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How entrepreneurs can resolve the college drawback

By targeting corporate education, companies can have an impact on their bottom line while creating a profound change in higher education.

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March
18, 2021

4 min read

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

Higher education needs a transformation. The trifecta of tuition fee inflation, rising student debt, and declining confidence in the value of a traditional degree leaves the industry ripe for reinterpretation. As part of a new agenda, government-subsidized two- or four-year degrees were discussed to improve access to education. However, companies also have a unique opportunity to help improve equitable access to higher education – and this can benefit their companies.

Corporate America already spends more than $ 180 billion a year on training and education, but most executives don't make significant returns. Instead, most training programs are poorly aligned with business and learning goals; B. the elimination of specific skills gaps or the improvement of the recruitment and retention of employees.

When corporate education programs are coordinated, employees can access life-changing opportunities without the traditional barriers to higher education, while corporations can achieve their strategic business goals.

Most company sponsored training and study support programs are underperforming

Of the $ 28 billion spent annually on in-house and external training programs, $ 28 billion goes to traditional study programs, typically designed to attract and retain employees. However, less than 2 percent of employees actually use them.

These programs are simply out of date. According to a survey by InStride / Bain & Co., 80 percent of employees are interested in going to school while working, but only 40 percent knew that their employer has a tuition support program. Navigation for enrollment and financial assistance is difficult enough in addition to full-time professional responsibilities. Indeed, respondents said that filling out applications, filling out grant forms, and finding transcripts are the most difficult obstacles to overcome. Most corporate HR departments do not have the infrastructure to manage each learner's journey. Barriers for employees ultimately become a concern for the company as the programs are underutilized or the employees simply choose to leave the company and seek their desired workforce benefits from other companies.

How can an organization really benefit from the training of the workforce? Companies should consider these three points when creating training and education programs for their employees:

1. Organizations should intentionally develop corporate educational programs.

Business education programs should be specific to an organization's goals. These opportunities should provide learners with multiple options for advancing their education, be it through degree programs, certificates, or achievement of diplomas. This allows companies to double their ROI for greater productivity, lower recruitment costs, longer customer loyalty, and greater brand awareness for every dollar spent.

Related Topics: 9 Employee Education Resources Every Business Owner Should Know

2. The program development must take into account a realistic journey for adult learners.

After working with more than 34,000 employees in the past two years, I've learned that the decision to go back to school is as much an emotional one as it is a logical one. Learners need support in managing the entire journey, from making an initial decision about potential enrollment barriers to setting a clear return on investment alongside their employer. Commitment to this support lifecycle starts at the top with touchpoints realized through management, mentoring, and connections to a strong corporate culture.

Related Topics: How To Create A Learning Culture In The Workplace

3. Companies should align corporate education programs with the broader corporate culture.

Companies that align educational programs with their culture give employees the professional meaning and relationship they crave. As affirmed in the Brandpie CEO Purpose Report 2020, this sense of purpose can be an essential motivator for employees and managers, which contributes to high productivity and long-term relationships with an employer. Access to education can create the meaningful connection an employee wants with their employer and ultimately affects the hiring, retention, and training needs of workers.

Employee training does more than improve company performance. The opportunities that arise from investing in education in the workplace impact the lives of employees and society at large. Research by the American Action Forum quantifies the impact of earning a college degree on a broad basis, suggesting that nationwide economic growth would have increased by approximately $ 130.5 billion if states had changed their populations' undergraduate degrees over the past decade 1 percent would have increased.

A strategic approach to corporate education gives brave business leaders the opportunity to cultivate the workforce they need to thrive in a rapidly changing global economy, imparting academic experience to their employees in high quality universities around the world, and most importantly, diminishing the paramount Debt burden through fully funded access to higher education.

Related: 5 Reasons Emotional Intelligence Is The Future Of Work

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