To grow workforce, industries rely on in-house training



August 14, 2018 - 10:49 AM

In any job, the biggest threat to one’s position is hubris. We all are replaceable.
A close second, is one’s refusal to adapt to change. In low-skill jobs, especially, the threat of automation makes it critical that staff stay ahead of the curve lest they be replaced by a robot. The world of technology also changes at lightning speed. According to a recent article in The Economist, those whose jobs rely on computers must update their skills every three years in order to remain current.
To help employees update these skills, some American companies have upped their spending on in-house training. IBM, for example, annually allocates an average $1,000 per employee on retraining efforts. IBM also has its own school, the AI (artificial intelligence) Academy that uses a curriculum designed by Coursera, an online learning platform. Approximately 200,000 IBM employees enrolled in an average of 60 hours of training for 2016-18. The classes worked not only to upgrade employee skills but also ensure job security, or, conversely, improve their marketability. Today, about 80 percent of IBM-ers are enrolled in a variety of classes in subjects such as analytics, cloud computing, cyber-security, systems engineering and software development.
Much the same is going on over at AT&T, who partners with Georgia Tech in using the online program Udacity for its computer science curriculum.

BECAUSE the curricula used by the tech giants are provided online, local industries and manufacturers can pattern their efforts.
Like it or not, the needs for such training are immediate. An estimated 14 million computing and engineering jobs will need filling over the next two years, according to the article.
In areas where job recruitment is a challenge, in-house training makes even more sense.
Equally important is that employees view ongoing training as a critical element to job retainment. In today’s world, learning new skills is an essential stepping stone to retaining a job.
— Susan Lynn

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