Finding skilled people has become a key requirement of business success, especially in the growing field of information technology. A company might have the most powerful technologies and costly equipment but still lack the personnel to apply these tools efficiently.
The industry constantly changes, and the requirements for candidates do, too. In just a couple of years, today’s skills and knowledge won’t be enough. Workers must continuously improve their qualifications, acquire new skills, and adjust to modern industry trends.
Getting New Software Development Professionals on Staff
Headhunting, one of the most popular ways of getting new people to join a team, may seem like a great solution to a shortage of talent. But, examined more closely, it is seldom more than a salary-boosting approach to attract an employee and fill a gap. Your company gets a one-time benefit, but headhunting quickly becomes a never-ending process of employees going from one company to another in search of more attractive offers. Once that cycle begins, where do new skilled professionals come from?
There are better ways to add talent to your organization. With the IT industry growing at such a fast pace, one of the best options is to educate professionals inside your company. It also helps to guide your business in the right direction, making it possible to invest in human capital development. In response to this, some organizations have launched corporate training centers and corporate universities, which are special educational entities focused on the training of employees and potential candidates.
Corporate University—The Best Place to Train Your Workforce
The purpose of a corporate university is to use the existing skills and expertise of trainees for their further development and to add all the necessary qualifications an organization requires. The training process at corporate universities is adjusted to the business strategies and needs of the parent company and its customers to prepare the potential candidates for a future job, as well as to introduce them to corporate practices and culture. In software development, a training process often resembles work on a real project, which provides trainees with valuable practical skills and a thorough understanding of the work process and requirements.
No one can provide you with the understanding of industry specifics better than a seasoned industry expert, so it is an excellent practice to involve professional teachers together with skilled industry specialists in the training process at corporate universities. They will be able to share their experiences, inspire candidates with good contextual practices, and also warn them against possible risks on the way toward accomplishing their professional goals.
In order to educate new and existing employees, corporate universities develop individual training plans that embrace the skills and knowledge that employees should possess in order to fulfill their duties with excellent results. Such plans will provide them with a clear idea of which techniques and skills they need to master to be ready for the job and the company environment.
A Training Course or Unique Education Process?
Like any other training process, a corporate university system would not function properly without progress evaluation for trainees. Companies with a systematic approach toward the career and professional growth of each employee provide such evaluations on a regular basis. The results of these evaluations are a starting point for making a personal developmental plan for each employee. As you can see in figure 1, the process of professional growth is iterative. Training is always followed by performance evaluation and an update of individual career plans.
The Benefits of a Corporate University for Software Development
There are more ways to add value to corporate universities. For instance, introducing new employees to the corporate culture and practices will make it easier for new people to adjust, to become a part of the team, to get used to the new working environment, and to organize their work more efficiently.
Corporate universities have become one of the most effective solutions to the problem of training and hiring an industry workforce, despite the fact that organizing such entities in- volves considerable effort and resources. These investments are justified by the long-term results, as companies are now able to hire loyal employees who are motivated to improve their own qualifications and provide breakthrough ideas for business growth.
Most corporate universities not only train young specialists but also develop training plans for existing employees to improve their qualifications and invest in their career growth. As for IT, upon completion of a training course, the trainees often get the chance to become certified industry experts by receiving an international certificate in their related field (Microsoft, Cisco, etc.), which serves as another motivating factor. Requalification opportunities can be provided, as well. At international corporate universities, employees are often required to improve their skills of English, a global language of the IT industry, with a strong focus on their professional needs and company specifics.
Customers also receive significant benefits if a vendor has in-house training facilities. The professional level and practical skills of junior developers who undergo training at a corporate educational institution are considerably higher than those of the newcomers. Any knowledge gaps can be identified and corrected quickly, and additional certifications can be obtained without taking staff out of the work process. Plus, corporate training opportunities increase motivation and loyalty of personnel, thus reducing staff rotation on projects.
Corporate University vs. Traditional University
It is important to remember that corporate universities will never substitute for traditional universities. Their primary goal is to offer education and training adjusted to the business needs of the parent company. However, a number of companies integrate their corporate university activities into traditional universities by adding special training courses to the university timetables. This is another good way to make sure that young professionals are introduced to the needs, new trends, and practices of the ever-changing world of IT.
Corporate universities are among the most promising investments required for the growth of an IT organization. A company’s success depends on the performance of its work- force, so you have to ensure the growth of new talents and existing employees. By growing a team of seasoned industry experts now, software development companies can be sure that tomorrow they will be able to add even more motivated and skilled employees capable of moving the company to the next level. Growing dedicated technologists with a deep understanding of the business’ needs will help a company empower its customers through high-quality services and products.
Figure 1: The iterative process of professional growth