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Follow the Data: Make Soft Skills Your L&D Super Power

In a surprising study, Google discovered that its highest performing teams aren’t those stacked with scientists, but interdisciplinary groups heavily benefitting from employees bringing strong soft skills to the collaborative process. Further, additional research found that it’s these soft skills, like good communication and empathetic leadership, not hard skills, that comprise the top predictors of success within the company.

Research from MIT Sloan echoed Google’s findings, showing that soft skills training, even in more hands-on, technical roles in a factory setting, can improve work productivity. Initiated at five Bangalore factories, a controlled, twelve-month trial revealed that training in problem solving, communication, and decision-making yielded a 250 percent ROI in eight months.

Time and time again, industry data, market trends, and insights from top business leaders highlight soft skills as important, and yet they’re still often overlooked.

Read the Article

3 Employee Learning Myths Debunked: Competency, Retention, and Productivity

As technology reshapes the future of work, workers are struggling to remain relevant. In an edX survey conducted last year, only one fifth of respondents considered the education from their college major to be translatable to their current field and more than one third experienced a lack of proficiency in at least one new skill area or subject area of a current or past job. In other words, your employees are also feeling the skills gap.
Workers are aware that they aren’t fully prepared for today’s changing skill requirements — but unsure how best to ask for help with professional development and training. In the same edX survey, almost half of respondents reported feeling uncomfortable asking their employer for help with learning opportunities and costs.

To counter the stigma of asking for help, anticipate the reasons employees are nervous to ask in the first place, and structure your messaging and programming accordingly. In this article, originally published in Forbes, edX founder and CEO Anant Agrawal debunks the three most common myths about employee learning:

Read the Article

Why Corporate Learning Strategies Need to Include Active Learning

Today’s companies aren’t asking if it makes sense to implement e-learning and training programs, but how. Employees’ time is limited, resources are constrained, and navigating the learning landscape can be difficult. How do you maximize your employees’ attention, get them up to speed on critical skills as quickly as possible, and, most importantly, ensure that learning is effective?

The problem is complex and the stakes are higher than ever. Businesses face enormous risk and competition in today’s digital economy and need to ensure that critical functions are in the hands of people with the proven ability to do. To meet this demand, companies must provide learning to their employees that is deep and transformational.

Read the Article

Customer-Driven Innovation: Why We Have a Corporate Advisory Board

We are at a moment of great inflection in education. The gap between traditional higher education and the competencies companies need is widening as the evolution of technology and related skills accelerate.

edX sits at the center of industry and academia, bridging the gap between in-demand skills and education opportunities. As a non-profit founded by MIT and Harvard, our mission is to expand access to high-quality education to everyone, everywhere, including corporate learners. Our corporate partners share this mission and are similarly committed to providing their employees with the skills and learning they need for the future of work.

Read the Article

How Boston’s C-suites can prepare their employees for the future of work [via The Boston Globe]

Corporate America is grappling with the impact of automation and artificial intelligence on today’s workforce, and many industries are facing obstacles when it comes to hiring and retaining workers who have the skills needed in our increasingly changing economy.

So how can business leaders adapt to the changing landscape?
edX President and COO, Adam Medros, discusses in his latest piece on BostonGlobe.com

Read the Article

Make Corporate Learning a Year-Round Activity

Business never stops, even in the summer months, but sometimes your employees need a boost to stay motivated. In a recent survey of edX For Business customers, 75% of respondents said that engagement is a top challenge in implementing a corporate learning program. While employees are clamoring for training and new skills, our research shows that intentions and motivation can waver at different points in the learning journey as life and work responsibilities compete for time and attention.

Read the Article

Process Improvement with Six Sigma

A very elemental objective for every business is (or should be) increasing customer/user satisfaction while also decreasing costs. But this simple idea is not necessarily simple to achieve. If it were, more companies would be profitable and stay in business. For organizations whose products or outputs are the results of repetitive processes, implementing the Six Sigma method can mean the difference between barely making your margins and being hugely profitable, between failure and success. 

Read the Article

The Science of “Doing:” Corporate Learning that Sticks - Recap

Corporate leaders identify Digital Transformation as a key priority for new skill development in their organizations. With emphasis on transformative change and the continuing need to develop new capabilities in every organization, where does superficial learning play a role, and where are organizations focusing on deep learning? What kinds of learning activities translate into truly transformative change to support business needs?

Read the Article

Building Blocks for the Digital Economy

The rise of the digital economy means that jobs across all sectors are increasingly requiring digital literacy skills. Digital technology has been integrated into every part of the way we do business, from the tools we use to the products we make. While digital skills used to be held predominantly by professionals in technical capacities, it is now a common skill set necessary to navigate the professional world effectively.

Read the Article

Foundational Skills Teams Need for Success in the Digital Age (Part 2)

With the rise of the digital economy and Industry 4.0, companies in every sector are gearing up to meet the demands of a quickly shifting technological playing field. Automation is rendering some jobs obsolete, while others never even conceived of 5 years ago are being created in the process. These deep changes raise big questions: How do humans add value in the workplace? What skills do companies need most? How do individuals keep learning to keep pace?

Read the Article

14 Foundational Skills Teams Need for Success in the Digital Age

As part of its research for the new report "The New Foundational Skills for the Digital Economy", Burning Glass Technologies examined 150 million unique job postings in the United States. The results suggest that three inter-related categories of skill types (containing a total of 14 foundational skills) are the cornerstones upon which digital transformation takes place.x

Read the Article

5 Tips to Improve Your Corporate Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is top of mind for all C-suite executives. Why? Almost 1 in 3 companies will experience a major breach within the next 24 months - and at an average of $3.86M per incident. Beyond the cost, most executives find the real price tag comes in reputational losses.  

“Protect your reputation, because that’s usually the hardest aspect of a breach to fix. Software can be reinstalled. Data can be restored from backups. However, once you’ve lost your reputation, people might not want to do business with you anymore,” says Professor Jonathan S. Weissman, Senior Lecturer, Department of Computing Security, Rochester Institute of Technology and the RITx Cybersecurity MicroMasters® program on edX.org.

Read the Article

The Four Keys to Happiness at Work

Developing a state of happiness on the job doesn’t just benefit people as individuals; it also has real business implications. Research shows that happier employees are more committed to their organizations; rise to positions of leadership more rapidly; are more productive and creative; and suffer fewer health problems.

Read the Article

What’s Next in Corporate eLearning?

Ubiquitous connectivity and the resulting consumer expectation of receiving anything, anytime and anywhere, have fueled the rise of online learning in corporations. This is a win-win, as employees are able to reskill and upskill while companies benefit from these new competencies without suffering the usual downtime associated with traditional in-person training experiences. With corporate online learning becoming the norm, edX considers what is on the horizon.   

Read the Article

AWS and edX Collaborate to Close the Machine Learning Skills Gap

Today’s global companies are all considering how artificial intelligence (AI) can positively impact their business – using it to acquire and engage customers, forecast their business, provide high-quality customer support and more, according to DZone. This makes talent with Machine Learning (ML) skills more in demand than ever, widening an already notable skills gap.

Read the Article

Soft Skills: What Every Manager Needs to Know

Trends in corporate eLearning in the age of Digital Transformation have been focused around the development of new technical skills as more and more jobs are lost to automation. While companies and workers have been scrambling to stay ahead of the technology curve in order to remain employable and competitive, recent surveys and research have shown that “soft skills” are just as important, if not more-so, to a company’s success. Soft skills have become today’s power skills.

Read the Article

3 Steps to Developing a Data-Savvy Workforce

A key challenge facing companies today isn’t the collection and management of customer data but, rather, its analysis. While technologies like Hadoop and Azure make it easier to collect large amounts of data from multiple customer touch points, much of this data’s potential is largely untapped. To keep up with the quantity of new information, companies need well-trained, analytics-savvy employees who can spot trends, identify inefficiencies, and create strategic action plans to put this rich customer information into use.

Read the Article

5 Ways to Identify Effective Unconscious Bias Training

Organizations and business professionals are becoming more and more aware that everyone has unconscious bias. But having an unconscious bias doesn’t make us bad—it just makes us human. Unconscious biases can have a significant negative impact on workplaces, leading to differences in who gets hired and recruited, who gets offered new opportunities, and whose voice is listened to in meetings and beyond.

Read the Article

12 Practical Tips to Elevate “Culture of Learning” in Your Corporate Environment

According to the World Economic Forum, more than 30% of the skills employees will need by 2020 are not considered crucial today. On-the-job training is officially required to keep pace with advancing technology. So, how do you foster a culture that values ongoing learning at a big company? 

Read the Article

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Follow the Data: Make Soft Skills Your L&D Super Power

In a surprising study, Google discovered that its highest performing teams aren’t those stacked with scientists, but interdisciplinary groups heavily benefitting from employees bringing strong soft skills to the collaborative process. Further, additional research found that it’s these soft skills, like good communication and empathetic leadership, not hard skills, that comprise the top predictors of success within the company.

Research from MIT Sloan echoed Google’s findings, showing that soft skills training, even in more hands-on, technical roles in a factory setting, can improve work productivity. Initiated at five Bangalore factories, a controlled, twelve-month trial revealed that training in problem solving, communication, and decision-making yielded a 250 percent ROI in eight months.

Time and time again, industry data, market trends, and insights from top business leaders highlight soft skills as important, and yet they’re still often overlooked.

3 Employee Learning Myths Debunked: Competency, Retention, and Productivity

As technology reshapes the future of work, workers are struggling to remain relevant. In an edX survey conducted last year, only one fifth of respondents considered the education from their college major to be translatable to their current field and more than one third experienced a lack of proficiency in at least one new skill area or subject area of a current or past job. In other words, your employees are also feeling the skills gap.
Workers are aware that they aren’t fully prepared for today’s changing skill requirements — but unsure how best to ask for help with professional development and training. In the same edX survey, almost half of respondents reported feeling uncomfortable asking their employer for help with learning opportunities and costs.

To counter the stigma of asking for help, anticipate the reasons employees are nervous to ask in the first place, and structure your messaging and programming accordingly. In this article, originally published in Forbes, edX founder and CEO Anant Agrawal debunks the three most common myths about employee learning:

Why Corporate Learning Strategies Need to Include Active Learning

Today’s companies aren’t asking if it makes sense to implement e-learning and training programs, but how. Employees’ time is limited, resources are constrained, and navigating the learning landscape can be difficult. How do you maximize your employees’ attention, get them up to speed on critical skills as quickly as possible, and, most importantly, ensure that learning is effective?

The problem is complex and the stakes are higher than ever. Businesses face enormous risk and competition in today’s digital economy and need to ensure that critical functions are in the hands of people with the proven ability to do. To meet this demand, companies must provide learning to their employees that is deep and transformational.

Customer-Driven Innovation: Why We Have a Corporate Advisory Board

We are at a moment of great inflection in education. The gap between traditional higher education and the competencies companies need is widening as the evolution of technology and related skills accelerate.

edX sits at the center of industry and academia, bridging the gap between in-demand skills and education opportunities. As a non-profit founded by MIT and Harvard, our mission is to expand access to high-quality education to everyone, everywhere, including corporate learners. Our corporate partners share this mission and are similarly committed to providing their employees with the skills and learning they need for the future of work.

How Boston’s C-suites can prepare their employees for the future of work [via The Boston Globe]

Corporate America is grappling with the impact of automation and artificial intelligence on today’s workforce, and many industries are facing obstacles when it comes to hiring and retaining workers who have the skills needed in our increasingly changing economy.

So how can business leaders adapt to the changing landscape?
edX President and COO, Adam Medros, discusses in his latest piece on BostonGlobe.com

Make Corporate Learning a Year-Round Activity

Business never stops, even in the summer months, but sometimes your employees need a boost to stay motivated. In a recent survey of edX For Business customers, 75% of respondents said that engagement is a top challenge in implementing a corporate learning program. While employees are clamoring for training and new skills, our research shows that intentions and motivation can waver at different points in the learning journey as life and work responsibilities compete for time and attention.

Process Improvement with Six Sigma

A very elemental objective for every business is (or should be) increasing customer/user satisfaction while also decreasing costs. But this simple idea is not necessarily simple to achieve. If it were, more companies would be profitable and stay in business. For organizations whose products or outputs are the results of repetitive processes, implementing the Six Sigma method can mean the difference between barely making your margins and being hugely profitable, between failure and success. 

The Science of “Doing:” Corporate Learning that Sticks - Recap

Corporate leaders identify Digital Transformation as a key priority for new skill development in their organizations. With emphasis on transformative change and the continuing need to develop new capabilities in every organization, where does superficial learning play a role, and where are organizations focusing on deep learning? What kinds of learning activities translate into truly transformative change to support business needs?

Building Blocks for the Digital Economy

The rise of the digital economy means that jobs across all sectors are increasingly requiring digital literacy skills. Digital technology has been integrated into every part of the way we do business, from the tools we use to the products we make. While digital skills used to be held predominantly by professionals in technical capacities, it is now a common skill set necessary to navigate the professional world effectively.

Foundational Skills Teams Need for Success in the Digital Age (Part 2)

With the rise of the digital economy and Industry 4.0, companies in every sector are gearing up to meet the demands of a quickly shifting technological playing field. Automation is rendering some jobs obsolete, while others never even conceived of 5 years ago are being created in the process. These deep changes raise big questions: How do humans add value in the workplace? What skills do companies need most? How do individuals keep learning to keep pace?

14 Foundational Skills Teams Need for Success in the Digital Age

As part of its research for the new report "The New Foundational Skills for the Digital Economy", Burning Glass Technologies examined 150 million unique job postings in the United States. The results suggest that three inter-related categories of skill types (containing a total of 14 foundational skills) are the cornerstones upon which digital transformation takes place.x

5 Tips to Improve Your Corporate Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is top of mind for all C-suite executives. Why? Almost 1 in 3 companies will experience a major breach within the next 24 months - and at an average of $3.86M per incident. Beyond the cost, most executives find the real price tag comes in reputational losses.  

“Protect your reputation, because that’s usually the hardest aspect of a breach to fix. Software can be reinstalled. Data can be restored from backups. However, once you’ve lost your reputation, people might not want to do business with you anymore,” says Professor Jonathan S. Weissman, Senior Lecturer, Department of Computing Security, Rochester Institute of Technology and the RITx Cybersecurity MicroMasters® program on edX.org.

The Four Keys to Happiness at Work

Developing a state of happiness on the job doesn’t just benefit people as individuals; it also has real business implications. Research shows that happier employees are more committed to their organizations; rise to positions of leadership more rapidly; are more productive and creative; and suffer fewer health problems.

What’s Next in Corporate eLearning?

Ubiquitous connectivity and the resulting consumer expectation of receiving anything, anytime and anywhere, have fueled the rise of online learning in corporations. This is a win-win, as employees are able to reskill and upskill while companies benefit from these new competencies without suffering the usual downtime associated with traditional in-person training experiences. With corporate online learning becoming the norm, edX considers what is on the horizon.   

AWS and edX Collaborate to Close the Machine Learning Skills Gap

Today’s global companies are all considering how artificial intelligence (AI) can positively impact their business – using it to acquire and engage customers, forecast their business, provide high-quality customer support and more, according to DZone. This makes talent with Machine Learning (ML) skills more in demand than ever, widening an already notable skills gap.

Soft Skills: What Every Manager Needs to Know

Trends in corporate eLearning in the age of Digital Transformation have been focused around the development of new technical skills as more and more jobs are lost to automation. While companies and workers have been scrambling to stay ahead of the technology curve in order to remain employable and competitive, recent surveys and research have shown that “soft skills” are just as important, if not more-so, to a company’s success. Soft skills have become today’s power skills.

3 Steps to Developing a Data-Savvy Workforce

A key challenge facing companies today isn’t the collection and management of customer data but, rather, its analysis. While technologies like Hadoop and Azure make it easier to collect large amounts of data from multiple customer touch points, much of this data’s potential is largely untapped. To keep up with the quantity of new information, companies need well-trained, analytics-savvy employees who can spot trends, identify inefficiencies, and create strategic action plans to put this rich customer information into use.

5 Ways to Identify Effective Unconscious Bias Training

Organizations and business professionals are becoming more and more aware that everyone has unconscious bias. But having an unconscious bias doesn’t make us bad—it just makes us human. Unconscious biases can have a significant negative impact on workplaces, leading to differences in who gets hired and recruited, who gets offered new opportunities, and whose voice is listened to in meetings and beyond.

12 Practical Tips to Elevate “Culture of Learning” in Your Corporate Environment

According to the World Economic Forum, more than 30% of the skills employees will need by 2020 are not considered crucial today. On-the-job training is officially required to keep pace with advancing technology. So, how do you foster a culture that values ongoing learning at a big company? 

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