Why education matters: Building skills for your future

By and Rob Shook | 3 minute read | April 30, 2018

When you make an investment in something, you want to get the most out of that experience — and often that means learning is required.

Technology is evolving at an increasing pace. The skills many of us brought to the workplace may not be the skills we’ll need on our next project, but high-quality training and education can make all the difference.

Think of it this way: You can get some results at the gym on your own; you can get better results with a personal trainer. You can use “trial and error” to repair a broken clothes dryer; you can do it in less time and with fewer blind alleys by watching a YouTube video that shows you what to do. You can fumble your way through blockchain technology or learn from those who’ve already done that.

In short, education matters, and seeking out education from the experts will help you get better results, faster.

Education matters

Consider the following data:

  • 61 percent of surveyed CxOs say workforce skills are among the most important external factors impacting their business
    (IBM Institute for Business Value Global C-suite Study)
  • 80 percent of IT managers say education is essential to project success
    (IDC MarketScape: Worldwide IT Education and Training 2013 Vendor Analysis, IDC, 2013)

Leaders are clear that skill development, training and education are essential for business. Not only that, but here are some of the concrete benefits of a skilled workforce:

  • 16 percent increase in customer satisfaction
  • 10 percent increase in productivity
  • 35 percent reduction in time spent searching for sales content
  • 22 percent faster rollout of products and processes

Education is rewarding

We all know that it’s rewarding to do self-improvement, whether for personal or professional reasons. As human beings, there’s always room for us to grow and learn new things — and education really can be its own reward. But, IBM also offers digital credentials for many educational accomplishments. These can range from digital badges to certifications.

Education is flexible

Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all education where the *only* way to learn was to fly to some location, stay in a hotel and get four days of lectures in a classroom. For some topics — or for some employers — that may still be the method of choice, but today, when your workforce may span not only generations but also continents, many other options are available. IBM has training opportunities that are available when you want, where you want, how you want, at different price points.

Education is hands-on

Flight crews use simulators to train pilots. Your live business environment is every bit as important to your company’s livelihood, and you wouldn’t want to have people “trying out new things” on a live platform. We have sandbox environments that let you try things out and not risk a production environment.

Education through IBM is supported by hands-on labs, enabling learning consolidation and practical experience. The labs include step-by-step instructions. There’s no student setup time; you can learn, experiment and walk way at the end. We have sample data available to support the learning exercises/tasks. There’s no need to use in-house system time.

We offer training in IBM hardware (IBM Power Systems, IBM Z, IBM Storage), software and services using hands-on labs to consolidate education hosted by IBM.

Education is available now

Your first stop for education should be the IBM Skills Gateway, where you’ll see which courses are available and how they’re delivered. You can create your own education profile and use an existing Learning Journey or create your own, personalized plan for the skills you want to develop.

IBM has an ongoing relationship with five Global Training Providers (GTPs) and their affiliated Education Providers to deliver education on IBM’s behalf. They are Arrow, Global Knowledge, Ingram Micro, LearnQuest and Tech Data. Each has strengths in various solutions and delivery methods. The Skills Gateway will connect you to the GTPs and show how, where, and when the courses will be offered.
You’ll also find selected classes and topics available through Cognitive Class, as well as some material on the Coursera and edX platforms.

In addition to coursework, you can grow your skills with in-depth technical training at IBM Systems Technical University events hosted by IBM Systems Lab Services throughout the year.

Equip your team to succeed and thrive

The time is now. Are you getting the most out of the technology you have invested in, or are about to invest in? Education will make a positive impact on your project, your team and your company.

Visit the IBM Skills Gateway or reach out to one of our Global Training Providers today.