, while the appropriate balance of education and training is important, applying and validating new skills/concepts is essential (see Skills Validation below). Workshops combine many of the attributes of education, and seminars in that they provide a hands-on vehicle for applying the content of a course in a short time span.
The problem is, if we don't educate candidates before we train them, it could lead to difficulties. Consider how you learned to drive. You need knowledge of the laws and then the actual training of getting behind the wheel (e.g., aspects of driving and using different car parts such as the accelerator, clutch and brakes). The same can be said for learning about the birds and the bees; if the education part isn't done effectively, the training could lead to undesirable results. It is the appropriate balance of the two that is required for driving a car, the birds and the bees, as well as IT management.
GIIM focuses on helping people ann organizations learn via education not training. Learning is about discovery. It is about building awareness, competencies, self-confidence, and interpersonal leadership attributes.
You can train someone on how to do tasks because the skills they require are often one-dimensional. However, people skills are multi-dimensional. They address issues such as relationships and attitudes that require an ongoing learning process instead of a single training event.
GIIM programs focus on IT leadership and management skills. Learning through education challenges people to develop awareness and gain insights. It encourages people to evaluate their actions and their way of thinking, and develops the ability to apply new skills in innovative ways. Training does none of these.
For a program to be successful, executives must be clear about what they want their people to accomplish when it's over. After all, the only reason to educate and train people is to help them meet specific work objectives, be better motivated employees, and prepare them for more challenging careers; especially in todays dynamic world. Organizations can't afford to leave those objectives unstated or to delegate deciding their people's objectives to others. GIIM has experienced mentors to work with executives and candidates to ensure the objectives are clearly defined and achievable.
Also, elite universities choose professors for their ability to do research. Tenure-track and tenured professors teach as little as they can, and often leave what used to be their core task to ill-paid adjuncts and inexperienced graduate students. Even when they enter the classroom, they offer courses so minutely specialized that the big practical questions never get discussed. GIIM leverages seasoned faculty from multiple leading universities (in addition to experienced practitioners) to teach its courses and provide a balance of academic rigor with practical relevance.
Having the returning employee demonstrate new skills for a manager corroborates two important things:
Traditionally university students do assigned work/projects with great ingenuity and elegance, but often without real-world practical engagement. To effectively validate course objectives GIIM has candidates apply the concepts of each course to their job by requiring them to prepare a structured 20+ page report that identifies specific course related problems/opportunities and address how to appropriately and pragmatically address them. While defining and demonstrating a credible bottom line return on education is often challenging, this approach used by all GIIM courses has proven quite viable.
With the growing global demand/gap of IT skills for professionals with the appropriate balance of leadership, technical, management, business, industry, and interpersonal skills, innovative programs that combine flexible training and educating like GIIM have become essential.
Similarly, in a 2013 survey commissioned by the Association of American Colleges & Universities, employers want colleges (undergraduate & graduate) to place more emphasis on: