March 2015

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Maximize Training Dollars in 2015

I personally feel that any investment in training pays off tenfold in employee loyalty and retention, but if that investment also propels the company forward by being prepared to accept new growth, then that is a good investment.

Manny Mandrusiak

Manny Mandrusiak
Managing Creative Consultant,
4 Bravo Marketing

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In the world of computer training the month of March is typically known as “March Madness”.  This is the month when many corporations look at getting their employees training with whatever money is left in the fiscal budget.  HR departments and IT Managers try to capitalize on the opportunity to invest in training for their staff to improve overall corporate performance.

One of the problems that exists when it comes to booking training for people is wondering if the skills received in training will be relevant in one year’s time.   No one wants to invest in training for staff members on a system or software platform that will be replaced next year as the corporation upgrades its systems.

Human Resource departments also have the problem of sorting through all of the employee requests for training as part of professional development plans that have come in over the past year.  Not only do they have to sort these, but if they hope to capitalize on any “March Madness” funds, then they only have a couple of months to get people booked into training.

HR pros also need to deal with the issue of correct skillsets for new hires. With buildings getting retrofitted with new technology many companies are expanding their IT infrastructures and consequently need to expand their IT departments. Employers want to ensure that if they are making investments in new personnel then the new hires need to have relevant skills to deal with ever expanding cloud-based IT infrastructures. 

All three of the above situations come down to a matter of knowing what are the hottest and most relevant skills needed for any company to foster growth through the investment of training for corporate members. 

Here are my picks as some of the top skills that HR professionals and IT Managers are looking to either invest training dollars in, or find in new hires based on the trends that I am seeing working with ctc TrainCanada:

  1. Time Management- Let’s face it, these days everyone has to do more with less.  The skills to effectively manage continually changing schedules and complex projects.  Training that provides individuals with the ability to “do more with less” tops my list of courses sought by managers. Now training that increases someone’s ability to better manage their time during their workday do not always include “time management” in their titles.  Popular courses in the time management column include: Effective time management using Microsoft Outlook, Office 365 courses, Advanced skills in data manipulation using Microsoft Excel, and SharePoint courses to more effectively learn how to save time searching for documents and information though better organization.
  1. Project Management- Project Management skills are always in demand, but they are especially in demand in IT departments.  Companies are presenting more complex problems to IT departments where they have to take data and transform it into useful business information. The skills required to enable that transformation are truly bolstering the demand for IT pros with solid project management skills.
  1. Technical Support and Help Desk Analyst- This article already identified that the IT infrastructures of many companies are growing and that means the need for more staff. I have seen a marked increase in A+ training courses.  A+, Network +, Server+ and Security + are running very regularly as people are seeing the growth of new jobs for qualified individuals.  The demand is there for individuals with the right skills.
  1. Security- The above point speaks to individuals needed for qualified individuals to build, repair and maintain IT infrastructures, but there is a huge need for qualified individuals to keep those systems and data safe. Individuals who have certified training in keeping systems secure are in demand.  Training is extensive, but well worth the investment to keep systems secure in these uncertain times.
  1. Virtual Technologies-   As IT infrastructures move toward hybrid hardware/cloud-based systems the need to create, maintain, and manage virtual technologies is escalating.  Virtual Technologies are becoming more and more the norm in our life.  Server blades in a rack now house many virtual machines making the blade more and more effective as technology moves toward faster and faster access to information.  Mastering virtual technologies may soon become very standard training for many IT pros.

That’s my top five picks for where to invest your training dollars for 2015. Now every company has specific needs and objectives, but these five areas focus on efficiency, project management, infrastructure and security.  All extremely relevant topics in today’s business headlines.  Hopefully these tips will assist managers when they are looking to invest in their staff’s training. I personally feel that any investment in training pays off tenfold in employee loyalty and retention, but if that investment also propels the company forward by being prepared to accept new growth, then that is a good investment.


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