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Best Practices for Tapping into the Pool of Lifelong Learners as the Education Process Evolves

Businesses and higher ed institutions will benefit, stay more relevant, and continue to thrive under a closing digital skills gap.
Businesses and higher ed institutions will benefit, stay more relevant, and continue to thrive under a closing digital skills gap.

Closing the skills gap for non-traditional lifelong learners is about observing trends and understanding the market. Highly skilled tech workers are in demand more than ever, with a multitude of cybersecurity and digital skills opportunities everywhere. 

The world is experiencing a tremendous skills gap, and learners seek to upskill and reskill in the shortest amount of time possible. To remain competitive in this digitally dominant industry and land jobs with higher wages, they must be agile and deliberate about their choices. With the right skills, they may even be able to capitalize on expanding fields like cybersecurity, software development, data science & analytics, UI/UX and digital marketing to create generational wealth. 

Closing the digital skills gap is essential for businesses and higher education institutions to remain relevant. At the core, the only way to attack this growing gap is to ensure equitable and inclusive access to educational opportunities and resources. This will enable everyone to increase their skills and change their career trajectory as well as economic status. 

If the motivation is there, so should the desired credentials and virtual programs.

Trends in Learner Demands for Postsecondary Education 

The education process as well as the learner have definitely evolved for the better. The world is finally catching up to the realities of job market demands and aspiring lifelong learners, many in underfunded communities and some as a result of the pandemic. Educational institutions are now advancing frameworks, not based on guesswork but research and evidence. 

One of the major pushes in learner demand in postsecondary education is incremental credentialing. Instead of earning a degree that could be obsolete in a matter of years if not months, microcredentials align with the skills currently needed. Microcredentials can exceed the requirements and expectations of most job postings. They also give the signal employers need. 

Giving learners accelerated entry into the top echelon of skills means aligning education and curriculum to the liquid skills in demand. For example, the tech world is ever evolving thanks to process automation and AI. 

Completing certificates and long-term diplomas just doesn’t fit jobs into today’s world. To avoid being left behind, educational institutions and companies need to reconsider their Continuing Education programs. Postsecondary learners such as alumni, re-skillers and upskillers are seeking modern education programs, weekend certificates and a revamp of the college system. The world needs talent that isn’t necessarily being supplied by college degree programs. 

Life and learning do not happen in straight lines. When the natural, evolutionary mind is allowed to learn on its own, it learns incrementally and with tremendous flexibility. Humans learn best according to their needs and through trial and error. A motivated learner can pursue a personalized process, ask new questions and innovate to accelerate their non-linear learning. 

The Demand for Non-Degree Programs Designed to Support Lifelong Learners’ Employability

The world is changing, so education must change with it. That includes providing options for underfunded and untapped learners who are ready to escape dead-end jobs and uncertain futures. 

Once upon a time, remote learning was seen as a novelty. The pandemic changed everything. Short-term goals are prioritized in tandem with five- and ten-year plans. Students can harness today’s market changes within hours instead of years. They can always plan for a successful future and see it come to realization. 

By offering microcredentials, ThriveDX is meeting the needs of under-resourced communities and lifelong learners. We ask what our happiest students have in common and expand on these characteristics to create value and motivation. 

ThriveDX is committed to changing perceptions of cybersecurity education and the overall tech learning experience. Our focus is on implementing strategic approaches and providing optimal talent to meet the demand for cybersecurity specialists. 

We understand the importance of creating and teaching in-demand programs to meet current and future workforce needs. Learning must now be personalized and diversified to be accessible. Learners are increasingly seeking non-degree programs to ensure employability. They want to reskill and upskill, especially when there are over 6,000,000 cybersecurity job openings and counting. 

Entry-level digital jobs are creating high demand for career-oriented professional certificates and microcredentials to keep up with the needs of postsecondary learners. Employers have had to pivot their hiring and recruiting practices. 

Successful Partnerships to Serve Untapped Audiences

Higher education institutions may not always be able to keep pace with the ever-evolving tech fields. They may be stuck in the degree pathway and lose revenue as a result. Cybersecurity and coding schools seek out partnerships with well-known universities to gain credibility and a sense of the familiar. In turn, universities can tap into an underutilized revenue stream with partners who can create, launch and run previously unimaginable tech solutions, with tech stacks able to radically change from one month to the next. 

Universities now have the opportunity to pivot and ride the wave of the future. The pandemic accelerated the drive to earn credentials rather than degrees to keep up with market demand. With virtual learning, schools like ThriveDX and their higher education partners can expand beyond geographical limits. 

By providing short-term courses or boot camps, universities can keep up with the demand for preferred alternative credentials, which can bring in millions of dollars in revenue each year. 

Universities can also help with marketing and provide instructors and researched-based curricula. Many universities cannot afford to launch and maintain bootcamps on their own. Partnering with Thrive DX is the ideal turnkey solution for traditional and cutting-edge education. 

Operational Challenges and Their Solutions

Delivering programming at scale is not an issue when done strategically. Growing pains always arise but can be quickly dealt with via on-hand solutions. 

Low overhead is one of the benefits of partnering with an alternative education resource like ThriveDX. This turnkey solution saves money and promotes progress on both sides. 

As a tech education provider, we know that metrics are essential. With a key set of performance indicators, ThriveDX measures each angle. Each campus/satellite takes into consideration how results beyond financials are measured, monitored and evaluated at the end of each program. 

Feedback and the opportunities it provides are carefully weighed. If there is an issue with the website, curriculum or instructor, we hire consultants to pinpoint where the issue originated and come up with the means to fix it, including streamlining processes and retention policies. 

As the tech market continues to pivot, ThriveDX responds to competition with certainty. We heavily invest in SWOT analysis by measuring strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and breaking them down into manageable chunks. We plan our next moves and adapt our winning strategy by evaluating every process and practice.

We apply forward planning with ever-evolving goals that are carefully mapped out for each campus. Each market trend is studied for demand and fluctuation. We prioritize short-term goals while balancing five- and ten-year plans. 

By offering microcredentials, we are meeting the needs of underfunded communities and older lifelong learners. 

ThriveDX is committed to changing perceptions of cybersecurity and the overall tech learning experience. Our focus is on strategic approaches and providing optimal talent to meet the demand of cybersecurity specialists. 

We understand the importance of creating and teaching in-demand programs to meet workforce needs—now and in the future. 

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