As we progress through the decade, more emphasis is being placed on students to be career ready before entering the workforce. In addition, employers are leaning toward employee development opportunities to increase employee retention of top talent. Moving forward, edtech will be the leading method to encourage learning and promote job ready skills.
Throughout the pandemic, education technology, or edtech, was the lifeline of learning career ready skills and employee development. It made learning at a distance possible for millions of students. Our Digital Pulse Learning survey shows fast edtech adoption and advancements resulted in positive student engagement. Students are more optimistic today about online learning (57%) and digital materials (52%) than before the pandemic.
What Does it Mean to be Career Ready?
In order for job seekers to be career ready, they must acquire the skills to succeed in the workplace. This includes the skills needed to perform the job, including critical thinking, communication and using technology. Competency in these skills opens a broad range of career paths when preparing for employment.
Being career ready also focuses on long-term career goals. Job seekers and employees need to have opportunities to continue improving their skills. This is where edtech has continued to shine, creating affordable and accessible learning opportunities.
How Does EdTech Help Students be Career Ready?
The pandemic showed why edtech is one of the most powerful learning tools to foster career development and student engagement. It also proved to be one of the most important tools for learners who are seeking alternative learning opportunities. The affordable, accessible and flexible nature of edtech helps students and employees receive the training and development they need to succeed.
EdTech growth is not expected to slow down. The online learning market is projected to surpass $370 billion by 2026 and has seen strong funding activity supporting continued growth. From Coursera’s IPO to Chegg’s stock doubling, the edtech market has exploded. While we believe the market will sustain continued growth, edtech companies’ strategic focus must broaden and evolve to survive.
Survival in this crowded market requires going beyond just supporting traditional education paths. It requires innovating to solve complex economic problems. This includes developing learning tools that reskill the workforce and bridge unemployment gaps, in addition to investing in employee development opportunities for career ready skills.
The edtech market will continue to evolve. Digital learning companies must diversify their offerings to remain competitive and meet market demands.
Using EdTech to Improve Employee Development and Engagement
In today’s economy, companies face one of the greatest labor shortages in history. Employers are left searching for new ways to recruit, hire and retain workers. Many have begun offering free skills-based learning to improve employee engagement and increase employee satisfaction. These employee development plans are a sought-after competitive benefit and offer a career path of swift internal mobility.
At Cengage Group, our workforce skills business – ed2go – has seen sharp, increased demand for online vocational training and reskilling. The business delivered a 21% revenue growth during the second quarter of fiscal year 2022 and continues to see strong demand. This signals there is market growth opportunity beyond higher education, and we can support workforce reskilling efforts for a career ready workforce.
We believe in getting America back to work and connecting employers with the right talent. This will require digital learning programs that can scale quickly to meet employer demand. In addition, they should provide flexible learning and employee development options to help employees reach their personal and professional development goals.
EdTech Partnerships Develop Job Ready Skills
Solving unemployment and hiring shortages in America requires edtech research, investments, partnerships, and new alliances between companies, colleges and nonprofit organizations. These partnerships will create job ready workers, build a more diverse workforce and give Americans a fair chance at work.
For example, both Microsoft and Google recently partnered with community colleges to further skilling and certification programs. Community colleges are the backbone of job ready workforce development, but they need support in tackling reskilling challenges at scale. Examples include faculty training for fast-changing fields like cybersecurity or support to scale online programs to reach more learners.
This is a growing area and one in which Cengage is investing new resources. Our Cengage Group Workforce Skills business partners with more than 400 U.S. community colleges to provide online career training courses for thousands of students. We’re able to help community colleges quickly scale up online job ready training programs. These programs prepare learners for certifications in in-demand careers such as medical billing and pharmacy tech as well as in technology jobs.
Data-Driven Approach to Career Ready Development
With tech giants like Google getting involved in online learning, students no longer tolerate glitchy or outdated services. Moving forward, we believe that online learning tools that are personalized and responsive will survive. Edtech companies must embrace data analytics to develop more personalized and responsive tools to improve career ready learning experiences.
Cengage Group’s Commitment to Career Ready EdTech
At Cengage Group, we use data to inform our innovation. To remain competitive, we make regularly update to our platform to foster career ready development. These updates are based on student and faculty feedback and contain firsthand knowledge about what they’re demanding. This type of connection to the end user is critical for edtech innovation of the future.
Overall, the future of edtech is bright, with individual learners propelling the market forward in new ways. Every learner has a personalized learning opportunity from primary and high school education to employee development. They need technology and tools that can connect them at every stage of learning and help them become career ready. The edtech companies that help individuals realize the power and joy of learning throughout life will be successful long term.
Ready more about what we do and how our own edtech evolution helps power individual learning paths.