Take The First Step to Reimagining Your Continuing Education Business by Delivering Real World Value to Stakeholders:
I can’t blame my professor. In fact, that freshman year calculus instructor was probably the best teacher I had the whole fall semester. Yet whenever it came time to derive, integrate or optimize… I struggled. Boy, did I struggle. And in case you’re feeling accusatory, let me quickly remind you…
I’m not stupid! Seriously, I love education. My marks in biology, chemistry and physics were top tier. They hung out on the right side of the distribution curve. And I remain proud of that. I really enjoy learning. But…
Whenever test time came around, I still had trouble accurately quantifying the area under the curve. And now… (finally)… I think I know why. Let me show you what I mean:
Looking Back On Education, And How It Pertains To the Real World:
It’s taken a few years of retrospection. But I’ve come to believe that the difficulties I faced in CALC-102 were in large part because I could not extrapolate the educational exercises to the real world. I couldn’t picture what was happening in terms I understood. The textbook seemed divorced from reality. In other words, “I just don’t care about that squiggly parabola.”
Can you blame me?
Well, try not to empathize too much. Notwithstanding the fact I spent far too much time drawing smiley faces with my graphing calculator, this penchant for understanding the real world application of education has served me very well.
For example, I believe the interest in “real world education” is why I flourished in chemistry, (where I was fascinated by the actual implications of the organic reactions happening in and around me). But this blog post isn’t just about me…
And that’s because beyond my own personal reflections, the issue of real world education is finally starting to boil over! I’ve got the proof. Do you want to see it? I’ll show you in a minute. But first I want to ask, “Do you think the need for real world education is a fad?”
Well, it’s not.
So If you’ve been paying attention, you know there have been telling signs in the continuing education industry that change is quietly under way. And we’ve had our ear to the ground for months. So let me show you what we found, and how it pertains to the real world:
Why Education for the Real World is a Strong and Growing Trend in Continuing Education:
A few months ago, Destiny Solutions President and CEO, Shaul Kuper, wrote about why continuing education is falling short in providing value to students. You can read the whole piece at The EvoLLLution, but here is the crux of Kuper’s point:
“Our education system was designed centuries ago… But instead of reconstructing and rethinking this tuition-revenue model from the 1600s, we simply keep re-paving the surface, while ignoring the underpinning foundations… Perhaps it is time to reimagine our educational system altogether? What if we were a start up nation, without any outdated infrastructure or preconceived ideas on how an educational system is “supposed” to work. Suppose we simply started again from scratch. Can you imagine?
It’s a great question. But it’s no small task. So you might find yourself wondering, “How do you even begin overhauling something as complex as the modern day educational institution?” and, “What’s the first step in reimagining the continuing education business?”
Well, actually, I think re-imagining our educational system (to provide more real world value), starts with a simple idea:
Where Does Continuing Education Currently Fall Short of Real World Requirements?
It’s not like we operate in a vacuum. There are plenty of interfaces between modern day continuing education institutions and the real world of employment. But it takes courage (and time) to examine exactly where education currently falls short of real world expectations. Lucky for you, the legwork is already done.
Here’s what I mean:
Destiny Solutions recently asked 200 North American employers a barrage of questions about the continuing education programs currently available to them. But it gets better. Because we also asked how these educational options stack up, right now, against the demands of the real world.
Suffice it to say, the answers will surprise you.
In all cases, it was clear that employers really value continuing education. But as adamant as they were about the value of ongoing education, employers were equally clear that most university and college offerings for continuing education do not prepare students for the vigorous, practical and specific skills needed for success in the fastest growing, most knowledge intensive industries.
What Does Effective Real World Education Look Like?
That was the main thrust in undertaking this research. But a more apt question, given the results, might be “what doesn’t effective real world education look like?” Either way, the results were enlightening. Employers voiced constructive concerns for how universities and colleges might change their current educational offerings and operations to make university-corporate partnerships – and adequate real world education for employees– more accessible to North American business owners.
Rather than summarize the results of our research on real world education, you can see the findings for yourself. Just fill out the form below to get immediate access to 16 pages of insightful analysis and interpretation of employer responses to our stinging survey questions. Find out once and for all how the value of continuing and higher education are perceived by real world employers.
So if you’ve ever wondered how theoretical learning can be applied to the real world, you’ll appreciate the findings of this research!