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Lifelong Learning Featured Pattern: P1255 September 2018

Author: Eilif Trondsen (Send us feedback.)

Academia, industries, and governments are rethinking how to enable lifelong learning that is accessible and effective.

Abstracts in this Pattern:

Acquiring skills necessary in the constantly changing employment landscape increasingly requires ongoing education, learning, and training. Governments need to think about how to redesign financial aid to meet the needs of adults who must acquire and develop skills that relate to digital tools and technologies. And adults will need shorter, work-focused courses and the ability to earn certificates in practical subject areas that meet workplace needs. Many adults will see the need to rethink their career path and could change their professional field completely as employment options shift. The University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan) Stephen M. Ross School of Business is hosting a program that educates professional football players about entrepreneurship and franchising to help prepare them for transitioning out of professional sports and into new career paths. The program aims to teach athletes how to apply the skills and concepts they learned during their sports career in the field of business, aiding them in developing a sustainable plan to execute when the time comes to make a career transition.

Young learners are increasingly looking for nontraditional ways to learn and often take advantage of free or low-cost programs offered by large companies that are seeking future talent. For example, at Apple's (Cupertino, California) App Accelerator in Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore), India, Apple coaches and mentors work with local software talent—including young children. Blockchain, machine-learning, and other new and rapidly evolving technologies will enter the curriculum in formal education institutions slowly, but both young and old learners can find new opportunities to learn about such technologies in alternative settings. Similarly, the rapidly developing e-sports market is finding new ways to develop talent quickly. For example, aXiomatic Gaming (Los Angeles, California) built an e-sports training facility to develop professional players. Companies are also recognizing a need to change their learning and training operations as soft skills move to the forefront of professional interest. Following the arrest of two African American men at one of its stores, Starbucks Corporation (Seattle, Washington) closed thousands of its stores for one day in May 2018 to provide racial-bias training and to highlight internally and publicly the importance of addressing unconscious bias among employees.