The world is changing. As digital transformation hits more and more companies and industires, workers have to develop the new competencies and skills required by changing digital business models.
Upskilling: There’s an app for that
Most enterprise leaders recognize the growing need to invest in employee training, but there’s a big gap between recognition and action.
A Randstad Sourceright survey shows that 91% of business leaders see a responsibility to provide training – but just 22% are delivering it. While 66% of employers plan to provide such training eventually, this is mostly focused on organizational needs, such as AI skill development.
Rebecca Henderson, CEO of Randstad global business, said it’s “troubling that so few companies are currently offering this necessary training.”
She’s probably right, and this lack of action leaves the onus on employees to carve their own path to skills development and personal progression. Some consider this an abdication of responsibility on the part of employers.
A 2014 Duke University study revealed that more than three-quarters of enterprises had used or evaluated online courses such as those provided by these services for professional development.
Meanwhile, here are five of the most popular iOS apps enterprise professionals are using to bolster their skills; they should be of use to anyone who hopes to find affordable training themselves.
Each of these services is available on your iPhone, Mac, iPad, online and most other platforms.
LinkedIn acquired Lynda.com in 2015 before itself being acquired by Microsoft. LinkedIn Learning is the result of these acquisitions and offers a wide range of affordable short courses with a slant on the needs of business and creative pros.
These span a good range of introductory and advanced coding and software-based skills, application-specific knowledge and leadership training. You can access all the courses through a web browser or using LinkedIn’s various platform-specific apps.
While the service is perhaps the most widely used educational tool at U.S. companies, access comes at a price: $29.99/month, for which you’ll gain access to the entire 13,000+ course catalog and the usual range of LinkedIn Premium features. The service is quite well sign-posted and provides certifications you can add to your LinkedIn profile.
Pluralsight is a U.S. service offering video training mainly primarily aimed at software developers, creative professionals and IT admins; 6,000+ courses are certificated and include on- and off-line access, skills assessments and live mentoring, in some cases.
The certification is particularly useful as these are industry-specified certificates, and the service can provide you with curated learning paths to help get them. So, for example, one selection of Big Data-related courses comes up with 43 hours of training spread across 101 courses.
Courses are provided on a monthly (from $24/month) or annual (from $245 annually) subscription – though the snag is that certification is only available with the more expensive Premium plan. The company also offers a complete SAAS platform for enterprise customers, which lets them provide training internally across the organizations.
Offering 10s of thousands of courses across a huge range of topics and disciplines to millions of students and in multiple languages, Udemy is one of the biggest online learning platforms accessible to any Mac or iOS user (or pretty much anyone else).
These courses aren’t aimed solely at the needs of enterprise pros, which means you may need to dig a little deeper to find the caliber of training you seek. However, the wide range of content makes it a good place to upscale so-called “soft” skills through humanities-related training.
Navigation is the best thing about Udemy. Learners are encouraged to share reviews and star ratings of the courses they take, which means the best courses usually have hundreds of reviews and high star ratings.
Pricing models vary – free courses are available, as are fee-based learnings. Some courses are very short, others basic, some poor, but the best of them are available on an enterprise license (Ubemy for Business) so your enterprise can offer up training and development to employees.
Broadly speaking, the courses provided on the Coursera service are high-quality, well-designed and cover a range of subjects, including career-specific training up to full online degree and MBA-level courses.
There are 3,900 courses, including more than 20 at degree level. The service also offers 2,000 Coursera for Business sessions, which includes training in some of the most in-demand skills enterprises are looking for.
It is interesting that many of the most popular courses currently available are focused on deep learning, data analytics, machine learning, as these are precisely the skills people are searching for at present. (There’s even a Masters in Machine Learning available.)
The majority of these courses are provided by internationally recognized educational centers, including Yale, Imperial College London and the University of Illinois.
Prices are variable – you may even find the training you need available at no cost, though certification (which you can add to your C.V.) can cost an additional fee. Pricing varies (the Machine Learning Master’s course will set you back about $30,000, for example).
You’ll also find high-quality academic courses at edX. Like Coursera, many of them come from more than 100 of the world’s leading global education providers (including MIT, Harvard, Stanford).
Topics include computer sciences, business management, language, engineering and the humanities. Many courses are free, with an additional cost for certification. And (just like Coursera), you can also access full degree courses here, including an MBA in Business Administration from Boston University for $24,000.
Many of the courses you’ll find here have fixed availability times, but as edX is run as a non-profit concern, you may find it easier to identify high-quality training resources you can access for no fee here than some other services.
Keep looking for the right training
These aren’t the only online training course providers; if you want to be able to access your learning materials from any platform or device, there are many more. For example, three services focused on IT skill development include: A Cloud Guru (Certified cloud computing training from $49/month); Codecademy (one of the best places for coding training for free); and CBT Nuggets (IT-related training from $59/month).
An honorable mention goes to FutureLearn, which offers many high-quality courses, but failed to make the cut for this report as it lacks an iOS app.
I hope this short collection of training and learning providers helps you plot a route to the skills you want to develop. The world is changing, and you need to empower yourselves to navigate the journey.
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