Personal and professional growth is cited as one of the primary drivers for today's workers. As we move into an era whereworkers are assuming control of their own career destiny, education and training are increasingly important.
People are looking at their careers differently today than they have in the past. No longer do they place their faith in the employer to provide all their learning opportunities. Now they must create and implement their own learning designs-taking advantage of corporate training, special assignments, and outside education programs.
In the future, the movement will be even more pronounced. During the years ahead, workers will be choosing their employers based, in part, on opportunities to learn and grow. They'll be looking for companies that demonstrably support education and training. Workers will be significantly more intent on continuing their education-to build their skills, their credentials, and their capacity to perform at increasingly higher levels of competence and effectiveness.
A major objective of their ongoing learning will be to enhance opportunities for advancement-with the current employer or a future employer. People expect to move from job to job every 2-4 years, though not necessarily to a different employer.
They will tend to be more loyal to employers who encourage them to grow. Mentoring and experience will be important, as will various kinds of formal learning.
Some of this learning will be gleaned from corporate training and development programs. Commercial seminars and conferences sponsored by trade and professional associations will provide further learning opportunities. An increasing number of workers will take courses at community colleges and universities.
With the magnetic draw of the labor shortage, young people will be pulled from the traditional post-high school process into the world of work. High demands will drive recruiters to recruit students right off the college campus. They're already recruiting more aggressively for students at community colleges and four-year institutions. Some companies will fund work-study programs, enabling students to continue their education while working.
Education takes money. Employers will contribute, at various levels governed by a wide range of factors. In many cases,
more funds will be needed. Employed students will face challenges of finding money to fund their college and university work. Employers who help their workers find solutions to their educational problems-including financing-will earn their loyalty and devotion. Companies don't have to finance educational endeavors to win that appreciation; just helping the workers find funds on their own will be a benefit.
Solution: buy one or more copies of a directory of scholarships and place them strategically around the workplace. One good example of such a valuable resource is The Scholarship Book 2000. The annual, produced by the National Scholarship Research Service, contains pertinent information on 4,000 scholarship sources offering awards up to $40,000 per year. Included are scholarships limited to people over 25, 35, and even 60 years of age.
Each entry gives the name, address, phone, e-mail, and internet sites, followed by an explanation of the amount of the award and application procedures. The variety of opportunities for funding is mind-boggling! This volume has a wealth of information, and even makes for good reading.
The 8" X 10.5 inch format is easy to use. The cover is attractive, making it a nice book to have around in break rooms,
human resource development offices, corporate libraries, and other appropriate locations around the company. At a $25 price, this three-pound book makes a smart purchase to send a message: "we support the ongoing education of our employees."