The lockdown during the Corona crisis changed a lot of things in the further education sector. As in other sectors of the economy, there has since been a strong trend towards digitalisation in the training market: Learning is increasingly taking place online, while attendance formats are significantly less in demand. It’s likely to stay that way. Especially in management training, virtual learning combines many advantages.
The lockdown in the pandemic and its effects
In order to get a grip on the Corona crisis, Swiss federal policy last year imposed far-reaching restrictions on public life. All non-essential shops, schools and services had to close immediately. This has also hit the Swiss continuing education market hard: Due to the ban on face-to-face teaching, the range of education on offer had to be significantly reduced. For providers of continuing education, this was accompanied by considerable losses in turnover.
According to a provider survey conducted by the Swiss Association for Continuing Education (SVEB), the impact of the Corona pandemic on continuing education was drastic: 56 percent of continuing education courses had to be cancelled during the attendance ban from mid-March to early June alone. Directly affected by Corona Virus spread, however, were all educational institutions and especially all further education institutions, but also the further education offers and further education events of companies and organisations.
Pandemic triggers digitization push
At the same time, the pandemic triggered a veritable digitalization push in companies in the sector: 85 percent of continuing education providers adapted their offerings last year and introduced digital technologies in order to be able to offer their continuing education courses, seminars and courses online. This development is likely to have permanently changed the landscape of continuing education.
Because online continuing education combines many advantages:
- Location and time flexibility: Remote training courses can be completed regardless of location and time. Learners can access the content via laptop or app and easily integrate their education into their daily lives. For example, by using idle time, waiting time or breaks.
- Varied formats: Those who learn online quickly discover that the e-learning formats offered are extremely varied. There are video tutorials, webinars and technical articles. Quizzes can also be used to deepen knowledge in a playful way. Learners no longer even have to do without the group formats they are familiar with from face-to-face courses. To do this, they participate in online learning classes and can also receive one-to-one coaching online from trainers or seminar instructors.
- Time savings: Because learners in an online course can selectively access content they are not yet familiar with and easily skip over content they are already familiar with, this results in a highly targeted learning experience. The amount of time a seminar participant has to invest in an online course is much less. And of course, the time needed to travel to the course is eliminated.
- Learners do not need to take time off: In addition, for online training, learners do not have to take time off work and are not absent for an extended period of time. Instead, continuing education goes hand in hand with work.
Why virtual learning is booming in management training in particular
Especially for managers or prospective managers in companies, remote training courses have become the means of choice. Most of the time they are not easily available because of their work commitments. A seminar lasting several days or even weeks is therefore extremely difficult to fit into a decision-maker’s busy schedule.
At the same time, a job as a manager in particular requires very specific know-how that has to be imparted. While university or technical college degrees are of course important for such a position, beyond technical knowledge, skills and qualifications are also required that are not taught during a traditional apprenticeship.
These, for example:
- Communication Skills
- Presentation Skills
- Self-management skills
- Team leadership
- Conflict Management
- General Management
- Personnel Management
- Change Management.
Provide specific management skills and information
Managers in companies should be trained in this. It is obvious that a virtual learning format is the perfect solution for this. It integrates perfectly into a manager’s schedule. Alternatively, managers can also opt for so-called blended learning courses. These combine the best of online eLearning and the classroom world. The principle: In addition to online courses, learners in this course format also attend classroom events from time to time.
This has the advantage that you get to know coaches and trainers as well as the learning group live in the course. Overall, however, blended learning courses are considerably less time-consuming and more flexible than on-site seminars due to their high remote component. Here, too, the majority of the learning units can be easily integrated into everyday working life.
Management or Leadership Training SVF
Incidentally, in terms of quality, virtual management training does not require any compromise on the details. Managers even have the opportunity to complete the management or leadership training of the Swiss Association for Leadership Training (SVF) in their own language via an online or blended learning course.
Anyone who would like to become a company boss or is already working as a manager but does not yet have a nationally recognised management qualification can achieve this goal with this two-stage examination model. To this end, trainees first acquire the Leadership and Management certificates and, in a second step, take the professional examination to become a management specialist with a federal certificate. It doesn’t get any better than this.
Continuing Education Corona Update: The Future Belongs to Virtual Learning
Conclusion: Current developments indicate that the future belongs to virtual learning and blended learning. Especially in the further training of executives in companies – also after Corona, the formats have a decisive advantage because they offer the greatest possible flexibility and at the same time convey well-founded knowledge.
The only question left is when do you start your management training?