Education vs. Training: Corporate America’s Role

What you would exactly like to know about education vs training? Will a 6th-grade education help you get enough skills to use the online tools for trading or become a knowledge worker or service worker? Else, do you need a higher secondary grade? Perhaps, the graduation of the 4-year term would help you get enough skills?

How much education is actually needed to handle things efficiently in your new job or to become self-employed? One of the recent surveys showed that any skill to start working in a job can be taught in a few hours of proper training. There are a couple of interns in the United States who are taking up a $90k annual jobs within 150 hours of training. With whatever training the students are receiving, they can earn enough money during the vacations, to pay off their college fee.

But what if an individual is not going to school, college, or does not even finish high school? What kind of education does he need to start making money? This is where Corporate America is shifting its way from traditional education to training individuals.

Skills Gap and the Skilled Labour Shortage

According to a survey, it is observed that skilled and knowledgeable laborers are very hard to find in the United States. Though the unemployment rate in the United States is below 4%, still many bigger organizations are struggling to find the right candidate who can perform the tasks efficiently. Companies like Target, Walmart, etc. are raising the pay, to attract more skilled and knowledgeable workers. However, the increase in the pay alone does not guarantee to attract skilled labor nor retain the existing workers.

There are quite a good number of high paying jobs available in the market but there are very few skilled people, who can fill the workforce. Even if more people are convinced to fill the workforce and figure out the immigration policies, even then there will be a significant gap in skilled labor. Because, the current education system is not efficient enough to produce great doctors, lawyers, scientists, programmers, etc. Also, depending on the type of jobs available in the market, not many graduates are prepared to fill the workforce.

On the other hand, there is a great shortage of non-digital workers such as restaurant workers, health care aides, hospitality staff, construction tradespeople, etc. However, America’s corporation people are taking the right measures to solve this problem. After all, they are the organizations that will be most benefited if there are a large number of skilled workforce in their organization.

A New Kind of Training Designed for New Kind of Workforce

Amazon has recently announced that it is ready to spend around 700 million dollars for training and upskilling more than 1 lakh people by the end of 2025. While Amazon has offered continuously on professional education and employee training since past few years, its workforce development vice president, Mr. Williams said that Amazon is investing a lot of time now into their employee training programs to make their company more attractive for the employees and for those who are seeking a job in their organization.

This is really an innovative idea for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Amazon knows that all its employees operate on a timeline of 18-months to 3 years, and the training programs of Amazon are designed accordingly. When Amazon knows that the employees are definitely going to shift from their organization, it prefers to be the stepping stone for the next job and also ensures that the employees add more value to the company’s shareholders, before making a job shift.

Secondly, this initiative highlights the strategy of Amazon to strengthen the skills of people who work for Amazon as a compensation package. You might earn more working for Amazon but the real value lies in the training provided by Amazon to its employees.

Also, Amazon has come up with an estimation of seven thousand dollars spent on training each worker. This is a very huge number. According to a Talent Development association, an average company spends around $1,200 per employee annual training. Employers with more than 10,000 workers in their organization, tend to spend even less for the training and development of its employees.

Amazon has mentioned that these training programs help its employees to move to skilled non-technical and technical roles across many of the company’s corporate offices, fulfillment centers, retail stores, tech hubs, transportation networks, etc. or even pursue their careers outside Amazon. Former university professors and Amazon employees train other employees. Here is what Amazon is planning in its AWS training programs:

  • Technical Academy: This training program helps the nontechnical workers with engineering and software skills.
  • Associate2Tech: This helps the fulfillment workers to move to technical roles in the company.
  • Machine Learning University: Employees with technical backgrounds are equipped with machine learning skills.
  • Amazon Career Choice: This is a prepaid tuition program where 95% of the tuition fees are paid by Amazon to pursue training in high demand fields.
  • Amazon Apprenticeship: This is a classroom training program with an apprenticeship from Amazon.
  • AWS Training: Amazon offers this training program to help people build knowledge on cloud computing.

There are many professions which require a postgraduate degree like doctors, lawyers, biologist, etc. which cannot be simply learned from YouTube. Whereas, there are certain fields where the best education you can get is from On-Job training in an organization. That said, training is essential to create a more productive workforce in the 21st century.

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