Train Them Often, Train Them Right

Survey shows the majority of corporations are keeping tech professionals current with training, using online courses

Arlington, MA  February 11, 2003  According to a recent survey from consulting firm Cutter Consortium, 63 percent of companies are keeping their technology professionals current with proactive training programs.

Steve Andriole, a Cutter Consortium senior consultant remarked that the pace of today's business is generating technology problem-solving requirements faster than employers and employees can satisfy them. This, in turn, stresses learning organizations to the point where they have to invest in serious training programs for their employees.

"Corporate 'universities' are springing up all over the place, and the number of new content titles is growing by leaps and bounds," Andriole commented. "All of this effort, however, must be targeted with coherent strategies. If the strategies aren't clear, then all of the work to keep employees current may be misdirected: training requirements should be derived from business strategies and tactics  not the other way around."

Andriole continued: "New hires already take courses about your industry, your company, and technology. If you develop lots of applications, you probably already have courses in systems analysis and software engineering. It's important that learning be continuous and current."

Additionally, analysis of the Cutter survey concluded that many of the companies surveyed have embraced online distance learning as a way to get essential content to their employees. While 43 percent said they had not deployed any online distance learning courses to date, 41 percent said they had, and 16 percent had plans to deploy the courses within the next six to 12 months.

"And why not," Andriole asked. "It works, it's cost-effective and it offloads much of the learning responsibility on to the employees who can self-serve themselves to the learning content they need or are told to acquire."

Andriole concluded that the data suggests, "We're learning a lot about learning. We're proactive, online, certified and recruiting from all the right places in all the right ways. We should congratulate ourselves  though there's definitely room for improvement."