Beyond college: corporate training and career development

NOVA Workforce Development Division: Corporate Performance Solutions

Do you, as an employer, view a degree as the only measure of skills and capabilities for your workforce?

The answer is “it depends.” Different industries have different requirements. But we need to step back and look at how the definition of higher learning—traditionally via a four-year degree program—has evolved, for both individuals and employers.

Degree alternatives

For many individuals, the traditional four-year degree program simply doesn’t fit their needs:

An associate degree for two years of study or a certificate of specialized training can … yield middle-class earnings. In fact, salary statistics indicate that workers with these short-term-education credentials can make as much as—or even out-earn—those with a traditional four-year degree. (“A Bachelor’s Degree isn’t the Only Path to Good Pay,” Wall Street Journal)

Degrees are still alive and well, but associate degrees awarded have grown 38% between 2008 and 2013 (the last year for which data is available), while bachelor’s degrees only grew 18%. More telling, however, is the 40% increase in this same period of career-focused certificates.

Formal degree programs, while still an essential tool for higher learning, may not be the answer for everyone. Especially those seeking a career in high-tech industries, where hard skills and market-ready experience is required for entry-level careers.

Consider technology leaders Steve Jobs (Apple), Bill Gates (Microsoft), and Larry Ellison (Oracle): each adjusted their learning experiences, opting out of a formal degree program. Consider the current needs of Millennials, who intuitively approach higher education as a collaborative, non-linear experience, often facing frustration with the traditional model of focused curricula.

From degree to targeted skills learning

Education is undergoing a shift, responding to the needs of people who no longer fit the archetype of a traditional student, and to the needs of companies who require employees to be well-versed in soft skills such as collaboration and problem-solving in addition to the fundamentals of a good education.

In her insightful FastCompany.com article “This is the Future of College,” Jessica Hullinger ponders higher education and value of a college degree:

Experts say that within the next 10 to 15 years, the college experience will become rapidly unbundled.

Hullinger goes on to explain that many programs are shifting to “skills, not semesters.” Employers are seeking job candidates with real-world skills and the ability to solve problems and work in teams. Schools are shifting their focus to competencies that translate to a ready-to-work skill set that can move an individual seamlessly from classroom to office.

Mid-career learning

For those who have already started a career, or for companies who need to provide training to already-established employees, the learning process becomes even more personalized. A software programmer, for instance, may need to gain skills in Cyber Security or network essentials. Project managers may need new certifications for job advancement. Mid-level staff may need to develop skills to advance into new leadership positions. Whether training is required for an individual staff member or as a company-wide initiative, the approach is going to need to meet schedule and staff needs.

Corporate spending on leadership development is high, especially as Millennials take on more responsibilities and leadership positions. According to a Forbes.com article, high-performing companies (those who fall into Forbes’ “high-impact” categories) spend significantly more on training than average.

Sending individual staff to attend open-enrollment classes can satisfy the need for basic skills development, such as Introduction to Word, or PMP/CAPM Exam Preparation. However, a customized training program is more effective for targeted staff development and improving overall knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) for a group of employees.

Customized learning

While basic, concrete skills will change with advancements in technology and shifts in the marketplace, soft skills such as communication, emotional intelligence, and team building are essential to create leaders who are able to turn multi-generational workers with different communication styles and work approaches into effective, highly productive teams.

Rounding out hard and soft skills in areas outside of employees’ job descriptions brings untold benefits to the company. The most successful teams consist of members who have skillsets that complement one another and play off of team members’ strengths. When employers invest in training in hard and soft skills, it helps employees feel valued as they work toward career development goals. (read full article in BusinessNewsDaily.com’s blog post)

 

With customized training, companies can bring together both core competencies and soft skills to develop a targeted training program that is more relevant to organizational needs. Customized training also allows companies to develop employees at a specific pace and at their skill level, which results in more effective learning and faster employee development.

Other benefits of customized training include greater control over content, a smaller overall cost in the long term, the ability to manage timing and schedule, and creating a tighter organizational culture as employees learn together as a team.

Your training resource

If you feel that customized training might be a solution for your company, please contact NOVA Workforce Development Division’s Corporate Performance Solutions team. We have developed customized training programs for federal, state, and local government organizations as well as large and mid-level corporations. We have industry knowledge paired with well-established instructors who can help you develop a training program that meets your specific needs.

We are embracing the future of education through open-enrollment courses, industry certification programs, and customized corporate training. Call us at 703-323-3281 to speak to one of our training program developers, or email us at NOVA_CustomizedTraining@nvcc.edu.

Posted in About Us | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Leadership: Truths, Trends and Training

Leaders can be iconic, causing a shift in how people approach leadership.  Unfortunately, a leader who really changes things—a company, a product, or an industry—often causes a “guaranteed success!” rallying cry that is doomed to fail for many. After all, leadership, at its very core, is unique to each company and each individual. Some people can respond to a leader who is authoritative and dynamic; others may perform better under a leader who acts as a mentor to the team. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to leadership; leaders must think beyond themselves, and develop their skills at every level.

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” ~ Jack Welch

Leaders are human, first and foremost. They may not have graduated magna cum laude. They might have strange habits that inspire them. They might wear the same outfit every day to put more energy where it belongs. They’re just like us, only NOT like us. And they might not even be in positions of leadership.

“A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” ~ Lao Tzu

Today’s leaders are tasked with adapting to an ever-evolving workforce that is highly diverse and tech-savvy. Since Baby Boomers are now heading into retirement, younger generations—including internet-native Millenials—are assuming leadership roles earlier in their careers. Teams and mission drive progress more than hierarchy and duties.

Compton City, CA, Mayor Aja Brown made history in June 2013 as the youngest Mayor the city had ever elected. Her leadership has created positive changes in the city, with Compton’s crime rate dropping 25% and an urban renewal underway. Aja Brown was one of nine leaders featured in Leadercast 2015, “The Brave Ones.” The one-day event, held at NOVA’s Annandale Campus, featured leaders from many diverse backgrounds, but all shared the same essential quality of bravery in leadership.

Bravery is … reserved for those whose innovation in their industry cause them to stand out from the crowd, whose unyielding effort and error push their organizations into new territories, and whose boldness compels them to stand up for those less fortunate. [VIDEO: highlights from Leadercast 2015]

BlogCollage_1200x800

 

In our shifting economic landscape, leadership is evolving. Gone are the days of seniority and perks. Today’s leaders are mission-driven, team-centric, and flexible. Here are some essential skills that can help you become a more effective leader, and all are taught through NOVA’s Workforce Development Division.

  1. Learn to cope with change.
    Change is going to happen. Understanding change and risk, and how they are related, is both an art and a science. A good leader should know how to acknowledge and handle change, and reduce stress induced by it. [July 2015 / register online]
  2. Learn to cope with conflict.
    Leaders must learn to resolve differences, reduce the potential for continued conflict, and build more positive relationships both professionally and personally. It all begins with self-analysis and understanding. [July 2015 / register online]
  3. Know your team.
    The effectiveness of a team can make or break a business. Know how teams function, including individual and group dynamics.  Learn strategies to create effective virtual teams for better collaboration and relationships. [August 2015 / register online]
  4. Know your mission.
    Your plan will undoubtedly evolve and adapt from its original idea, but every organization needs a plan to stay on track and grow. Learn how to carry out a planning process and follow through in order to keep your mission moving forward. [August 2015 / register online]
  5. Know your limits.
    Delegation is a critical skill that many leaders fail to understand. Learn how to properly delegate responsibility, authority, and accountability. Recognize things that can’t be delegated, and learn how to monitor progress without micro-managing. [July 2015 / register online]

NOVA’s Workforce Development Division has a Certificate in Management Practices for those seeking a firm foundation in management fundamentals. Many individual courses are also available in addition to the five listed above, for personal development and leadership skills training.

If you are interested in learning more about leadership, management, or just want to learn how to record your ideas and dreams so you can plan your next steps, check out our offerings at nvcc.edu/workforce.

 

Posted in Leadership & Teams | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

6 Steps to a Brilliant Resume

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, plenty of new jobs are “out there,” available for a hungry workforce.

In April 2015, 62,000 jobs were added in the business, tech, and professional services industry, bringing the 2015 total to 166,000 new jobs. Administrative and support positions grew by 39,000 jobs in April alone. Across the nation, there is an uptick of jobs. And there are thousands of people filling out applications and updating their resumes to compete for those jobs. (data source: Current Employment Statistics Highlights [PDF], Bureau of Labor Statistics)

This June, career counselor Edythe Richards will show you how to turbo-charge your job search and update your approach for today’s market. “Accelerate Your Job Search: 6 Steps to a Brilliant Resume” will be held on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at the Alexandria Campus.  These days, it’s not about the paper resume. If you land an interview, you may have the opportunity to address your accomplishments and experience, but to get your foot in the door, your resume is working hard for you—through screening devices, social media searches, and Applicant Tracking Systems.

Edythe will help you understand the recruiting and hiring process of today’s market, and how you should optimize your job search approach and your resume to meet the expectations of recruiters and hiring systems. Learn how to network, how to format and distribute your resume, and how to improve your overall job search.

Accelerate Your Job Search: Six Steps to a Brilliant Resume  COMM 1837-01A
Alexandria Campus, AA255, $200.00 (0.4 CEU)
Saturday, June 6, 2015, 9 AM–1 PM

6 Steps to a Brilliant Resume - June2015

Posted in Classes/Workshops | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Collaborative Work Environments: “From Me to We” [infographic]

We have read many articles and trending topics on the benefits of teamwork and collaboration. Still, in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven environments, many leaders and teams find themselves struggling with creating an integrated, collaborative team that can move quickly on projects to produce better results for their organization.

PGi, a global provider of audio, web and video conferencing, has created an infographic that speaks to the real benefits of teamwork in our marketplace.

With a collaboration market projected to reach $33.8 billion in 2018, technology reigns supreme in today’s teamwork-driven workplace, helping connect more employees than ever before as businesses go global and employees work from anywhere. Corporate investments in collaboration technologies include team workspaces, project management, group chat, social intranets and video conferencing, thanks to movements like Bring Your Own Device and Application (BYOD, BYOA), social business, social selling and more. [Blakely Thomas-Aguilar, PGi blog]

The modern team environment is powered by technology that allows companies to adapt quickly to new economic needs and trends. Individuals become collaborators, rather than contributors: a small shift in role, but a significant shift in how teams work.

For Summer 2015, NOVA’s Workforce Development Division features a few classes that can help you, as a leader or team member, hone your skills to develop a more collaborative work environment.

Developing & Managing a Dynamic Team (BUSC 1558)
Reston Center  |  June 4 & 5
Annandale CED  |  August 13 & 14

Teamwork in Today’s Work Environment (BUSC 1787)
Loudoun  |  August 15

Risk & Change Management (BUSC 1522)
Annandale CED  |  Mon/Wed, July 13-22

infographic-studies-reveal-the-real-benefits-of-teamwork-in-business-1-1024

Infographic from PGi.

Posted in Leadership & Teams | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Leadership Development one-day workshop (save!)

We are under two weeks away from our one-day Leadership Development workshop on May 8, 2015, and you can save $10 by signing up this week! Call 703-323-3281 to sign up for Leadercast, a workshop experience that will bring you insight from The Brave Ones—leaders who push their organizations further and who stand up for the less fortunate.

Tickets are now on sale for $70, and seats are filling fast; register today and join us on Friday, May 8 for Leadercast!

LargeWebAd

Posted in Events | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Body Language for Business

NOVA’s Workforce Development Division provides a wide selection of courses on management, leadership, and other professional development topics. Alongside the “nuts and bolts” of developing skills lies the more nuanced skills needed to be a more effective manager or leader. Courses such as Emotional Intelligence and Coping with Conflict (see course availability for Summer 2015) are an important asset for dealing with the many demands on workers today.

A large part of communication in the workplace is nonverbal. Your posture, facial expressions, gestures, and even rate of speech will affect the message you are saying to clients, coworkers, and your network. This handy infographic from Gengo.com focuses on the various aspects of nonverbal communication for business environments, and shows how to keep your message effective and engaging whether presenting to an audience, leading a team, or in a job interview.

Whether you are a manager, a salesperson, a client, or someone looking for a job, be aware of your communication style—both verbal and nonverbal. And of course, check out our Summer 2015 course catalog for a listing of business courses to help you develop your career!

Gengo: Business Body Language

Posted in About Us | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Cybersecurity: closing the Workforce gap

A flurry of recent articles have revealed a growing problem that is particularly troublesome in light of recent cyberattacks on Government entities, including the White House, U.S. Postal Service, and National Weather Service. Cybersecurity is a buzzword in IT circles, but students aren’t flocking to government-based job openings. Why? Federal News Radio’s Emily Kopp cites low pay compared to private-sector jobs:

…the government’s midcentury personnel structure needs an overhaul to fit today’s needs. And yes, bureaucratic systems like the security-clearance process can make it hard for workers to flow in and out of government. And the country overall needs more professionals trained in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math. But there are things that agencies can do right now to address their pressing need for cybersecurity talent. …The growing awareness of cyber threats has made talented cybersecurity workers a hot commodity worldwide. (read the full article)

This sentiment is echoed in a Washington Post article, citing a Partnership for Public Service report that calls the Federal cyber workforce “woefully inadequate.”

A shortage of IT and Cybersecurity professionals is not limited to government, however. A nextgov.com article ups the ante: “The entire world appears to be in the same boat.” Drawing data from a Frost & Sullivan study on the Global Information Security Workforce, the worldwide demand for security professionals is far greater than the number of qualified people to fill available positions.

While both government and private-sector companies find ways to woo critically-needed talent to the field of cybersecurity, NOVA’s Workforce Development Division is prepared to train the next generation of IT security professionals with three Cybersecurity Certificate programs targeted toward entry-level through advanced learners.

Cybersecurity certificate programs at NOVA's Workforce Development Division

Cybersecurity certificate programs
at NOVA’s Workforce Development Division

Meeting the demands of the Information Security industry, our Cybersecurity programs focus on the fundamentals of network protection, information assurance, preventing attacks, ensuring privacy, and gaining an understanding of the ethical, legal, and regulatory world of cybersecurity. Our classes will prepare you for several industry certification exams. If you have ever wanted to explore a career in Cybersecurity, now is an excellent time to begin your training; the government is finding ways to attract new talent to meet the growing need.

Entry Level (No experience required)

  • Cyber Jobs, Pathways & Clearances
  • CompTIA® Network+
  • CompTIA® Security+
  • Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US)
  • Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP®)

Mid-Level (1 – 5 years’ minimum experience required)

  • Entry Level courses PLUS:
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT)

Advanced Level (5 – 7 years’ minimum experience required)

  • All Entry and Mid-Level courses PLUS:
  • Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Electives (classroom/online):

  • CyberWatch Security
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • CompTIA® Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP)
  • Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP)
  • Locking Down Linux User Accounts, File Systems, & Services
  • Protecting Win Systems w/ Access Controls, Encryption & Group Policy
  • Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
  • Computer Forensics Evidence Collection
  • Managing Information Security Risks, Threats, & Vulnerabilities
  • Network Security Essentials
  • Protecting Networks with Firewalls & VPNs
  • Securing Web Applications
  • Ethical Hacking Tools & Techniques
  • Information Security & Risk Management Planning

If you are interested in the Cybersecurity Certificate program offered through NOVA’s Workforce Development Division, please contact IT Program Manager Scott Wood at swood@nvcc.edu.

Posted in Certificate Programs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Are You Brave? Meet The Brave Ones.

Leadercast 2015: The Brave Ones

On May 8, 2015, NOVA’s Workforce Development Division brings you Leadercast 2015: an international simulcast event and the premier development event for leadership growth at all levels. This year, Leadercast showcases “The Brave Ones” — leaders who push their organizations further and who stand up for the less fortunate.

An essential behavior for any leader is the act of bravery. Bravery is not a moniker that can be bought… it cannot be self-appointed. Bravery is not attributed to everyone, but is reserved for those whose innovation in their industry cause them to stand out from the crowd, whose unyielding effort and error push their organizations into new territories, and whose boldness compels them to stand up for those less fortunate. These are The Brave Ones.

The Brave Ones have existed throughout history. Some are unforgettable icons, others names will never be remembered. They exist across all industries, societies, and at every level of leadership. Join us on May 8 at Leadercast Live  as we explore The Brave Ones, and learn what it means to lead in such a way that create bold cultures, builds faithful employees, and produces high achievement.


One such leader is Rudy Giuliani, 107th Mayor of New York City (1993-2001)

Brave Leadership
Rudolph W. Giuliani is the former Mayor of New York City. After joining the office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Rudy Giuliani rose quickly through the ranks, becoming the Chief of the Narcotics Unit at age 29. 

After the inauguration of Ronald Reagan in 1981, Giuliani was named Associate Attorney General, the third highest position in the U.S. Department of Justice. In 1983, President Reagan appointed Rudy Giuliani as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Giuliani spearheaded successful efforts against organized crime, white-collar criminals, drug dealers and corrupt elected officials. Few U.S. Attorneys in history can match his record of 4,152 convictions with only 25 reversals.

In 1993, Rudy Giuliani was elected Mayor of the City of New York. He focused on reducing crime, reforming welfare, and improving the quality of life and was re-elected in 1997. Under Mayor Giuliani’s leadership, overall crime was cut by 56%, murder was cut by 66%, and New York City—once considered the crime capital of the country—became the safest large city in America according to the FBI. Mayor Giuliani also implemented the largest and most successful welfare-to-work initiative in the country, turning welfare offices into Job Centers and reduced welfare rolls by 640,000—nearly 60%. On September 11, 2001, America suffered the worst attack in its history when terrorists crashed planes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Mayor Giuliani was widely lauded for his steady hand during challenging times. He was named “Person of the Year” by TIME magazine, knighted by the Queen of England, dubbed “Rudy the Rock” by French President Jacques Chirac, and former first lady Nancy Reagan presented him with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Freedom Award. Rudy Giuliani is an American hero. His views on leadership have helped shape the country, and have the capacity to transform the leadership of our organizations and businesses as well.

REGISTER TODAY! Event details:


Friday, May 8 2015 – 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Registration fee: $80 (nonrefundable)
Includes admission, lunch, and event portfolio

For more information and to register, sign up at
nvcc.edu/businesses-and-community/workforce-development/Leadercast.html

Posted in Events | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leadercast 2015: presenting Andy Stanley

On May 8, 2015, the Workforce Development Division will host a live simulcast of the 16th annual Leadercast at NOVA’s Annandale Campus. Leadercast is the premier development event for leadership growth at all levels.

This year, Leadercast showcases “The Brave Ones” — leaders who push their organizations further and who stand up for the less fortunate. Today we’d like to introduce you to leadership author and communicator Andy Stanley.

LC15_AndyStanley

Andy Stanley is a best-selling author and communicator and the founder of North Point Ministries (NPM). Each Sunday, more than 36,000 people attend NPM’s six Atlanta-area campuses. In addition, NPM has 30 partners located throughout the world with a combined weekly attendance of more than 24,000. Every month, over two million of Andy’s messages are viewed or downloaded from North Point websites. More than 36 million episodes of the Your Move with Andy Stanley television program have been viewed on NBC in the two years since the initial airing and Andy has written over 20 books. Andy Stanley has established himself as a person of clarity on matters of leadership. As an organization leader, author, and communicator, he is renowned for his ability to deliver practical leadership principles centered on any theme.

 

“What is Your Why?”
Andy Stanley at the Catalyst Conference, March 2015:
youtu.be/3TUkbkDoV-g

“Your Move” (April 2010):
www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XpzzYxu6YA

EVENT DETAILS:

Friday, May 8 2015,  9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Registration fee: $80 (nonrefundable)
Includes admission, lunch, and event portfolio

For more information and to register, sign up at nvcc.edu/businesses-and-community/workforce-development/Leadercast.html

 

 

Posted in Events | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leadercast 2015: featuring Compton City Mayor Aja Brown

On May 8, 2015, the Workforce Development Division will host a live simulcast of the 16th annual Leadercast at NOVA’s Annandale Campus. Leadercast is the premier development event for leadership growth at all levels.

This year, Leadercast showcases “The Brave Ones” — leaders who push their organizations further and who stand up for the less fortunate. Today we’d like to introduce you to Mayor Aja Brown.

LC15_AjaBrown

 

Aja Brown
Mayor, City of Compton

Positive Change Requires Extreme Boldness

On June 4, 2013, Aja Brown made history as the City of Compton’s youngest elected Mayor at the age of 31. With over 10 years of experience in community and economic development, Mayor Aja Brown has proven to be a strategic visionary concentrated on improving outcomes through policy reform, innovation and strategic partnerships, proudly serving the citizens of Compton. Since induction, Mayor Brown has made major strides in improving the quality of life for Compton residents and stakeholders alike. Mayor Brown has launched several community initiatives including the “Compton Community Policing Task Force,” a network of law enforcement agencies and community activist that implement gang intervention and prevention strategies, tackling complex social issues such as human trafficking head on. Mayor Brown has received the prestigious University of Southern California 2014 Young Alumni Merit Award, participated as the 2013 Pat Brown Institute Distinguished Lecturer, is the recipient of the National Action Network Martin Luther King Award and is a strong advocate for youth, women’s rights and equality. Mayor Aja Brown’s bold brand of leadership is turning the tide in one of America’s most troubled cities.

CBS Video: “Compton mayor hopes to revitalize city” (January 2014)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=P70idy83TlI

Los Angeles Sentinel: “Meet the Mayor” (April 2015)
Part 1: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mw8vJlTeTUQ
Part 2: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuGvif9Kln8

Event details:

Friday, May 8 2015 – 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Registration fee: $80 (nonrefundable)
Includes admission, lunch, and event portfolio

For more information and to register, sign up at
nvcc.edu/businesses-and-community/workforce-development/Leadercast.html

Posted in Events | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment