According to MIT Technology Review, more companies are realizing they need to modernize their workforce to compete in today’s digital economy. One way businesses are doing this is by investing in online learning platforms to expand their employees’ skillset and knowledge base in multiple fields, rather than relying on textbooks, educational videos or in-person classes.
These platforms are often used by employees who are looking to boost their salaries and improve their career prospects by working in other fields, such as the technology realm, but don’t have the skills or knowledge on how to acquire them. In one example shown by MIT Technology Review, Greg Wasowski, a recruiter at cloud computing and software provider Salesforce, wanted to work his way up to an engineering role in the company.
To achieve his goal, Wasowski spent hours a week on Trailhead, Saleforce’s online learning platform, to educate himself in engineering. “Within a year, he learned two programming languages, earned certification as a Salesforce application developer, and got a job configuring Salesforce software for customers,” according to MIT Technology Review. Based on Wasowski’s story and others, Salesforce continues to use Trailhead platforms to teach skills to its 26,000 employees worldwide.
Investing in online learning platforms appears to be a win-win for companies, colleges, and employees alike. On the business side of things, decision makers who invest in these platforms demonstrate how they value employees – giving employees digital tools enable them to further their education and career; it shows that the company or college wants to see their employees succeed in their careers, and earn the highest possible salary.
From the employee perspective, they are able to take advantage of new learning opportunities leisurely, and/or maybe explore career fields they never considered, or did not think they could attain due to lack of education or experience (such as, they could not afford to attend college). Such opportunities might similarly break down socioeconomic barriers among employees, too – everyone within the company or working for a college, regardless of their pay grade, would have an equal opportunity to use the platform to better their education and skills and advance their career goals. Plus, the benefits gained from online learning platforms come at no cost to employees – the ROI can be high here, especially if an employee can move up the ranks of his or her company/college through the education, skills, and experience they obtain through one of these platforms.
More about Trailhead:
Trailhead deviates from traditional corporate education tools like Lynda.com, Codecademy, Khan Academy, and massive open online courses (MOOCs) like Udacity. It combines interactive challenges with bite-size tutorials, game-like elements, intuitive design, and a playful tone—and it’s entirely customizable for the corporate owner. Most lessons and projects take an hour or two to finish. The system is equipped to check users’ work and tell them if they’ve completed the exercises correctly. It also awards them points and virtual badges that they can display on their Trailhead or LinkedIn online profiles.
-MIT Technology Review