If you look at the courses offered in many colleges and universities, they fall into two ends of a spectrum. They are either obsolete or nearing obsolescence, or they are advanced and theoretical. None of them is in the sweet spot of “I just took this course and can go apply my current skills to work, or use them to help me land a job.” Technology suppliers need to take college and university professors under their wings and make sure they are current. They need to pay make sure these professionals are current, because their ability to deliver marketable, accurate, accomplished skills reflects directly back on the technology firm: a lack of skilled talent that can turn marketing promises into productive reality limits market growth.
I know some firms do have partnerships, and that for-profit organizations like DeVry and ITT try to stay current themselves. And of course, skills and certification is a revenue stream for many technology suppliers. Still no excuse. With rapidly changing technology, these firms need to offer massive connection points, from online classes to personal coaching, to ensure that instructors teaching their technology do so with the latest versions, insights into the roadmaps and quick assistance. Educators needs to be treated like industry analysts.
Expensive? But only when seen through the lens of the industrial age. All of this knowledge transfer is hard to quantify in terms of return on investment. What is easier to see are the poor implementations, frustrated IT shops and lack of innovation on platforms. If IT suppliers picked up the pace of knowledge transfer, they would reap rewards ranging from better customer satisfaction, to more innovative, cost-effective and reliable uses of their technology, which over the long term, would present a competitive advantage.
Many firms publish basic courseware in the name of literary to connect people to the brand. What if they went the next mile and started teaching the secret handshakes and cool dance moves that all the best developers know. I think you might well see some exciting applications, higher employment and enhanced respect for brands that advertising just can’t buy.