What is lifelong training

Lifelong learning, for which a good definition is "the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated" pursuit of knowledge for professional and personal reasons, has arose in the past few decades. Gone is the old notion that education ends with one's school and/or university years, replaced by a constant process of learning and self-improvement.

Why

Why it is Important

Unlike in the past, when an employee could spend all of their professional life working for a single company, today's workers can expect to change from company to company, and sometimes even jump industries, in the context of their career. Going from salaried employee to freelancer, or starting one's own company, is also becoming an increasingly common phenomenon.

For individuals, the above reasons make lifelong learning an increasingly important aspect of professional growth, as it allows them to keep up with new technologies and workflows and thus increase both their productivity (in their current job) and their employability.

For businesses, lifelong training (and, increasingly so, its online, eLearning-based, version), helps ensure that their senior employees remain up to date with the latest market and industry changes. This allows companies to get more value from their experienced senior employees and to improve the long-term career prospects and job satisfaction of new hires (thus raising employee retention).

Benefits of doing it

For educational organizations and companies that sell commercial eLearning courses and programs, positioning themselves as lifelong learning providers allows them to take advantage of this latest trend in professional education and to develop a longer-term relationship with their learners (as opposed to one that finishes upon the successful completion of one or more courses).

Lifelong learning programs work well with a subscription model and are a great fit for industries or skills where there's always newer developments or further areas to study. These industries include anything from IT (where programming languages, OSes, standards, etc. change constantly and working professionals have to keep up with them) to audio, video and multimedia studies (where production techniques and tools similarly change with technology), aviation, and numerous other industries.

For larger enterprises running their own training programs, offering a lifelong learning plan helps them keep employee skills up to date, and combined with appropriate career advancement opportunities, helps maximize the potential of a company's existing workforce and reduce (costly) employee churn. This means that businesses can more easily adopt the latest productivity enhancement technologies and respond quickly to changing conditions.

Lifelong learning is less useful for industries or business departments that rely mostly on short-term and seasonal hires (e.g. the fast food industry, parts of the hospitality industry, etc.), but it can still be applicable in those type of businesses to train the core of long-term personnel and management staff.

How can it be applied to your company

Lifelong training programs work best for educational organizations (universities, public education, etc.), companies selling commercial courses, and for larger enterprises and organizations.

Lifelong training programs and eLearning offerings focusing on continuous learning have been adopted by major universities, commercial training providers, and bigger companies that offer their employees the option to take any kind of skills enhancing courses.

Lifelong training:

  • Enterprises can combine elective lifelong learning courses for career development with ad-hoc training focused on particular training needs.
  • Companies that sell commercial training courses can start their own lifelong learning offerings too, either selling the courses themselves in their own TalentLMS-based eLearning portals, or selling them through the platform's integrated content marketplace.
  • Training providers can foster a long-term relationship with their users, offering special course bundles and deals to loyal learners, and even take advantage of the integrated eCommerce engine to provide subscription options.
  • TalentLMS is always available so self-motivated learners, especially mature users that want to learn new skills while working a full-time job, can learn at their own pace.
  • With TalentLMS, and its native mobile client applications, lifelong training courses can be combined with micro-learning, giving learners the freedom to study whenever they have a little spare time and from wherever they want, even offline and on the go.
  • TalentLMS can accommodate any number of users, and only asks you to pay for your active learners, thus allowing enterprises and eLearning providers to keep accounts open even while users are between courses and might take months or years to become active again.
  • A TalentLMS-based lifelong learning program is much less costly than classroom based training, both for the learners and the learning provider, as it incurs no costs for renting physical space, travel expenses, or equipment costs.

Examples

Lifelong learning programs can take several forms.

Some, for example, are focused on providing continuous education centered on a particular subject matter (e.g. providing continuous professional education for doctors or lawyers and keeping them up to date with the latest developments in their fields). Often those types of re-education and/or periodic re-evaluation programs are mandated by law or industry rules.

Typically in such cases, the learning provider that runs the lifelong training program keeps adding learning material for all skills levels and gradually introduces more detailed or specialized content as the learner progresses through their training.

Other lifelong training programs are more like conventional eLearning programs, offering a variety of courses on various subjects, but focusing on mature learners looking for personal development or improved career prospects.

How TalentLMS can help

For all its specific goals and target audiences, lifelong training is not different in execution to other kinds of modern enterprise and/or academic training.

This makes TalentLMS, the industry leading Cloud-based eLearning management system a great fit for implementing lifelong training too.

With TalentLMS:

  • Enterprises can combine elective lifelong learning courses for career development with ad-hoc training focused on particular training needs.
  • Companies that sell commercial training courses can start their own lifelong learning offerings too, either selling the courses themselves in their own TalentLMS-based eLearning portals, or selling them through the platform's integrated content marketplace.
  • Training providers can foster a long-term relationship with their users, offering special course bundles and deals to loyal learners, and even take advantage of the integrated eCommerce engine to provide subscription options.
  • TalentLMS is always available so self-motivated learners, especially mature users that want to learn new skills while working a full-time job, can learn at their own pace.
  • With TalentLMS, and its native mobile client applications, lifelong training courses can be combined with micro-learning, giving learners the freedom to study whenever they have a little spare time and from wherever they want, even offline and on the go.
  • TalentLMS can accommodate any number of users, and only asks you to pay for your active learners, thus allowing enterprises and eLearning providers to keep accounts open even while users are between courses and might take months of years to become active again.
  • A TalentLMS-based lifelong learning program is much less costly than classroom based training, both for the learners and the learning provider, as it incurs no costs for renting physical space, travel expenses, or equipment costs.

Some features that will help you facilitate Lifelong Training

  • TalentLMS' powerful and intuitive content creation tools make it extremely easy to create your lifelong training material
  • TalentLMS' quizzes and tests help you access how well your learners are absorbing their material
  • TalentLMS' Reports give you complete insight of your learners' progress over time
  • TalentLMS' Surveys let you gather valuable feedback from your learners, allowing you to fine-tune your training program to their needs
  • TalentLMS' Branches feature lets you create separate but centrally managed learning programs for each facility, department or branch of your company
  • TalentLMS' Certificates let you keep track of your learners skills and are a great fit for business training and commercial lifelong training providers
  • TalentLMS' eCommerce options, including its Subscription options, help training providers sell and promote their lifelong learning material

Finally, TalentLMS is a great turn-key solution for those that want to start their own lifelong training business or enterprise program, but don't have the IT skills (or budget) to setup their own servers.

Being a Cloud-based platform frees you from worrying about its installation, maintenance, or backups, and allows you to focus on how to best run your lifelong training program.

Lifelong Training is not just an increasingly popular training market, but also an educational practice that uniquely answers to the needs of the 21st century job market and workplace.

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