Re-thinking Careers and Online Learning in the Modern Age

The lifespan of careers has grown longer over the years with careers now typically spanning 60 – 70 years in length, simultaneously though due to the rapid advancements in technology and the change that it brings to the work place, the half-life of skills is rapidly falling and is currently sitting at 5 years.

Increasingly, companies are having to rethink the way in which careers are managed and learning opportunities are delivered, and many have already begun to overhaul their career models and L&D (Learning and Development) infrastructure for the digital age.

Employees learning behaviour is also changing. In the past, employees were able to obtain the skills required for their career, early on; now, the career it’s self is a journey of learning, up-skilling, re-skilling, un-learning, re-learning and continuous reinvention to remain relevant and to thrive in the changing World of Work.

In today’s fast-paced business world, even if companies are starting to rethink L&D delivery, no one’s going to make you engage in continuous learning – a strategy that is essential to your future success. You must take the initiative yourself.

Older employees who studied at a time where the bulk of one’s learning occurred prior to entering the workplace, find themselves working alongside Millennials who place greater value on learning and progression than they do on earning potential first and foremost.

83 percent of the respondents surveyed in Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends survey say their organisations are shifting to flexible, open career models that offer enriching assignments, projects, and experiences rather than a static career progression.

This calls for a commitment to lifelong learning. Noted self-help expert W. Clement Stone, in his many writings on this topic, recommended that you spend anywhere from a half-hour to two hours a day in study and thinking time. It’s this tireless dedication, in combination with an insatiable curiosity that will propel you steadily forward and equip you to excel in the future world of work. What’s more, learning new skills and knowledge can be fun!

The good news for both companies and for employees is that an explosion of high-quality content and digital delivery models offers employees ready access to continuous learning.

Let’s look at how learning has changed and what it looks like today.

Figure 3. Careers and learning: Old rules vs. new rules

Old rulesNew rules
Employees are told what to learn by their managers or the career modelEmployees decide what to learn based on their team’s needs and individual career goals
Careers go “up or out”Careers go in every direction
Managers direct careers for peoplePeople find their career direction with help from leaders and others
Corporate L&D owns development and trainingCorporate L&D curates development and creates a useful learning experience
People learn in the classroom and, sometimes onlinePeople learn all the time, in micro-learning, courses, classrooms, and groups
The corporate university is a training centerThe corporate university is a “corporate commons,” bringing leaders and cross-functional groups together
Learning technology focuses on compliance and course catalogLearning technology creates an always-on collaborative, curated learning experience
Learning content is provided by L&D and expertsLearning content is provided by everyone in the organization, and curated by employees as well as HR
Credentials are provided by universities and accredited institutions; skills are only certified through credentialsCredentials come in the form of “unbundled credentials,” where people obtain certificates in many ways

Which rules are you and your company playing by and is it time to re-think your own attitude towards learning?

DigitalCampus offers an ideal entry point into online learning; retention rates of 98% on average and pass rates of 96 on average point to a supportive environment where learning and engagement are high.