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Why businesses should invest in educating expert staff

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We live in an age of accelerating technological innovation that is progressing at such a blazing pace that it is radically altering the skills needed by the workforce, from “blue collar” roles to the most highly qualified managerial tier. Ensuring that that workforce is equipped with the requisite skills for a modern, tech-enabled business to function properly has become a priority.

Although the government has a duty to shoulder some of the responsibility for this through actions such as ensuring that children in the K-12 years have access to courses imbuing them with elementary working knowledge of computer science before they leave school, but the need to upskill and educate doesn’t stop there. Today, it is becoming more important than ever for businesses to support their workforces in acquiring essential technological know-how. Without these skills, in an era where no organization or business could survive without internet-connected computers and data analysis expertise, a failure to invest in workforce education could lead to a failure to survive. 

On the school front, there have been some promising developments recently. Over in the UK, a recent study by global tech firm OKdo found that a significant majority of primary school teachers and parents (86 percent) believed that teaching children elementary computer science concepts enhanced their ability to solve problems more generally. Awareness of the benefits of including computer science at an early stage in the British school curriculum is clearly present and pervasive.

Meanwhile, in the United States, US News reported in July 2022 that governors from all 50 states vowed to fund a new computer science curriculum in American K-12 schools. This was in response to a letter to the National Governors Association signed by more than 500 executives (including Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates) calling for the inclusion of computer science in an updated school curriculum for every state.  

However, a more immediate problem is facing businesses right now in the need to invest in educating their staff to produce a workforce with inbuilt tech expertise. Let’s explore why this amounts to a profitable investment. 

Why businesses should further their employees’ education

Technologically advanced businesses need technologically advanced employees. It’s hardly an exaggeration to claim that all businesses (and non-commercial organizations) are tech firms to at least some extent today because they all rely on interconnected computer networks for day-to-day functioning. Employees must be tech-savvy enough to use this technology to productive effect. Expecting them all to come “tech-ready,” given the lag in formal school education on technological matters, is perhaps expecting a little too much.

Such investment is far from being a net cost to employers. Investing in employee talent to improve their skills repertoire is good for business. A 2014 Gartner study, for example, found that for every hour spent on good-quality employee training, five hours of productivity are saved annually. Moreover, the greater the skills/knowledge repertoire of an employee, the more tasks they can perform efficiently and to a high standard. Enhanced productivity of this kind amounts to reduced costs and improved performance for businesses.

Employees tend to receive an implicit but powerful message from employers who provide tools, programs and educational opportunities to their teams that they value their contribution to the firm and appreciate their emerging expertise. Employees who feel valued are likely to operate with considerably higher morale and happiness than those who don’t, resulting in a more engaged, loyal and productive workforce. 

Enlightened business leaders intuitively understand that in today’s tech-mediated world, fostering a desire to acquire the knowledge to use that technology to optimal effect in the workforce grants a significant competitive advantage. Workers who are encouraged onto a self-improvement curve, thirsting for new technical skills, will help increase efficiency and profits for the businesses that employ them.

For the most capable employees – such as those who possess the aptitudes and work ethic to undertake advanced learning programs like an online master’s of computer science degree, for example – another benefit arises for a business that invests in their acquisition of expert knowledge and skill. That business is also molding talent for future leadership roles in the organization, that thanks to the investment in their education, end up being highly loyal and prosperous to the company.

How online education promotes high-grade employee development

The aforementioned Master of Computer Science degree offers an especially potent example of how a firm can benefit by supporting an employee through a formal higher education program. Offered by the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), an established center of academic excellence recognized for its influential faculty and accomplished alumni, it requires no on-campus attendance as it is provided on a 100% online basis. 

Employees can, in other words, continue with their work commitments while studying for the degree around their job schedules and family obligations. Businesses, in other words, will not have a high-value “absentee” during the employee’s progression though the qualification but a very present and continually developing skilled team member. 

Students of computer science acquire inestimably valuable knowledge and skills in the design, development and analysis of software and hardware. These are crucial capabilities for modern businesses in solving all the problems computer network glitches can throw in the path of productivity and competitiveness.

However, problem-solving isn’t the only talent these experts bring to the table. They can also play a pivotal advisory role in business management and entrepreneurship initiatives, marketing campaigns (especially email and social media drives), maintaining and improving administrative tech, developing and managing data systems, and accounting, to mention just a few of the options.

Investing in training of this caliber yields a highly versatile and exceptionally skilled employee with excellent leadership potential and a multifaceted gamut of coveted abilities to make a business more productive, efficient, effective and profitable. 

Perhaps the right question is not “Why should businesses invest in high-quality skills and education for their employees?” The more pertinent question is, “Can aspiring modern businesses in a computer-mediated world economy afford not to invest in the skills they must have to thrive in a 

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