Education and Training – What to Look for

As a company that operates in both the Academic and Corporate Training environments, we feel that we have a perspective on the these two separate, but related, offerings. In addition, our company operates in over 20 countries globally so we have the added perspective of how these two learning methods vary internationally.

The dictionary describes EDUCATION as: Instructive, instructional, educative, informative, illuminating, pedagogic, enlightening, didactic, heuristic; formal edifying while it describes TRAINING as: Instruction, teaching, coaching, tuition,tutoring, guidance, schooling, education, orientation; indoctrination. Although each description is unique, the overlap is in the ‘instruction’ category. Our experience providing both arenas is that education emphasizes the ‘WHY’ while training emphasizes the ‘HOW’. In other words, education is about understanding why we should do something while training is about how we should be doing it.

So – what should you look for when you want to improve your or your employee’s ability to perform?

Here are two simple rules:
A Do I know where my skill/knowledge deficiency is?
B If yes to A – then is it skill or knowledge I need to address?

Once answered, you should look for programs that both the how and why (why we should do it and how we should do it). Some basic criteria when selecting either an educational or training program should be:

• How current is the content I am learning?
• Is the content being taught based on: research; current trends and best practices?
• Who is facilitating the learning experience (have they been successful in the use of the skills being taught?)
• What type of methodology is being used to teach me (Do I interact or do I sit passively listening?)
• Which other students have been through this training program and have they successfully used these skills in their own work environment?
• Does the teaching methodology utilize interactive experiences such as: gamification; roleplays; team exercises; group discussions and instructor/student question & answer opportunities.

Simply put, education in either an academic or training setting has little downside and tremendous upside. A small investment in time & study typically provides an immense return.

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