Tech executives encourage workforce training

May 19, 2015

Technology is only worth the investment if you know how to use it. Chief executives are opening up to the idea of workforce training.

workforce trainingAs businesses around the globe continue to adopt cloud computing and other digital strategies for the workplace, efficiency and practicality are key concerns of tech executives. As a result, there is a rising value in adaptable employees.

While many tech professionals enter the sector with a strong grasp of cloud computing, data center security and a host of other important factors, several others lag behind. Whether it’s because of general inexperience or a slightly slower learning curve, some employees are valuable parts of an enterprise yet lack all of the necessary skills to ensure steady business development.

At times, it is imperative to have an internal education branch. This is often more necessary for larger enterprises that are consistently using new devices and technologies. However, business leaders should also welcome external assistance, whether through face to face discussions at the office or online courses on the side.

Tech education spreading quickly in the business world
According to CIO magazine, more and more titles at the workplace reflect their inherent reliance on tech proficiency. Chief analytics officer, chief data officer and chief data scientist are just a few of the many data-heavy positions that didn’t exist a few years ago. However, even for workers who don’t have these kinds of titles, the value of tech skills has never been greater.

“Today’s workforce needs to be more data savvy,” Jeffrey Camm, a professor of business analytics at the University of Cincinnati, told the news outlet. “Not everyone needs to be a data scientist, but nearly everyone will need to learn to utilize the data to make more data-driven decisions.”

The widespread need for tech skills combined with a common lack of understanding has created a strong market for educational initiatives such as DataCamp, an online data science program. The 18-month-old startup provides courses on programming, dynamic reporting, large data sets, data visualization and a wide range of other subjects. And in its first year, it trained more than 100,000 individuals.

“That shows that there’s a real need for data science education,” Jonathan Cornelissen, the co-founder and CEO of the program, told the news outlet. “The mission of DataCamp is centered around the belief that we need new approaches for training in data science.”

Cornelissen added that about 70 percent of the program’s students are actively working professionals from many different industries. The swift rise of DataCamp proves that there is a vast market for like-minded initiatives throughout the country. It’s an affordable option that provides the right kind of help for employees who can admit their shortcomings with certain technologies.

Tech executives seek well-rounded employees
Fast Company reported that a growing number of hiring managers are seeking liberal arts majors for tech positions in their companies. The broad educational background is viewed in a favorable light for job candidates who need to master problem solving with an open mind.

You can count Georgia Nugent, the former president of Kenyon College in Ohio and a senior fellow at the Council of Independent Colleges, as a critic of narrow educational paths. Despite the growing popularity of singularly-focused training, Nugent doesn’t believe that this makes much sense.

“It’s a horrible irony that at the very moment the world has become more complex, we’re encouraging young people to be highly specialized in one task,” Nugent told the news outlet. “We are doing a disservice to young people by telling them that life is a straight path. The liberal arts are still relevant because they prepare students to be flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances.”