Training-Industry

Workforce Development: How EdTech Is Bridging the Skills Gap and Automating Long-Term Career Growth

Victoria Zambito – 3 min read

Technology has become a fundamental development tool. From online learning to mobile apps, educational technology has never been as important to supporting performance as it is now, both on the job, where it has immediate, real-time applications, and over time, with online certification programs, for example.

Technology is also helping close the skills gap by automating long- and short-term career growth and planning. More and more, enterprising employees are shifting their focus from simply meeting the minimum role-specific requirements of their job to actively seeking opportunities to advance their careers using predictive learning and analytics. This evolution of training is expected to revolutionize the workforce.

Employers play a major role in stoking the flames of motivation, retention and engagement, too. In fact, research from Aon Hewitt indicates that career development discussions are important in keeping employees motivated and engaged. However, the research also found a significant gap between the communication perceptions of engaged and disengaged employees.

What the Numbers Say

Did you know…

  • Forty-two percent of employees report receiving too little communication related to career development and other areas important to their engagement.
  • Fifty-two percent of employees said they would leave their current company for another job, and 44 percent admitted to actively searching for a new job.
  • More than 70 percent of employees who are at high risk of leaving their company want to leave in order to advance their careers.
  • Eighty-seven percent of millennials consider “professional or career growth and development opportunities” important when choosing a job.

How Technology Can Help

To keep pace with demanding industry changes and evolutions, technology facilitates faster development of new skills and, therefore, enables employees to develop and advance their careers more efficiently. Employees can continuously improve upon existing skills and acquire new skills by incorporating learning into everyday work experiences, and they can progress at their own pace or as their needs or goals dictate. The 70-20-10 model also reinforces the importance of informal learning for career development.

Microlearning

Microlearning apps – available on any device, at the exact moment of need – are an excellent tool to provide on-the-job learning support to help bridge the skills gap. Employees can select relevant training, whether it’s to reference safety precautions or re-educate themselves on a piece of equipment. With mobile app delivery, microlearning offers contextualized skills that employees can learn and apply immediately in the field, which increases long-term retention and comprehension rates through its short, repetitive learning model.

Not only does the instant availability of information boost employee confidence before performing a task, but with apps, learners also have access to quick, bite-sized skill refreshers to remind them of helpful information before they perform a task, reducing risk and increasing efficacy. Technology can take training from reactive to proactive.

Automated Career Pathing

When paired with a powerful LMS, microlearning can help guide the creation of a long-term career development plan. Once a learner has worked with their manager to define a career path within their organization, outlining the skills, steps and certifications necessary to achieve the next level, they can automate that plan, breaking certification training down into micro-credentials, which divide larger tracks into smaller sessions that the employee can complete in shorter time frames.

With this approach, employees feel like they are making consistent progress and have the power to take small steps every day to achieve their long-term goals. They can complete courses when and where they want to, easily integrating learning with their lifestyle. With gamification and social learning, training is fun and rewarding. These systems also offer self-assessments to help users identify their strengths and weakness so they can improve. The LMS collects and analyzes all the data, applies algorithms, and then provides highly personalized online training that bridges the knowledge, skill and experience gaps and improves employee’s workplace performance.

Technology has empowered employers and employees alike to help create a more efficient and effective workforce. With career development and training provided automatically for proactive employees eager to advance their careers, technology has bridged the gap between where employees are today and where they’d like to be in the future.