It’s 2017 and a lot of people are talking about the vast changes modern technologies have on life. But something has remained virtually the same – education.
The basics of it haven’t changed – you go to a classroom and listen and watch a teacher. You take notes, then you read textbooks and your notes. Probably also do a few exercises and then you have an exam. And while in most modern colleges these days you can personalize your plan to learn about things that are relatively interesting to you, you still have to abide to additional subjects, credits and so on.
Sadly, all of this is not always ideal for the real world. Businesses, especially in IT, change much faster than the education system can ever cope with. Even if you start a 4-year Bachelor degree in software engineering today and it’s with the most up-to-date materials possible, it will be quite likely that by the end, it will be mostly obsolete. And you would have to pay a lot for it, too.
Ain’t nobody got time for that
Meanwhile, the IT industry is booming and growing faster than ever. This presents lots and lots of opportunities for young people they don’t want to pass up. Plus, most companies don’t really care about college degrees and so on anymore. They want to see talent and then more often than not they start to train and help said talent to develop.
As a result, a lot of people these days are skipping college and turning to self-learning, e-learning and corporate trainings. And many corporations are offering additional trainings for their current and new employees. Often, this includes e-learning initiatives.
No-one can deny it has it’s advantages. But is it better than traditional learning? Well, it depends. Some employers still value a traditional college degree. So, you would need it if you want a very specific career at a very specific place. But if you want to develop and hone your talent and skills, then e-learning is much more versatile and up-to-date for that.
And when your work performance is going up and you’re good at your job, no one will care about your degree or lack of one. Plus, they allow for easier career change. It’s not easy if you’re over 35 for example, to change careers, go back to college and get an IT degree. But you can get a few e-learning courses and start building the base for your first steps in IT.
There’s something for everyone
Big IT names like Google, Apple and many more have different ideas. Even though Steve Jobs dropped out of college and then educated himself with courses, Apple today cares a lot about degrees unless the candidate is exceptionally talented. Google on the other hand is open to people who haven’t been in college. So, open, that a college degree even is not an requirement or even mentioned in the hiring guide. What Google cares for instead is for their job candidates to show skills and motivation.
Plus, Millennials and youngsters these days are used to technology from early days. For them is natural to be able to study and learn via their devices. “Why should I go to a classroom to listen to the teacher when I can do the same online when I’m at home?” “What’s the point of me going to class if all they do is read from the textbook?” You’ve heard this from many youngsters for sure.
For them e-learning is just more “native”. It’s a natural and logical way for them to use technology and can actually get more out of it. And companies are listening to them. According to statistics from IBIS Capital, in 2014 41.7% of the companies in Fortune 500, were using e-learning tools.
Also, many Fortune 500 organizations are using comprehensive e-learning solutions. This means creating platforms that provide all needed materials quickly and add gamification. The goal is to keep the users engaged and lower the chance of them getting distracted with social media or having to open Google to search for more info. E-learning platforms allow corporations to provide more content to their employees, adapt it easier and faster and keep an up-to-date workforce easier. So, yes, while e-learning might not still be a complete replacement for traditional learning, it definitely has a part in the process of continuous learning as your career progresses.