Recent research indicates effective training and professional development are crucial to retaining employees. As a result of these findings, modern corporate training programs are becoming more people-focused, engaging and adaptive to learners. New technologies and approaches to adult education are at the forefront of these training programs. As a result, professionals with specialized training in adult education tools and practices are needed more than ever.
Professionals who obtain a Master of Science in Education (MSEd) with a Concentration in Adult Education degree receive the training and skills necessary to modernize corporate training and support employees’ professional development.
An understanding of adult learning through remote techniques is key to developing the modern workforce. Although many business leaders were unsure of the effects of the sudden widespread shift to remote work on their businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, most are realizing remote work has its benefits.
Increase Productivity While Decreasing Costs
The majority of companies are finding that productivity actually increased during this period of remote work, while overhead costs regarding office space and hourly pay have decreased. It is no wonder roughly three out of four CFOs have reported planning to permanently move at least part of their workforce to a fully remote work model. Specialists in adult education are needed to design remote training environments that support trust-building and knowledge-sharing among remote workers.
Professionals who specialize in adult education lead the effort to develop and support training opportunities for adult learners to gain and retain information. Many remote training programs incorporate various modalities and might include learning management systems (LMS) to create and distribute training materials, online learning modules to guide employees through materials step-by-step, gamification tools to improve learner engagement and adaptive learning software to track progress and identify areas for improvement.
The MSEd with a Concentration in Adult Education program at Southern Oregon University provides professionals with deep knowledge of a wide variety of adult learning approaches that support employee education at multiple levels. Take, for example, the practice of “microlearning.” The theory behind microlearning, or microtraining, is that content can be delivered in short bursts for learners to study at their convenience.
New Models for Learning
Research indicates microtraining holds the potential to improve content retention, increase learner engagement and address the learning needs of a modern workforce of on-the-go, multitasking millennials.
Microtraining is not ideal for every subject or setting, however. Professionals must understand that microlearning uses various tools and techniques through short bursts of content. Whether developing training content for employee onboarding, compliance training, just-in-time skills training or content mastery, adult learning professionals need to be well-versed in how and when to utilize cutting-edge techniques like microtraining.
Adult education professionals are imperative for improving employee retention and mastery but also for doing so efficiently and cost-effectively. For instance, adult learning specialists are at the forefront of artificial intelligence (AI) use in employee relations. AI can adapt training programs to learners’ needs, simulate conversations with human users for practice exercises and connect managers and human resource workers to their employees.
Keys to Training and Retaining Employees
Technology company IBM said that since 2011, the incorporation of AI in the human resource department has saved the company nearly $1 billion. Professionals who are well versed in AI technologies and their applications for employee training and retention are likely to be highly sought-after in the coming years.
Now is the time to receive training in adult education to take advantage of the rapid developments in corporate training and professional development. Roughly 80% of businesses expect their tech budgets to increase post-pandemic. Aside from simply increasing technological offerings, a large part of these budgets will likely also go toward hiring individuals to maximize those technologies and meet the needs of a quickly changing workforce.
As more and more workers shift to remote work and companies seek ways to retain those employees while minimizing costs, there is a dire need for professionals who understand how to best train and develop workers using various creative and technologically savvy methods.