A Guest Post by Lucas H. Parker
One of the biggest problems with formal education is that once you get your degree/certificate, the path is over. For a student, this can be a cause of relief but, at the same time, if the industry is constantly innovating, how are you supposed to catch up? Just imagine someone studying programming in the 90s. Without continuous education on their own, they would be left behind.
So, people need a more flexible model of education in order to supplement their degree programs. Even without any previous knowledge, there are a lot of people who are in for the knowledge, not a prestigious degree. This is where the EaaS (education-as-a-service) steps up big time. Here’s what you need to know about this.
What Are the Origins of aaS model?
The concept of the as-a-service model came through an interesting concept of releasing a current version of the product, allowing the audience to use it, and developing it in the process.
Just think about the concept of SaaS (software-as-a-service). Can you remember what the early versions of Facebook looked like? How different is it from what we have today? The transition, however, came gradually, even though the updates and changes are quite numerous. The product we have today is completely different from the initial version.
Seeing as how lifelong learning is both logical and necessary, there are not many aaS concepts that come as naturally as EaaS. This is especially true in fields like IT. Here, earning micro-credentials may be the only way to remain qualified for the job that you currently have.
In a way, kids are learning by this model from a very young age. Excursions to theatre for children and all the micro-lessons you manage to squeeze in during the day are, more or less, a form of EaaS. This was merely a natural progression of the concept.
The main reason behind this is to create the so-called customer for life. With growing features (or, in the case of EaaS, ever-expanding curriculum), the service always provides value. So, there’s no incentive for the client to ever actually stop using it.
Flexible and Adaptable Model
The first thing worth keeping in mind is that EaaS offers a more flexible learning model than a traditional learning environment.
Let’s say an employee is looking to improve your education, resume, and performance to advance on their current career path. A traditional college or university education would provide you with a standard curriculum that may or may not fit your requirements. With the EaaS model, you can look for the exact skills in demand of your current employer or career path. In other words, you get to use specific, in-demand skills.
Also, there’s a lack of flexibility when it comes to the traditional curriculum. It is made to fit every student equally, which is necessary but, with EaaS, the curriculum and model itself is quite easy to customize.
Shift to Skill-focused Education
The biggest drawback of traditional education is the fact that it’s degree-oriented. While this may sound incredible or overly simplistic, this is the main reason why people cut corners, skip classes, and cheat when taking tests. After all, getting a good score and earning your degree is all that counts, right?
In EaaS, it’s all about the learning path. You take the training when you first start out and then keep learning throughout your career. Why are you learning? Well, to develop new skills and improve existing ones. How is this going to benefit you? It will help you produce better results, do your job easier and quicker, and benefit your career as a whole. On its own, every single one of these improvements would be formidable enough.
One of the turning points is the new hiring model. You see, in some of the most in-demand industries (again, like the IT industry), employers are looking for people with certain skill sets and experiences. They’re not looking for particular qualifications. With this realization, the mindset of learners will shift, as well.
Helping the Employment Pool
There are a lot of industries that are in a shortage of a skilled workforce. Traditional education simply takes too long. It takes years and years, including courses that the learner in question might not even need for the career path they plan to take. With the help of EaaS, the experts in question can be produced a lot quicker.
That sounds great, but what if the learner later decides that they still need the skills they originally missed out on? It’s never too late to acquire and develop them. If anything, taking a course when you know you need it is far more effective (from the standpoint of your motivation) than taking it when it is mandatory. Driven employees provide better ROI, and the same thing goes for students.
The EaaS system is quite scalable and can be applied to educational institutions and enterprises alike. The EaaS company can provide their client with instructors and supervisors, grading services, reporting, and more. In other words, it creates an end-to-end system that benefits everyone.
Also, in EaaS, staying up to date is mandatory. Don’t get us wrong, traditional education also needs to keep up and innovate, but they just can’t change their curriculum every year. With EaaS, it all comes down to adjusting learning experiences in a quicker, more dynamic manner.
Lastly, EaaS focuses on outcomes rather than technical issues. This result-driven education goes great hand-in-hand with everything else we’ve discussed on this list. When there’s a market or career need, the value of education is evaluated based on the method’s ability to deliver desired results.
With traditional education being so expensive, even with the value it provides, it’s pretty hard to see it as getting your money’s worth. Therefore, EaaS has found a way to provide a solution to the problem at hand. Of course, this doesn’t mean that EaaS can currently replace the need for formal education. Instead, it can supplement it or even bridge some of its gaps. It may not sound like much, but in practice, it makes all the difference in the world.