May 14, 2013

Why Self-Education? – The Changing Workplace


Modern job requirements, along with the accelerating pace at which we now live, necessitate constantly updated information and skills. The workplace of today isn’t the workplace of a decade or two ago. Things change quickly now. Unless a worker develops the ability to continually self-educate to keep up with new information, technologies and skills, their employment future is at risk.

Historically, companies and businesses have relied on educational institutions or internal training programs to keep their employees current on the information and skills they need to do their jobs. That scenario is quickly shifting. Now employees (and this includes the self-employed) must take more responsibility for their own training. No longer can a worker rely on their employer to provide the training necessary to grow and advance in a career. No longer can the knowledge and skills of today be seen as adequate to do the job in the future, even two or three years into the future.

Yes, some companies spend money and time investing in the education of their employees. But many do not. And for those companies that do invest in their employees, many fall short from the level of training and professional development they should provide to maintain a top-notch organization.

In The Futurist magazine (May-June 2008 issue), Marvin J. Cetron and Owen Davies predict that professional knowledge will become obsolete much more quickly in the future. The knowledge and skills required for most professions will become outdated at a rapid pace. Add to that a job market in constant flux and the rapid progress in work-related technologies and the necessity for ongoing job education for all workers becomes evident.

So what does this mean for the future of education? It means that self-education skills will be one of the big differentiators in the future job market. The person who can quickly and efficiently learn new things, on their own, will be much more likely to excel at their jobs.

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