The economic, labor and social consequences caused by the pandemic have been felt strongly in the months of confinement, but unemployment, which grew by 5,107 people in June, has slowed for the second consecutive month and invites moderate optimism: Social Security gained an average of almost 70,000 members, although the year-on-year data shows almost 900,000 fewer members than 12 months ago. Uncertainty about the future is the predominant note in a labor market in which, if we add to the 3.8 million unemployed registered in the State Public Employment Service (SEPE) the 1.8 million workers covered by an ERTE, we check that one in four Spanish workers are inactive or paused.
The state of alarm supposed a marked slowdown in economic activity, but on the other hand it stimulated the digital transformation of society: a whole “literacy” on the march even for those who were reluctant to new technologies. Companies are looking for technological profiles to be digitized and educational institutions take advantage of the inertia of this metamorphosis to respond to future needs: “The socio-health crisis has accelerated what was going to happen in the world of education in the next five or six years, it will happen in just a year and a half ”, says Sergio Calvo, vice-rector for Students at the European University. “The more traditional formats will drink from others more similar to continuous training, which in turn will acquire greater value. That lifelong learning, That lifelong learning will be an even more tangible reality. ”
It is in this context that training trends point to a much more flexible, accessible and personalized model, “A continuous learning process to be relevant, redefine roles and / or adapt to functions and jobs that do not even exist yet,” says Gema Requena, director of the consulting firm Nethunting, who has just published the study with EAE Business School Microtrends 2020: Education and Work. A report that shows that the leader of the future will be a “business educator” with the function of integrating employees, knowledge, suppliers and business and social challenges (such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda) in its value chain, and with a broad mastery of skills such as resilience, critical thinking, global networks, cultural and geopolitical intelligence, data analytics or sustainability: because it is no longer so much about selling more, but better. Business is not only measured in economic terms, but also social and environmental.
More than ever, education must be an accessible and tailored digital suit, and new technologies offer a multitude of useful models throughout our professional careers. Educational tools such as Goodhabitz or Odilo They enable companies to create their own personalized platforms of courses in professional skills or personal growth, among millions of available options. A concept similar to that of Netflix, but of continuous training, and which other educational institutions such as IEBS have embraced, through Akademus, a microlearning channel available to any user (€ 24.90 monthly subscription) with courses ranging from marketing digital and business to human resources, technology, programming and photography and video design.
The transformation, says Calvo, will eventually spread among the universities. “The scheme we have now, in which you tell yourself that you have to study first, and then second, third, fourth … is condemned to disappear,” says Calvo. “Everything is going to be much more modular, and the student is going to be able to shape their own curriculum based on what they really want”; a hybrid model that mixes face-to-face education (usually more practical) and on-line, that combines the best of both worlds and adapts to the vital and professional moment of each student.
Scholarships and training grants
The increase in telework caused by the pandemic has also facilitated online training possibilities, usually at a much more affordable price than face-to-face education. Thus, for example, the course search engine Emagister made an initiative of training grants worth one million euros, of which more than 600,000 have already been consumed, in programs ranging from the MBA of the European Higher Institute of Barcelona (ISEB), to masters in speech therapy of the Graduate School of Medicine and Health or the cybersecurity training from Select Business School, among many others.
Tools such as machine learning, artificial intelligence or Big data They have also made it easier for Emagister, together with Majorel and GSS Grupo Covisian, to offer users training that best suits their needs, both knowledge and financial, thanks to a team of academic specialists who will advise students on the entire process. , from the choice of course and center to possible financing options.
Ironhack, meanwhile, has arranged scholarships worth € 300,000 for professionals who want to do the transition to high-demand technology careers nowadays. The aid will cover, totally or partially, the bootcamps Ironhack in Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon, as well as the Remote Ironhack programs. And if what interests you is the world of sales, another option is the IEBS Sales School and Grupo Edutech, to train sales representatives in two months and then help them find work. In addition, to facilitate the labor insertion of the unemployed, they will not have to pay anything for their training until they are working.
Free training also exists
MOOCS, an acronym in English that designates online, open and massive courses from very diverse disciplines, constitute an enormous source of knowledge that is often free, generally in video format and available in English (EdX, Coursera, Udemy) or Spanish ( Miríadax). These are courses often produced by university professors, researchers or specialists in each field, which often makes them high-quality and reputable training. “For example, in the area of data science or artificial intelligence, it is unlikely to find someone who has not performed Andrew NG’s courses (co-founder of Coursera) about Deep Learning, it is almost a requirement ”, explains José Pedro Manzano, a graduate of the Complutense University and a PhD in Computational Neuroscience in the United Kingdom.
MOOCs often address content for which there are no specialized degrees or master’s degrees, which is very useful when universities often lack the flexibility or speed to adapt to the latest demands of the labor market. However, the advancement of virtual training has pushed many of them to convert a large part of their programs to digital format, as in the case of the open courses of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): “As with MOOCs, they are a joy, because sometimes it is the same discoverer of something that is explaining how something works,” says Manzano. Apart from the videos, you usually have access to notes, assignments and materials, although it has the downside that, “even if you do the whole degree, you don’t get the graduate degree, although sometimes (upon payment) they issue certificates”.
YouTube is also a source of numerous educational resources. A search on the popular video platform can lead you to Missing Semester, a MIT channel created as a result of covid-19, at Oxford Mathematics (where Stephen Hawking himself is teaching), tutorials, talks and conferences. KaggleFor its part, it is a platform for data science competitions; and SpainAI opens the doors to collaborative learning. And there are many more; you just have to look for them.
In the world of technology, for example, the culture of Open Science, open science: share your own code to replicate an algorithm, document and generate content explaining your progress … Github There are thousands of repositories with tutorials and code that you can reuse, Google lets you run code for free on their servers, and companies like Amazon AWS and Azure have very cheap servers.