Thursday, 09 June 2016 10:38

Innovation Invasion

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IT Ignites Technological Reform Across Industries

BY DENNIS BONILLA, EXECUTIVE DEAN, UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX, COLLEGE OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS & TECHNOLOGY

Ideas are the new currency of business. We live in an era in which anyone with a dream and ambition can take an idea and bring it to life through digital technology. This liberation has fueled the spread of creative and collaborative solutions to daily problems for both businesses and individuals. Routinely, new technologies are being introduced with the potential — for better or worse — to change industries as we know them.

While new technologies are emerging as quickly as the blink of an eye, the U.S. workforce is stalled, impeded by a lack of access to the real-time knowledge and technical skills needed to keep pace with the changing nature of their positions, companies and industries. As technology becomes an increasingly integral part of business, the right training is critical to bridging this gap. If technology is the catalyst that launches industries forward and innovative ideas are the currency of 21st century business, then how do professionals across all industries make themselves more employable? Trough ongoing professional development and certificates.

Certificate programs are an efficient educational opportunity that can replace the potentially daunting prospect of a four-year degree program or graduate school, and allow workers to continue building on their expertise throughout their lives. Depending on the industry, certificates that provide specific skills training and specializations can even be more influential with hiring managers than graduate degrees.

Certificate programs can help garner enhanced opportunities and recognition, while helping professionals keep up with changes in the field. Advanced certificates in IT can help create an accomplished professional, and allow them to go above and beyond their day-to-day responsibilities to see the big picture for their organization.

INCREASING INTERNAL BUSINESS FUNCTIONALITY WITH IT SKILLS

IT certificates aren’t just for professionals in the IT field. IT certificates can help HR understand how to attract and retain the best talent and how to develop programs that lead to a forward-thinking and innovative work environment. An effectively managed HR department is critical for recruiting top talent and firing up the potential of an organization’s workforce. Talent management can be one of the most expensive and important functions a company undertakes. Attracting innovative individuals with diverse skill sets is critical for maintaining a competitive edge. Yet, despite its importance, many organizations’ current HR systems and practices have been in place for years. Enterprise software can quickly become obsolete as new systems ignite change in the industry, putting the business at a competitive disadvantage when trying to recruit.

As technology continues to move HR functions online, it’s imperative these professionals understand how to leverage this technology to support and improve underlying HR processes. IT certificates can help HR professionals understand how to select, implement and control systems and data to increase productivity and profitability.

USING IT TO ENHANCE CUSTOMER SERVICE IN TODAY’S TECHTOPIA

Consumers in the 21st century have hit the jackpot when it comes to customer service experiences. Digital platforms have made it easier for consumers to create their own custom experiences across service industries, including shopping and travel. While this is great for the customer, technology has made it more complicated for industry professionals to monitor feedback and provide the best service experience.

Pursuing IT certificates can help customer service professionals understand customer behavior and preferences, and help them create strategic plans to build loyalty and increase business profitability. If customer service employees can anticipate consumer sentiment and knowledge, interactions can be enhanced to establish better connections and create a more positive customer experience.

EDUCATION IS EVOLVING TO EMPLOYEE NEEDS

For those who want to continue their education and enhance their tech savvy, new learning environments are innovating to allow for professionals to choose not only what they learn, but how they learn. To adapt to the times, many online and brick-and-mortar institutions of higher learning are marshalling resources and creating unique IT certificate programs calibrated to meet employer demands, while also accommodating working-adult students who balance their studies with families and fulltime careers.

For more information about University of Phoenix programs, including on-time completion rates, the median debt incurred by students who completed the program and other important information, please visit: phoenix.edu/programs/ gainful-employment.

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