The Official ASTD Blog
Learning Industry News and Opinion

7 key skills new IT grads are lacking

October 12, 2011 13:06 by jllorens

(From computerworld.com) Taffet, the CIO of U.S. Gas & Electric Inc. in North Miami Beach, Fla., brought on four new staffers in the past six months and is looking to add 11 more to his current team of 20. His list of open positions includes an EDI programmer, a risk management programmer, a CRM programmer, a business analyst and an assistant IT manager.

Taffet says he doubts any new college grad could easily fill any of those roles. Undergraduate and graduate programs aren't able to keep up with the needs of enterprise IT shops, he says.

"It's a horrible statement to say, but there's just not enough time to [learn in college] all the skills that people need to be successful. We are expecting more and more, and universities are supplying more, but we're asking for still more," Taffet says.

What "more" do Taffet and other IT leaders want? They continue to value the "soft skills" -- particularly communication skills, customer service skills and an understanding of how to behave professionally -- that have topped their list for years.

They're also now encountering several gaps in specific business and technical skills. Computerworld surveyed IT managers to find out what skills they wish their newest hires had picked up while they were still in college.

Read more.


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Categories: Learning & Development | Human Capital

Blog: Building the Skills of an Innovator

October 12, 2011 12:58 by jllorens

(From huffingtonpost.com) The world has lost a great inventor and innovative thinker with the passing of Steve Jobs. In his short life, he managed to change the world through technological advances that no one could have ever imagined. Steve Jobs's ability to connect what people want and what he knew technology could do, and find creative solutions is what made him a great innovator. His problem solving capabilities and creativity are the same skills that drive innovation and are the skills young people need to be prepared for the jobs of the future.

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Categories: Learning & Development | News

The hottest IT skills are noncertified

June 1, 2011 15:09 by jllorens

(From infoworld.com) IT professionals who spend hours cramming to earn shiny new IT certifications, such MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) and CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate), are seeing a decline in the pay boost they reap for their achievements. Meanwhile, employees with tech skills for which certifications don't exist, such as Tcl and SAS development, VoIP, and business performance management, are reaping increasingly fatter premiums, according to Foote Partners' most recent IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index.

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ASTD 2011 Begins!

May 22, 2011 12:38 by Kristen Fyfe

The energy in the Orange County Convention Center has been building at a steady pace all morning. It is so great to be in the halls and see people greeting colleagues that they haven't seen since last year's conference! So far I've met people from the U.S., Korea, China, Denmark, Germany, England, Thailand, Taiwan, The Netherlands, Brazil, Portugal, Mongolia, ... I think that's all, so far! The networking opportunities that the ASTD International Conference & Exposition provide are rich and rewarding.

And the learning is awesome!

As I type this I'm seeing a steady stream of tweets from people who are sharing what their learning in sessions with Marshall Goldsmith, the MilSpace community, and more. If you're on Twitter and are interested in the backchannel, be sure to search #ASTD2011 for conference related posts.

@BenjaminMcCall - the guy who is organizing the #ASTD Tweetup on Monday night was just in the Press Room (my home for the conference) to pick up his materials. It was like a little mini Tweetup - putting a real person to the Twitter Avatar!

Of course today is just a warm-up. Vendors are putting the finishing touches on their booths so they'll be ready when the EXPO doors open Monday morning.

A shout-out to my ASTD colleagues. One of the best parts of the conference, for us, is seeing how much a year's (or more) worth of hard work pays off in the faces of conference attendees. This is the time of year when it all comes together. The days are long, but the rewards are immeasurable!

So Kudos to the ASTD staff and volunteers that make it all possible and make it all happen.

And to our ASTD 2011 attendees -- Enjoy the learning! 


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Categories: Conferences | Membership

US News and World Report: Training Specialist Among the Top 50 Jobs of 2011

December 6, 2010 16:29 by jllorens

(From USNews.com) A longtime chief executive is getting ready to retire. He works with the company's board of directors to come up with a list of internal candidates who could potentially replace him. Each of those candidates is enrolled in an executive development program that aims to groom them for the top spot, providing an opportunity for the executives to gain new skills. As a training specialist, it may be your job to lead that program. In other cases, you may set up a training workshop for new hires, or help supervisors become better managers, training them in communication and interpersonal skills. Training specialists may also work with employees to teach them to use new technologies. You may help direct interactive, Web-based training sessions, multimedia programs, or even apprenticeship training.

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The New Global Mindset

January 28, 2010 12:30 by Ann Pace

(From BusinessWeek) -- As global leaders come together this week in Davos for the World Economic Forum, discussions will center on three themes: rethink, redesign, rebuild. As we try to recover from the economic crisis, we all know that is critical to recovery. But where does innovation come from? In my view it comes from new ideas, new thinking and new ways of looking at the world. These three things share a common denominator: diverse perspectives.

In a recent Ernst & Young survey, we found that many companies fell short on the diversity of thought and culture needed to handle global business. Boards of directors seldom reflected the global reach of their businesses. Almost half of the companies operating in 25 or more countries indicated that they had at most only a couple of directors from outside the company's home territory. Yet they cited globally experienced staff as the leading cultural factor in conducting business around the world.

Read the full article.


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New Year’s resolutions

January 6, 2010 11:15 by lforgacs

Welcome to 2010! Best wishes for a happy New Year to each of you. Today I’d like to share some ideas to help you make your own professional development part of your New Year’s resolutions. As an HRD or learning professional, you help shape the future of organizations worldwide by developing today’s workforce – and ASTD would like to help you shape your own professional development.

Resolution #1

Attend the ASTD International Conference & Exposition. ASTD 2010 is the premier opportunity to learn, innovate, and network with the training and HRD communities. Each year, ASTD welcomes more than 8,000 participants to the conference from 70+ countries. With more than 200 educational sessions, there is something for everyone!

ASTD 2010 will be held in Chicago, IL on May 16-19, with certificate programs starting on May 13 and preconference workshops starting on May 15. New this year – we have created a special International Reception to welcome our international participants. Join us in Chicago for your annual training and networking reunion.

http://www.astdconference.org/


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Categories: International

In India, Anxiety Over the Slow Pace of Innovation

December 10, 2009 13:30 by Ann Pace

(From the New York Times) — In the United States and Europe, people worry that their well-paying, high-skill jobs will be, in a word, “Bangalored” — shipped off to India.

People here are also worried about the future. They fret that Bangalore, and India more broadly, will remain a low-cost satellite office of the West for the foreseeable future — more Scranton, Pa., in the American television series “The Office,” than Silicon Valley.

Even as the rest of the world has come to admire, envy and fear India’s outsourcing business and its technological prowess, many Indians are disappointed that the country has not quickly moved up to more ambitious and lucrative work from answering phones or writing software. Why, they worry, hasn’t India produced a Google or an Apple?

Innovation is hard to measure, but academics who study it say India has the potential to create trend-setting products but is not yet doing so. Indians are granted about half as many American patents for inventions as people and firms in Israel and China. The country’s corporate and government spending on research and development significantly lags behind that of other nations. And venture capitalists finance far fewer companies here than they do elsewhere.

Read the full article.


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ASTD and CPLP Get Plug in Minneapolis Star Tribune

November 17, 2009 10:33 by Kristen Fyfe

Came across this great story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune that talks about the value of belonging to associations. The article is targeted at healthcare workers, but the reporter states that professional associations outside your given industry add value to your career too. Laura French's story "Associate with Success" states:

"Training and education is another career track of interest to healthcare professionals. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) has more than 130 chapters in the U.S. as well as members in more than 100 countries. ASTD offers the only certification in the training and development field: Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP). Visit www.astd.org for additional information."

Nice to see a reporter making the connection that professional associations add real value! And the reference to the CPLP credential by a reporter indicates that certification is growing in prominence and recognition.


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Categories: ASTD in the News

In demanding times, employees must give more

November 16, 2009 18:21 by jllorens

(From Anchorage Daily News) "If you want to become a hero in your workplace, you need to give more than you're getting and willingly travel beyond your job description. This means swimming against the tide of entitlement present in many of your co-workers. According to attorney turned HR consultant Andy Brown, 'employees in the 1980s and '90s have accustomed themselves to getting more and giving less. If we want to fix our damaged economy, we need to reverse this.'"

Read the entire article.


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