The impact of the professional ‘up-skiller’ on learning

There has been much written recently about the rise of the ‘professional up-skiller’ in the context of a fast-changing business and learning landscape that is evolving ever faster.

As the world of work continues to develop, busy executives, rising stars or life-long learners are demanding new ways to access training and development opportunities that meet their immediate needs, while also providing the opportunity to future proof themselves.  The savvy learner now wants to build their own learning pathway, gathering the skills they need – delivered via bite-sized or modularised programs that offer flexibility – to build their career or simply stay ahead of others within the industry.

According to Studyportals, the demand for short courses is growing at 2.1x the rate of traditional Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees, illustrating a trend towards unbundling higher education degrees and providing more flexible and modular study paths for students. Organisations are recognising this change – with learning and development teams focusing on bite-sized, flexible learning pathways for employees to build skills and keep them engaged, all while meeting the needs of the business – now and into the future.

In response to these changes, higher education institutions, such as RMIT are developing new learning offerings, to enable “people to up-skill or re-skill in critical areas, in response to technological change.”  The development of RMIT Online a “digital-first business that’s wholly owned by the university” is a case in point.  Many traditional brownstone universities, such as the University of Melbourne, Queensland, NSW, and Harvard have recognised this trend for some time, offering a range of short course style programs to entice and capture busy professionals looking to build their skills.  This is evident in Harvard Extension School’s motto “We are Harvard—extended to the world for every type of adult learner” – which is seeking to enable access for busy professionals and those wishing to boost their skills.

The changes to the learning environment are giving rise to the infinite learner – individuals wanting to access new information, methodologies, and practical skills to help them improve not only their skills but their contribution to their work – and in turn, the need to create work (and career) relevant learning experiences that are both engaging and valuable.

Organisations are looking for bespoke and often internal programs that speak directly to the needs of their industry and employees. So now more than ever, learning and development professionals are needed to develop learning pathways and build internal training programs to meet the needs of their employees.  The challenge going forward is for learning and development professionals to gain the skills needed to enable them to develop flexible, online training courses, which are not provided under the Certificate IV training providing under the VET system.

Recognising the need to move away from the traditional VET training, and with an understanding of the different capabilities and skills required to meet the changing learning landscape, the Certified Learning Institute is responding to the needs of the industry. The Certified Learning Institute provides learning and development professionals access to blended and online short course programs to enable them to build their skills in learning design, online course development, content curation, facilitation and more, providing certification and digital badges on completion.

Drawing on the experience of global organisations, and utilising cutting edge technology, learning and development professionals can now create their own learning pathway – building their skills in facilitating learning experiences and/or learning design.

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