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BY RUTH VELORIA, EXECUTIVE DEAN, UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX,

If you've ever had the urge to hit the refresh button on your career, you're not alone.

Two-thirds of U.S. working adults sometimes feel their careers are stalled, and more than half have regretted a career misstep, according to a 2016 University of Phoenix School of Business survey.  Nearly half also admit to having no clear plan moving forward.  This is particularly concerning considering that in today's economy professionals are expected to adapt and respond to the rapidly evolving needs of businesses, which often requires advancing their skill sets throughout their careers.

In the 21st century job market, workers are staying in their careers longer than ever, and will likely face the reality that no single degree will meet their employer’s needs for the entirety of their career. Professionals across every industry are looking for courses to help them gain a competitive edge and grow their industry or professional skills to avoid career stagnation.

At all stages of your career, whether you’re just starting out, are a seasoned employee, or nearing retirement, it’s important to acquire new skills related to your job and passions. Expanding your knowledge means more than enhancing your value; it also demonstrates versatility and broadens your options should you decide it’s time to look at not just changing jobs, but changing careers.

Professional development courses can cover a range of management, leadership, marketing, human resources, business operation and technology skills that allow professionals with deep subject knowledge in an industry to get important training in managing people, staff conflicts or processes. Professionals not in a management role might beneft from a better understanding of how to use office productivity tools such as Microsoft Outlook, messaging and presentation software or learn to gather and analyze data to make better informed decisions.

Many working professionals may be intimidated by the time commitment required to pursue a full bachelor or graduate degree program. However, obtaining advanced certificates can be a highly effective option to stay competitive with the job market. Business certificates can provide a deeper exploration into areas such as human resources, project management, health administration, accounting and technology, and are increasingly aligned with industry standards and employer needs. University of Phoenix, for example, works with the Society of Human Resources Management and the National Retail Federation to help ensure programs prepare students to address industry demands.

Understanding the best education option for you takes some honest self-assessment. Examine your own skill gaps by reviewing professional development blogs, web articles and other resources that outline the background you’ll need for the job you desire. Take measure of the knowledge gaps that may threaten your organization’s growth and plot a path to professional development for yourself. Whether you grow your skills by taking on new projects at work for continued on-the-job learning, this underscores your commitment and ability to think strategically. Once the road map is in place, ongoing professional development and training can serve as markers you can follow to put you in a productive, happy and fulfilling workplace destination. Flexible options, online learning and professional development courses can make educational goals achievable and provide professionals with the opportunity to refresh — rather than restart — their careers. Learn more at phoenix.edu/programs/gainful-employment.

Sources: The Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix School of Business, Feb. 29 - Mar. 2, 2016.

Published in Ideas

BY RYAN J. NEGRI, MANAGING DIRECTOR, IRON YARD VENTURES

Outside investment can transform the future of a budding startup. It can take a company from a college dorm room, garage, or even the trunk of a car, and lead it down the path to becoming a multi-million or even billion-dollar corporation. To fund this investment, many entrepreneurs are turning to accelerators. These programs connect startups to venture capitalists who bring in seed money and give startups access to their experience and resources. In many cases, accelerators will provide office space, mentorship and other assets companies need to plant their roots and thrive.

Accelerators are a relatively new concept — according to Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, more than 70 percent of existing accelerators were founded in 2008 or later. These programs have been helpful in guiding businesses to success. More than three out of every four businesses that participated in an accelerator program have a high survival rate.

According to the Seed Accelerator Ranking Project, one of the top accelerators in the country is Iron Yard Ventures. Founded in 2012, the organization touts its success in investing in more than 50 startup technology companies that have collectively produced hundreds of jobs and built a stream of capital topping $70 million.

Accelerators can be developed for any industry. Iron Yard’s hospitality accelerators, for example, focus on synchronizing top early-stage startups with industry-leading corporations in hospitality and gaming. Tech entrepreneurs connect with mentors, partners, investors and hospitality and casino companies to develop a business plan to success.

It’s this spirit of progress that attracted University of Phoenix. The University views Iron Yard Ventures as a major player when it comes to forward-moving innovation. Connecting talent with the means necessary to reimagine business in a burgeoning tech mecca is a recipe for success and has led to the creation of RedFlint, an innovation experience center that offers a hands-on learning ecosystem developed jointly by the University’s College of Information Systems and Technology and School of Business and Iron Yard Ventures. This trifecta of business development, educational experience and inventive culture will spark innovation and incubate the skills and strategy development necessary to revolutionize business and industry from the inside out.

RedFlint will serve as a testing lab where users will face real-life problems to cultivate creative thinking and develop forward-looking business solutions. Users will incubate concepts through the use of the latest technologies, such as data analytics and digital marketing tools, allowing startups to have an edge and avoid traditional early business mistakes. And with the help of Iron Yard Ventures, RedFlint will accelerate startups by connecting them with the necessary resources, mentoring and connections needed to get of the ground and running.

The path to building and growing a business is evolving and must be more collaborative than ever. RedFlint allows students, businesses and the community to come together to create solutions through new technologies, bringing to life the 21st century model of entrepreneurship and business growth. Learn more about RedFlint at: redfintvegas.com

Sources:

1. Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs; Bridging the “Pioneer Gap”: The Role of Accelerators in Launching High-Impact Enterprises, pg. 5 and 19

2. Iron Yard Ventures; Announcing the Las Vegas Hospitality Accelerator powered by Iron Yard Ventures

3. Iron Yard Ventures; Las Vegas Hospitality Accelerator

Published in Ideas

IT Ignites Technological Reform Across Industries

BY DENNIS BONILLA, EXECUTIVE DEAN, UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX, COLLEGE OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS & TECHNOLOGY

Ideas are the new currency of business. We live in an era in which anyone with a dream and ambition can take an idea and bring it to life through digital technology. This liberation has fueled the spread of creative and collaborative solutions to daily problems for both businesses and individuals. Routinely, new technologies are being introduced with the potential — for better or worse — to change industries as we know them.

While new technologies are emerging as quickly as the blink of an eye, the U.S. workforce is stalled, impeded by a lack of access to the real-time knowledge and technical skills needed to keep pace with the changing nature of their positions, companies and industries. As technology becomes an increasingly integral part of business, the right training is critical to bridging this gap. If technology is the catalyst that launches industries forward and innovative ideas are the currency of 21st century business, then how do professionals across all industries make themselves more employable? Trough ongoing professional development and certificates.

Certificate programs are an efficient educational opportunity that can replace the potentially daunting prospect of a four-year degree program or graduate school, and allow workers to continue building on their expertise throughout their lives. Depending on the industry, certificates that provide specific skills training and specializations can even be more influential with hiring managers than graduate degrees.

Certificate programs can help garner enhanced opportunities and recognition, while helping professionals keep up with changes in the field. Advanced certificates in IT can help create an accomplished professional, and allow them to go above and beyond their day-to-day responsibilities to see the big picture for their organization.

INCREASING INTERNAL BUSINESS FUNCTIONALITY WITH IT SKILLS

IT certificates aren’t just for professionals in the IT field. IT certificates can help HR understand how to attract and retain the best talent and how to develop programs that lead to a forward-thinking and innovative work environment. An effectively managed HR department is critical for recruiting top talent and firing up the potential of an organization’s workforce. Talent management can be one of the most expensive and important functions a company undertakes. Attracting innovative individuals with diverse skill sets is critical for maintaining a competitive edge. Yet, despite its importance, many organizations’ current HR systems and practices have been in place for years. Enterprise software can quickly become obsolete as new systems ignite change in the industry, putting the business at a competitive disadvantage when trying to recruit.

As technology continues to move HR functions online, it’s imperative these professionals understand how to leverage this technology to support and improve underlying HR processes. IT certificates can help HR professionals understand how to select, implement and control systems and data to increase productivity and profitability.

USING IT TO ENHANCE CUSTOMER SERVICE IN TODAY’S TECHTOPIA

Consumers in the 21st century have hit the jackpot when it comes to customer service experiences. Digital platforms have made it easier for consumers to create their own custom experiences across service industries, including shopping and travel. While this is great for the customer, technology has made it more complicated for industry professionals to monitor feedback and provide the best service experience.

Pursuing IT certificates can help customer service professionals understand customer behavior and preferences, and help them create strategic plans to build loyalty and increase business profitability. If customer service employees can anticipate consumer sentiment and knowledge, interactions can be enhanced to establish better connections and create a more positive customer experience.

EDUCATION IS EVOLVING TO EMPLOYEE NEEDS

For those who want to continue their education and enhance their tech savvy, new learning environments are innovating to allow for professionals to choose not only what they learn, but how they learn. To adapt to the times, many online and brick-and-mortar institutions of higher learning are marshalling resources and creating unique IT certificate programs calibrated to meet employer demands, while also accommodating working-adult students who balance their studies with families and fulltime careers.

For more information about University of Phoenix programs, including on-time completion rates, the median debt incurred by students who completed the program and other important information, please visit: phoenix.edu/programs/ gainful-employment.

Published in Ideas

The Association for Talent Development hosted more than 10,000 attendees at the premier event in Denver, Colorado.

Taking place May 22-25, 2016, the Association for Talent Development (ATD) brought in 10,200 attendees from 83 countries. More than 400 speakers presented at more than 300 sessions, creating a robust learning experience both on and off the show floor. Emerging developments in virtual reality, microlearning and mobile training solutions were emphasized during the four-day event. Speakers presented on various topics such as what to expect when incorporating gamification into your sales learning programs, the importance of keeping with company culture when implementing learning programs and building successful teams.

Companies continue to strive to attach numbers such as ROIs on their learning and development programs to track progress for themselves and their investors. Other popular topics were training the Millennial workforce, interactive learning and learning at an individual’s own pace.

The 2016 edition of ATD was anchored by three general sessions featuring bestselling author Simon Sinek, Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, and Jeremy Gutsche, the CEO of Trend Hunter, a company that is the leading showcase for innovation and The Next Big Thing. These dynamic speakers will share their perspectives on leadership that inspires, courage, and the power of innovation and creativity.

Virtual Reality is next on the horizon for many learners and learning management system companies exhibiting at ATD -are integrating it into their platforms. Manzalab, known for their serious games and for working with companies such as General Electric, developed a budget-friendly virtual reality application. Learning management company Litmos, is working to develop middle-end virtual reality tools and incorporate them into employee learning, compliance and multi-channel initiatives.  SilVR thread was demonstrating their high-end, Hollywood-designed virtual reality lessons at ATD. Learners were immersed in skiing and operating lessons. Virtual reality helps learning because it immerses the learner and activates emotions in the brain, helping students remember what they learn.

Next year, the event will take place May 21-24 at the Georgia World Conference Center in Atlanta. 

—Learn More: atdconference.org

Published in Top Stories

Building on its success of designing and producing whiteboard videos for clients such as Microsoft, NASA and Nestle, TruScribe is launching a software program that allows organizations to create their own whiteboard videos.

Whiteboard videos are effective because they introduce pictures with words, helping to engrain lessons in the brain. With the new software program, subscribers will be able to create lessons on their own with script development tools, a library of artwork, voiceover and editing tools.

—Learn more: truscribe.com

Published in New Products

 

Do you remember working with mundane flash cards to learn multiplication tables as a child? Snappico is a more-effective, fun version of flash cards that organizations can incorporate into their learning curriculums.

The app transforms the learning experience and offers millions of mobile users a way to engage in lessons while leveraging visualization and gamification techniques. Learners collect micro-learning cards over time so they avoid cognitive overload. Each lesson is told from multiple angles and examples so the learner understands the concepts behind the lessons.

—Learn More: snappico.com

 

Published in New Products

 

Dimension Data Learning Solutions (DDLS) won the 2016 Microsoft Learning Partner Award. The training company was selected among a global field of more than 2,500 entrants from 119 countries worldwide. DDLS was recognised for providing outstanding solutions and services for learning solutions.

The Microsoft Partner of the Year Awards recognises Microsoft partners that have developed and delivered exceptional Microsoft-based solutions during the past year. The Learning Partner of the Year Award is designed to recognise the global partner who has demonstrated excellence in the design and delivery of a high impact training solution.

As the leading IT training organisation in Australia, DDLS plays a critical role in enabling the evolution of skills in the Australian IT community. Employing the country’s largest community of Microsoft Certified trainers, DDLS provides a 360-degree learning view of the Microsoft technology stack and is able to advise on and deliver highly relevant training and certification.

—Learn More: https://www.ddls.com.au/

 

Published in Deals

 

Research has revealed that employees retain only 10 to 20 percent of training content without reinforcement. Within a matter of days, more than half of the new knowledge is simply forgotten, and along with it, organizations’ investments in that training. By systematically boosting the training in the days and weeks following training, learners are provided opportunities for effortful retrieval which helps them to retain essential information.

The first release of BizLibrary’s reinforcement booster programs includes boosts for more than 1,200 interactive videos and video lessons, with plans to eventually boost all content within the BizLibrary Collection. Boosts arrive via email in the days and weeks following completion of a training lesson or course, and include quizzes, surveys, polls, and reflective questions that help your employees to retain essential information.

“We are extremely excited about the introduction of Reinforcement Boosters to our BizLibrary Collection. Our unique combination of short micro-learning content ‘bursts’ and ongoing reinforcement ‘boosts’ following the training will increase our clients’ training ROI by three to four times,” said Dean Pichee, CEO at BizLibrary. “This isn’t a marketing hype; this is based on scientific research on learning retention. The evidence shows that adding multiple reinforcements to training programs will increase retention from approximately 20 percent to more than 90 percent.”

“We have learned that by giving learners a series of opportunities to think about, recall and retrieve material in the hours and days after training, the probability of retaining the information is drastically enhanced,” said Debbie Williams, Vice President of Content Development at BizLibrary. “Boosted content creates a great after-training program that will enhance training delivered through The BizLibrary Collection. Providing these booster opportunities for recall will guarantee that the core training delivered will be remembered and transferred back to the workplace.”

—Learn more: bizlibrary.com

 

Published in New Products

 The Top 100 Learning Organizations from Public and Private Sectors Convene to Celebrate

Today, the Elearning! Media Group announced the Learning! 100 top learning organizations for 2016. The rankings will be revealed at the awards dinner and reception on June 7 at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA.  The awards program is hosted at The Enterprise Learning! Conference (ELC), on June 7-8 at the convention center.

“The Learning! 100 recognizes the top 100 global learning organizations for high performance. These organizations are innovative, collaborative and have a truly immersive learning culture,” reports Catherine Upton, Award Chairperson. “Organizations from three to 500,000 employees are honored this year, and shows size does not matter when it comes to making a difference in the learning field.”

Celebrating six years, the Learning! 100 are comprised of 60 corporate enterprises and 40 public sector organizations. Previous honorees include American Heart Association, AT&T, Cisco, Defense Acquisition University, Khan Academy and Verizon. View previous honorees here.

The 2016 Learning! 100 Award Dinner and Reception is being hosted at the Enterprise Learning! Conference. The conference brings together learning, talent and HR executives charged with building smarter organizations to drive performance. The Learning! 100 Awards Ceremony will take place June 7 proceeded by the award reception hosting all the conference attendees. The two-day conference offers more than learning opportunities including Learning! 100 sessions and three keynotes. Executives should attend Enterprise Learning! Conference to discover how to build smarter organizations via learning and workplace technologies.

 

The 2016 Learning! 100 Corporate Enterprise and Public Sector Honorees in Alphabetical Order Are:

Amazon Web Services

ADI Global Distribution N.A., a Honeywell Company

Adobe

Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative

Allied Command Transformation NATO

AlliedBarton Security Services

American Heart Association

American Society of Association Executives

Ascension Information Services

Bayer

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

Brainshark

Broward Health

CapGemini

Cenegenics Education & Research Foundation

Choice Logistics

Cisco

College for America, Southern New Hampshire University

Coursera

D4

DDB Worldwide

Defense Acquisition University

Defense Security Service Center

Edward Jones

EDX

E-learning for Kids

Express, Inc.

Facebook

Fedreal Government Distance Learning Association

Fidelity National Title

First Insight Corporation

Fivel Systems

Florida Virtual School

Forward Eye

G4S North America

Gigya

Habitat for Humanity

Healthstar Communications

HEI Hotels and Resorts

IBM

immixGroup (an Arrow Company)

iNACOL

Ingersoll Rand

Institute of Finance & Management

INXPO

International Society for Technology in Education

Jafra Cosmetics International, Inc.

Khan Academy

Lawrence Livermore National Labs

LinkedIN

LivePerson

Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center

Luck Companies

MarketWired

Mercy

Mesilla Valley Transportation

MobileIron

MTR Corporation Limited

NASCAR

National Training & Simulation Association

Native American Professional Parent Resources

Navy Federal Credit Union

nCino

National Defense University

Neiman Marcus

Paycor

Publicis.Sapient

Red Roof Inn

RK Stratman

Saab Australia

Saatchi & Saatchi

Salesforce

Scripps Health

Service Max

Shaw Industries Group, Inc.

SkillsUSA.org

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Stanford University

SurveyMonkey

Team Orlando

The Go Solution

The Healthcare Information Management Systems Society

The Management Trust - Oregon

T-Mobile

U. S. Department of Veteran Affairs

UNC-Chapel Hill

United Healthcare

University of Central Florida, Institute of Simulation Training

University of Phoenix

US Air Force

US Marine Corp

US Pacific Command Cyber War Innovations Center

USC Institute for Creative Technologies

United States Distance Learning Association

Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy

Vi

Waddell & Reed

Watco Companies, LLC

Western Governors University

World Fuel Services

 

How to Register for Enterprise Learning! Conference

Register now to secure your three-day conference pass. Government, Education and Non-profits, as well as teams of three or more earn 30 percent off when registering at http://www.elceshow.com.   To learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact Sales at 888-201-2841 x842 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

About Enterprise Learning! Conference
Since 2008, Enterprise Learning! Events bring onsite and online audiences together to learn, network and share. Enterprise Learning! Conference, the exclusive learning and workplace technology conference, occurs June 7-8, 2016 in Anaheim, California. Enterprise Learning! Conference hosts the Learning! 100, Learning! Champion & Best of Elearning! Awards. The Enterprise Learning! Conference Online edition is slated for September 8, 2016 featuring new and exclusive content. For more information about the Enterprise Learning! Conference, visit http://www.elceshow.com

About Elearning! Media Group
Elearning! Media Group, owned by B2B Media Group, LLC, consists of 12 media products including: Elearning! Magazine, Government Elearning! eMagazine, Alert email newsletter, SalesTec eNews, 2elearning.com, Elearning! Web Seminar Series, Elearning! Institute, Enterprise Learning! Summits and Enterprise Learning! Conference. Elearning! Media Group serves the $225 billion enterprise learning market. In combination, these brands reach more than 2 million executives, practitioners and professionals, all evaluating or implementing enterprise learning and workplace technologies across their organizations each year. Suppliers and practitioners can follow us: online at: http://www.2elearning.com; on Twitter: 2elearning, #ELC16, #ELS16; via Facebook: Elearning!-Magazine; and, LinkedIn: Elearning! Magazine Network or Enterprise Learning! Events.

 

Published in Top Stories

LinkedIn is doing away with its current student services May 16 in favor of a new app, LinkedIn Students, launched in late April. The app is meant to be a less-intimidating way to help students find jobs — it asks where the student goes to college, what his or her major is, and his or her expected graduation date – then, the app matches students with alumni in similar fields, recommends jobs in the students’ network and suggested reading.

LinkedIn reports that more 2015 graduates found jobs through it in the technology and professional services sectors than in any other industry.

Learn more: students.linkedin.com

Published in New Products
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