LearnKey “Powers-up” Online Continuing Education Programs
Now more than ever corporate customers are coming to LearnKey to power-up their online continuing education programs for their employee’s, leadership teams and owners.
Organizations are scrambling to implement programs so they can keep their existing employee’s and lure in new talent as every company is challenged to maintain and add staff. Here are a few of our offerings that make up our Enterprise Development Solutions which we customize for each client:
- Continuing Education Solution: Here is a good read on how important offering continuing education programs to upskill employee’s is as now considered a big part of employee benefits. That is why just learning how to learn online is also an important skill to obtain forever more. Companies are moving away from in person training and knowing how to learn online is the future.
- Pre-Hire Academy Solution: This is somewhat new and “out of the box” and if done right can not only attract/pre-qualify candidates – it can be a nice good faith of “corporate social responsibility” by offering education/training that leads to a job within communities. Instead of using the same old traditional job boards for acquiring new talent. Offer it to those that have the willingness to learn a skill.
- Vocational Readiness Programs: Here is where we have a huge advantage over our competitors. We have corporate customers on that our on boarding this month who utilize LearnKey signature courses to create an offering they administer and offer their customers. LearnKey also has their open enrollment program available to anyone.
- Employability Services: Organizations utilizing any of the above solutions are keen on utilizing our services and assistance with job leads, mock interviews, and resume tips. Additionally, they like having resources to tap into from time to time when it comes to placement assistance for students who graduate from our certification programs.
These are the core education as a service (EaaS) offerings we provide along with our behavioral foundation, which drives a truly successful learning experience.
These are very interesting times in how important continuous education is for our country. We have millions of adults who ware lacking skills for todays in demand jobs. Let’s get them certified.
Azure AI Fundamentals Course (AI-900) a first of many to come
We are excited to announce the release of our new Azure AI Fundamentals (AI-900) course, our first in our Azure Series of courses.
Here is a quick clip and notice the HD video quality makes for a great preview and also learn more about Object Detection.
LearnKey’s Azure AI Fundamentals (AI-900) course is an introduction to building artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning models. The course also covers basic AI concepts, giving those who take this course an increase in skills needed to land an introductory AI-based job.
Specific exam topics include AI workloads and considerations, fundamental principles of machine learning, computer vision workloads, Natural Language Processing (NLP) workloads, and conversational AI workloads.
This course offers a web version for all labs and assessments to accommodate students accessing the courseware remotely on Chromebooks.
Also included are LearnKey’s: Student workbook (PDF) with additional projects, activities, glossary key terms and definitions to help reinforce learning. Teacher workbook (PDF) with answer keys, lesson plans and short cut keys ensure instructors have everything they need for in the classroom . With a course Total Time of 25 Hours and the supplemental materials its a great way to begin your AI certification credentials.
As for job demand the outlook is really good. Globally AI/Machine learning jobs are projected to be worth almost $31 billion by 2024. That’s an annual growth rate of more than 40% over a six-year period.
Those statistics underscore the need for machine learning talent, and if you’re willing to put in the work, you could be on your way to a great new career.
Information Technology Specialist Certification by Certiport- Will be a winner
It is so important for students and adult learners to be able to validate their Digital Literacy/fluency and IT skills these days. Today we hear allot about the skills gap or “middle skills” gap. It is real and we see it everyday in our business.
That is why our workforce learning solutions align to addressing the training, practice and certifications necessary to be successful. These are the skills (IT and Customer Service) needed in todays workforce.
According to the National Skills Coalition, while middle-skill jobs make up the majority of the U.S. labor market, just 43% of workers are currently trained to the middle-skill level.
Recently our partners at Certiport launched the Information Technology Specialist Certification and it is going to be a winner. So much in that we are releasing as set of courses that map to these certifications.
The fact that students and learners can certify their skills in the areas of: software development, database administration, networking and security, mobility and device management, and coding is a great start to preparing your career pathway.
Key Contributor Award Winner: Making it right for our students
We had a great company all hands video conference call yesterday. Just so nice to see everyone, celebrate some of our successes YTD, welcome new team members and announce our 3rd Quarter Key Contributor Award Winner. Just like our previous KCA winner, this person is someone truly having a positive impact on our students.
When we talk about our “Why” Improving employability every day and our core values Ease, Value and Trust this individual is someone all of us have become to respect and appreciate the great work she does helping our students to ensure they are qualified and ready to onboard into our IT Certification Pathways programs. She is very respectful and easy to get along with, has brought tremendous value as an individual and team contributor and someone who has earned the trust of everyone she works with at LearnKey as well as the counselors we serve.
Which is why it gives me great honor to announce that Jade Brown was the recipient of our Key Contributor Award winner this quarter.
Over the last year and a half Jade has implemented, streamlined and improved our enrollment process by developing a vetting process to ensure our students are qualified to be in our program. In addition she is directly responsible from growing this role into a team. Her hard work has directly correlated to having more successful & motivated students/learners better qualified to start are programs. Jade is the type of team players that has a great attitude and ” will do whatever it takes to get the job done” .
Organizationally, Jade took the lead and wrote training manuals and SOP’s for new LK team members so they can successfully onboard in the enrollment department. Her leader, Kelly had this to say “We have great LK team members but man I believe Jade is one of the hardest workers we have” Couple that with her professionalism and courtesy we congratulate you Jade on this great accomplishment.
We all know this has been a challenging year and it’s so exciting to know that we can have some peace of mind in knowing we are making a difference in people’s lives during these times.
Whether its knowing that we helped over forty-six (46) of our students get hired, or helping a student get certified, offering free employability skills training for those unemployed, or assisting the counselors and teachers that are dealing with allot of stress and challenges, yes we have those challenges too, however, they way our team has come together to handle these situations makes me truly proud of each and everyone one of our team members. Our Senior Instructor also had us excited about the current course (IT fundamentals) he and the production team are working on, listening to his passion really made all of us appreciate the hard work that goes into producing courses like this one.
Staying connected during these times is important and we will continue to do that. Today was nice and tomorrow will be better.
2020-21 Career Pathways Update
Hello, everyone. At the beginning of each year we set internal goals and one of my goals is to set the course order and career pathways we will pursue the coming year. Inevitably, demands and priorities change, and so do exam objectives for courses we plan on filming seemingly right before filming, but I digress.
One adjustment we have had to make is to update career tracks to reflect the ever-evolving Microsoft certification transitions from fundamental certifications to role-based certifications. The theory behind this is that certifications are more valuable when tied to a certain job role rather than just a cursory knowledge of a system. Personally, I think it is a great idea as this allows for those pursuing certifications to better target the areas of expertise they want.
That said, one of the main reasons for this career pathways adjustment, besides the fact that cloud computing is growing rapidly, is that as of January 31, 2021, all fundamental exams are being retired. This includes all exams starting with 70- and all MB- exams (for Microsoft Dynamics) as well.
With that said, allow me to present to you the highlights of all the career pathway changes:
NEW: Cloud Administrator
- Exams: Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900), Azure Administrator (AZ-104), and Azure Security Engineer (AZ-500)
- This is replacing Windows Server 2012 MCSA (exams 70-410, 70-411, and 70-412)
- Reason: Microsoft is pushing Azure, its cloud infrastructure, heavily and the adoption rate is picking up speed
- Exams: Oracle Java Associate (1ZO-808), Flutter Certified Application Developer (AFD-200), and Azure Solutions Developer (AZ-204)
- These are replacing the soon-to-be-retired Microsoft programming exams (70-480, 70-483, and 70-486)
- This is a much “wider” track in that we have one general certification (Java), one for mobile app development (Flutter), and one for cloud (Azure)
NEW: Artificial Intelligence
- Exams: Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900), Azure AI Fundamentals (AI-900), and Designing and Implementing an Azure AI Solution (AI-100)
- According to LinkedIn, 133 million jobs will touch AI-enabled automation by 2022
NEW: Database Professional
- Exams: Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900), Azure Data Fundamentals (DP-900), and Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure (DP-100)
- This is an excellent track for someone looking to become a data analyst
NEW: Advanced Database Professional
- Exams: Implementing an Azure Data Solution (DP-200), Designing an Azure Data Solution (DP-201), and Administering Relational Databases on Microsoft Azure (DP-300)
- This basically replaces the MCSA for SQL Server
The timeframe for these tracks is from now to about 12 months from now for all of these and, per usual in the IT business, these are subject to change. But this should give you an idea as to how we are evolving our offerings to match with the best possible employability scenarios for you as you pursue your journey.
You Have to Learn and Study Online. Now What?
Hello again. Before I dive into the subject of the title above, allow me to personally wish all of you the best of health physically, mentally, and emotionally during these trying times. I take encouragement in seeing all sorts of news stories about those out there helping their fellow humans as much as possible. I know when I go to the store, I’m saying an extra thank you to every employee I see.
On to our subject. Whether you’re a college student, high school student, or adult learner and whether you are learning through our courseware or some basic subject courseware, learning online and in at least some kind of isolation is far different than learning in a traditional classroom. Having taught in both situations the past 20 years, I have three observations/hints that will hopefully help with the online learning modality:
- Mix it up
Online learning has many facets. Sure, you have the video portion as the focal point of the course, but many of these online courses have other materials, like quizzes, textbooks, and, for computer programs, the programs themselves. Change up the learning mode frequently. Many of our courses have a suggested lesson plan/study guide in the back of our workbooks that break up the lessons into video, practice, and workbook time. Use those as your guide. Too long on one medium and you will start to wander. When you feel yourself needing to mix it up, do it.
- Pace yourself
How long is a high school class session, typically? 45 minutes? 55 minutes? (It was 55 for me back in high school, I think. That was a long time ago.) Match each study session for each subject/course to that time. It is very difficult for anyone to be in learning mode for too long without a break. If you are not bound by time constraints, here is a good rule to follow: If you are starting to lose focus on what you are trying to learn, take a break. Get up, walk around, get a drink of water, do something. Now, you may be thinking, “but I study for 2-3 hours straight all the time.” Good for you if you can do that. But studying is different than learning. Studying, for the most part, is a reinforcement of that which you have learned. It takes much more intense concentration to learn something new and one’s attention span for that is usually smaller. If you don’t believe me, try learning something new (like cooking for me) for two hours straight and see how much you remember after the first 30-45 minutes. There are numerous articles online that will back this up and I invite you to research this if you wish.
- Test yourself
As you mix up your learning and pace your learning, test yourself often. I don’t mean take a quiz or take a test here. I mean see if you can do that which you have learned, if applicable. Let me give you two examples: If you just finished watching a section of a Word course on how to build a table, open Word and build a table or two and put some data in there you can relate to. If you just finished watching a section on adding adjustment layers in Photoshop, open Photoshop, get a picture to edit, and make your own adjustments to the picture. Many of these certification exams are hands-on, meaning that you must perform tasks. What better way to get some practice than to create and edit a project that relates to something you like? Just to drive the point home, when I needed to refresh my Adobe Premiere skills before teaching the course last year, I edited some footage of something to which I can relate: my golf swing. If only I could edit the swing itself…
I digress. The point is: learning online is indeed different from learning in the classroom but, absent of a live instructor, you can make the rhythm of learning online make you feel as if you are in a classroom, through mixing up the learning, going at a reasonable pace, and testing yourself often through getting some hands-on practice.
Students to LearnKey: In Susan we trust
Our quarterly award (Key Contributor) is something we are very proud of at LearnKey. This person or team is recognized for exceeding expectations and or demonstrating our core values (Ease, Value and Trust). Our newest recipient is someone who has been with us for almost 5 ½ years, and here is an amazing number that we want all of you to know about her: two seventy-two (272). That number, 272, represents the total number of globally recognized industry certifications (i.e. Microsoft, CompTIA, Cisco, Adobe, etc.) her students achieved in 2019. Take that number, along with her “can do” attitude, and you have our one and only Mrs. Susan Somerville.
Susan is Senior Student Services Representative. Someone who gets to see first-hand how our programs can touch and change people’s lives. She handles anywhere between 60-80 students at a time, helping them complete their online training on time, practice & study for exams, assisting them in coordinating any special tutoring needs, documenting and distributing monthly reports to counselors, the list goes on and on. She is someone who is always smiling and looking at the positive in everything, even when she has to give a student some “tough love” and remind them of their “Why” and motivator to complete our online programs. Her work directly impacts our students and their success in achieving their end goal: gaining employment. She has changed many people’s lives.
Here is what some of the leaders who nominated her had to say: “Susan has an amazing ability to help her students’ progress and is a pro at having the ‘hard conversations’ with them.” Another person said “she’s very helpful in our Cedar office, has a wonderfully positive attitude, and strives each day to help her students succeed.” Another added “she truly lives our mission of improving employability for her students, every day.”
When we presented Susan with the award she was actually spending the day in our St. George, UT office sharing best practices to some of our newer student service representatives so they can do their jobs as effectively.
Congratulations Susan for a job well done. Keep being present, doing your job, and making LearnKey better every day!
LearnKey 2020 Goal: Start Fast
At LearnKey we like to start the new year fast. So 2020 is here and we are super happy we just completed one of our most important goals: LearnKey’s new Certification and Support Program catalog. This truly is our calling card, as it gives you the opportunity to learn and access the great courses, career pathways/programs, and support we offer through our national online vocational school and education as a service business we provide to businesses and strategic partners.
For 2020 we expanded and added over twenty (20) enhanced career pathways with multiple levels (i.e. entry & advanced) as our research continues to validate that these are high in-demand jobs that lead to upward mobility careers. Specifically, in the areas of Cyber-Security, Help Desk, Networking, Cloud, Programming, and System Administration.
We hope you enjoy our catalog as we are very proud on how we present our offerings, products, and services to those schools, counselors, and organizations who want to help learners get jobs. Another skill in demand is communication, and a course we are pleased to be releasing this month is Communication Skills for Business, which maps to one of the first globally recognized industry certifications offered through Certiport.
We at LearnKey believe our catalog is the purest example of who we are, what we do, and why we do it.
Of course everyone knows our “Why” – Improving Employability Every Day
Learn In-demand Skills, Obtain Industry Certifications and Always Have a Plan “B”
My father taught me many years ago to learn a trade or in-demand skill, as well as always have a plan “B”. In this day and age that is so important, especially for those in high school, going to college, or adults trying to obtain a well-paying job. It just so happens I took that advice back in the 80’s and learning my first skill/certification was how to use American Airlines “Sabre” reservation system. See, my trade was working in a travel agency. I learned reservations, ticketing, operations, business development, and sales.
Knowing and getting certified in multiple reservation systems like Sabre, United Airlines Apollo system, TWA’s PARS, and a few others allowed me to go from doing reservations to becoming a team lead, then operations supervisor, to Director, then V.P./General Manager. Yes, I was climbing the corporate ladder, even ran start-ups over my 30-year career.
But it all started with making sure I had skills. Now, in this day and age “first jobs” are on the cusp of being eliminated this article that speaks to “AI is replacing first jobs” which is very concerning but not surprising due to advances in technology. So now more than ever, I stress to everyone learn a skill/trade, get certified, so you can have a fall back plan “B”. College degrees are important, however, in today’s world so is getting certified in many fields such as: Technology, Allied Health, STEM, Legal, and many more.
The good news is its not just me advocating the importance of certifications. A recent Forbes article just came out titled “non-degree certificates and certifications are fast, cheap and effective”. This is a great read and while they are not necessarily cheap it validates how important non-degree certificates and globally-recognized industry certifications are in today’s workforce. Here are some key highlights of the article & survey which are sure worth sharing:
- Adults with a short-term certificate or industry-based certification were more likely to be employed (85%) than adults without such credentials (78%).
- Adults holding certificates reported their median annual income to be $45,000, compared to $30,000 for adults without any certificates.
- Among the non-degree adults with a certificate or certification, two-thirds were inclined to recommend the educational path they had followed to others, compared to less than half of the non-degreed adults without such credentials.
- Among certificate/certification holders, 60% believed their educational experiences made them more marketable to potential employers, compared to 44% of those who had not earned certificates or certifications.
At LearnKey we are all about “improving employability every day” and we do that through ensuring our message around “Learn a skill, Practice as part of your preparation, and get Certified” is loud and clear. The world is changing and now more then ever, you need to have a plan “B” and I have my father to thank for that!
New year brings goals, exciting partnerships, that drive Improving Employability Every Day
LearnKey is excited for the new year and for us to continue to grow and exceed the goals we have around our “Why” – Improving Employability Every Day. This coming year we want to see hundreds of graduates from LearnKey and Brighton College gain employment through our learning systems, programs, and strategic partnerships.
You heard LearnKey partnering with Brighton College, yes, to kick off 2019, that is exciting news. Partnering with Brighton college is a great move for us because we cater to the same student demographic. Those students interested in New Collar Jobs. With our dual alignment with Career & Technical Education programs for Information Technology, Allied Health, Legal, and Business Management it becomes a way to leverage what both our organizations are good at, which is programs that lead to in demand jobs.
In the industry we saw strong growth in our K-12 Market and vocational rehabilitation programs. Globally recognized entry-level IT & Career Ready Industry Certifications are on the rise worldwide. We are seeing it first-hand and some of the most popular obtained from our student/learner demographic were tied to: Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS), Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) , IC3 Global Standard 5, which is the newest addition to the IC3 Digital Literacy program, CompTIA’s A+, N+, and S+, Adobe, Quickbooks, and Entrepreneurship Small Business. Like all other education organizations in Information Technology, Cybersecurity continues to see strong growth with our students and adult learners wanting streamlined programs for that career.
At LearnKey a Better Learning systems (check out our updated website) company, we have three big goals this year that tie directly to Improving Employability Every Day, and they are: Create a better student learning experience through upgraded learning management technology that our employees really want to use; second, do the exact same thing with our Student Information System (SIS 3.1 upgrade), again want happy employees who use our technology; and third, Improve the student progression success of our team members and students by 40%. This will drive a better learning experience which will lead to more graduates and more of our students getting hired!
Exciting times ahead of us to kick off 2019.