We all know that knowledge is the future gold and that educating ourselves is a life time commitment. At the same time we all seem to have increasing challenges to find the time to attend courses. As a result, a lot of people I know get very limited additional training after the first couple of years of employment. This is unfortunate, not only for them, but also for the companies they work for.
Making the right choices
One of the important things we all need to consider is the purpose of any training we attend. Sometimes we just find a subject interesting and that is certainly a good enough reason. But we also need to consider the professional training very carefully.
On several occasions I have been asked to attend different courses. Initially you enjoy the time off from your regular duties and simply dive in to anything coming your way. Today however I carefully consider a number of parameters before signing up:
- Is the scope of the training relevant to my current position or future career aspirations?
- Is the depth of the training to a relevant level?
- Is the time requirement proportional to the content?
- Can I fit the available time into my schedule?
#2 is frequently forgotten in the evaluation of training and I have a number of trainings, which were really excellent trainings, but provided me with capabilities far beyond what I really wanted to do. If you are looking to understand how to leverage the value of social media and internet as marketing platforms, then you need to look for marketing trainings with this specific scope and avoid “admin” training classes, which will tell you howto, but not why and especially why not.
Time is Money
When you are in a company with high growth and significant market exposure, it is frequently difficult to find time to attend physical classroom courses. It boils down to the reply to #4; there is no time in the daily calendar to pull out 3-5 days for training. Besides, if it is a standard course, you wish to attend, it will always consist of a mix of high relevant and less relevant topics for the individual.
Fortunately with today’s technology the offering of online training is enormous and a simple Google search for training in any subject will turn up a multitude of offerings, so the big challenge really becomes finding the training providing most value for the time and money invested.
Often online trainings are relatively short and these will often be generalist in content and only scratch the surface. Such trainings are useful only to get an overview of a topic in a structured way, without any time invested on the part of the participant. Personally however I have found that these often has same or less value than spending a little time reading wiki-pages on the subject.
A very powerful tool to evaluate relevant training is LinkedIn. All you really need to do is to find a couple of trainings, which could be relevant and then post a question to your network if anyone knows these trainings or could recommend alternatives. My experience is that people are only too happy to share their experience with different training vendors and specific courses. This provides a quick overview from people, who have actually taken similar training classes and that type of feedback is much more valuable than any comments found on the vendor pages (some vendors by the way post their own comments, as if they were former participants, so take care!).
If you work for a larger company, there will often be a training department, who can help you find similar training from the vendors, which they have already vetted for you. This secures a level of quality, which you can hardly secure on your own. Small and medium size companies sometimes work with a partner, who coordinates training and will provide the same service.
Work with Suppliers
Another source, which in many cases is forgotten, is the suppliers, which you have. If you are looking for a technical training, then often the most specific training can be provided by your current vendors. Almost all vendors are happy to bring their specialist on site for training in any specific topic related to their products.
Over the last couple of years this offering has also been expanded to online offering. You can sign up on the vendors home page or through your normal sales contacts in the company.
Under the tagline, which I have used as the title for this article, Danfoss has released a globally available training community, where all divisions in Danfoss provide different levels of training to customers, students, consultants and anyone else, who has an interest. Like many other online training platforms, you can sign out of a training, when you need to do something else and come back, when you have time again, providing a very flexible way of learning. The system will even keep track of your activity and bring you to the point you have left when you log in again.
Recently a full curriculum for variable frequency drives training was released and feedback from customers has been fantastic, so if you want to know about basic VFD technology and associated themes, I can highly recommend this training. The only negative comment I heard from a participant was “Time indicated is shorter than actual time to complete the training, but it was well worth the time spent, so I would have done the training anyway.”
If this training has interest, simply sign up to the Danfoss learning platform – http://learning.danfoss.com/english.
After registration an email with username and password will be sent to you and you will have immediate access to all Danfoss online training offerings, including the Basic Drives Learning.