The future of vocational training: radically rethinking education?


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Is our university education still up-to-date? Or does it have to be completely rethought? And what does that have with the Skills shortage to do?

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherGerman Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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Is our university education still contemporary?

The world and with it new technologies are changing faster and faster, and traditional professions such as bankers or even medical professionals are likely to die out soon - if you do Gunther Dueck follows - even if you can't quite imagine it yet.

And the technology is developing faster than the apprenticeships follow, see shortage of skilled workers in IT. Self Professors in relevant courses are now desperately asking what to teach their students. Therefore, some flexibility and permeability in professions would make sense.

What such Professorto teach their students?

Before some Zeit I talked to one at an event Professor a Hamburg university, where it is responsible for training in media studies. And he told me about a serious problem: that one did not know how to train the young people properly, because one had no idea what would be needed on the labor market tomorrow.

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The prospective media people are currently learning to program apps because that is currently the big hit with publishers. In the near future, however, my interlocutor was certain that something completely different would be asked for again. And he should be right.

The training is lagging behind: The digital change needs new professions faster

But that is just one example that can also be applied to many other areas: Today, training content becomes outdated too quickly. This was accordingly Professor a man in need - and indicative of our German training system. Because even if modern technology changes the requirements on the training market more rapidly than universities can provide training (in this case a training course lasts 3 years):

Apparently it is still quite deep in the mind that only a clever vocational training in subject X enables one to practice precisely this profession X. And with the Professorbut unfortunately also with the young people, who constrict themselves so unnecessarily. The topic I have already dealt with here.

Skilled labor shortage - but not a fairytale?

And that has long been true not only for journalists, since access is still comparatively open, but above all for technical professions. No wonder that “help, shortage of skilled workers” is often called: if Company looking for practically already trained professionals to whom they have nothing more to teach, then the choice is actually quite limited.

It has long been an open secret that one usually learns his skills best in the job: Learning at Doing. But this wisdom does not seem to taste to many:

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  • The companies do not, because you have to teach the people something and lose time.
  • Not to the universities, because who would study the carefully designed courses of studies, if it came out that they are comparatively worthless in the labor market?
  • And not for the students either, because they get it drummed in a regular way in some subjects and they have to repeat themselves over and over again, that they study the right one, which helps to secure a job - otherwise the uncertainty would simply be too great.

Lifelong learning - but how?

Self-responsibility looks different. This is exactly what the goal of an education should be: that one can develop later on independently (the cited but often hollow-phased lifelong learning) and can flexibly face new challenges.

But it would also require a labor market that rewards such skills and enthusiasm, no employers who are looking for a specialist in the labor market, which they really have to develop themselves. And let the generalist lie on the left, instead of giving them opportunities.

Get serious about lifelong learning

I find a statement from recruiting expert Henrik Zaborowski on the subject of lifelong exciting:

The whole babble of “lifelong learning”, which was never really serious, has to come true now. Simply because in the future there will be occupations / activities that hardly anyone can do today. If I could study on the job, I could change my focus every 5 years if I wanted to and I had what it takes. And so find out what I really can and want.

Is everything still the same?

Joachim Diercks, CEO of the HR service provider Cyquest, does not believe that the career choice and training system will fundamentally change either:

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We have a systemic education system, at least in the dual vocational training, which has proven to be a model of success (at least for the economy, for the individual there is room for improvement ...) and secondly, has burned deep into the collective cultural consciousness.

What does the future of training look like?

And both are somehow right: I also think that this attitude of “training for a lifetime” is a little out of date and can only make you unhappy, because your own wishes and needs are constantly changing. And finally, training must also become more interactive and spontaneous.

What does the dream training of the future look like? We need permanent communication, for example with companies, instead of fixed, rigid curriculum corsets. Something like that is almost impossible to achieve with today's education system: Maybe we just have to radically rethink training, away from institutions and curricula, towards more interactivity?


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  1. Graduates looking for a job in vain 1/2: What goes wrong in training? | PROFESSIONAL PICTURES

    [...] the universities to blame for the dilemma, our education system, the Professors who don't know what to teach students? Perhaps there are also historical reasons such as our educational ideal, which despite the switch to the [...]

  2. YOUNECT GmbH

    Personal responsibility looks different. But that is exactly what the aim of training should be. Open secret,…

  3. YOUNECT GmbH

    that one usually learns his skills best in the job: learning in doing. This wisdom does not taste good to many

  4. Thilo tree

    @Zorem:

    > I have often asked Thilo Baum, the GSA and other trainers to found a school

    When and where did you do that?

  5. Thilo tree

    Absolute support for Ms. Janson. Both schools and universities train young people by ignoring reality - with exceptions, of course, such as probably some engineering courses. I'm sure the thing about theory and incompetent practitioners certainly applies to construction. When it comes to photovoltaics, energy efficiency, construction marketing, definitely. But that's just one of many dimensions.

    Instead of staying with debates about the form (Abi in 12 or 13 years?), We should rather talk about content: What do we actually learn, what is really necessary? Against this background, we urgently need to ask the stubborn attitude that theory is per se and in principle good.

    In this context a reading tip: "Die Weltwoche ”, current issue (46/2011), page 67. There the political scientist Michael Hermann writes a reply to two scientists who tried to dismantle him in the previous issue.

    Mr. Hermann writes about the disaster of the science company:

    “It goes without saying that one takes public funds, but does not endeavor to have the research results flow back into the public (...) What is good and right for the natural sciences often leads to self-referential, detached and self-referential ones in the social sciences revolving research activities. If academic political science doesn't like my work, then there is only one way to oppose me: They have to ProfessorHowever, dare to venture out of the ivory tower and strive for a language that is understandable even outside the specialist community. "

    Against this backdrop, we should indeed rethink the entire education system.

    • Wilhelm Zorem

      Journalists are career advisors, doctors are motivators or PR managers opportunity checkers. Schools and universities have thus far been closed to this group of practitioners, and thus also the coffers of the state education system. The question of Thilo Baum, according to the necessary knowledge, can only be answered dogmatically from my knowledge. What is required in the curriculum is necessary. The goal of the practitioners seems clear. Pure with the practical knowledge in the curricula and thus in the schools and universities. Thilo Baum, the GSA and other trainers, have often asked me to start a school, but train the trainer institutes, the industry for the industry, have often been the only source of funding for speakers. I am skeptical as to whether consultants and trainers without educational, psychological or sociological university education find meaningful solutions for our education system. In my world, more freelancers with universal competence are unnecessary. I am looking forward to well-educated people who solve the current problems of society in interdisciplinary teams.

  6. master solution

    lifelong #learning - #training # 2.0

  7. Lars Hahn

    RT @LVQ_Education: Fachfräftemgel 2.0: One is never finished. Beautiful insights at @SimoneJanson #Karriere

  8. Oliver Springer

    What the future brings is hard to say. But if you look back from today, the media world has changed a lot. But only in part.

    Sure, some concrete skills that will be needed in the future, you have to acquire only when the need for it is there. This goes to those who are already working in the media, but also not otherwise.

    However, I agree that we need major changes in the education system. To a certain extent, you can continue as a professional in your spare time, but that has limitations. Here, which create the prerequisites I think is more difficult than financing issues.

  9. Patrick Breitenbach

    "Radically rethinking education?" - an interesting post from @SimoneJanson

  10. Simone Janson

    @nadia_z @ breitenbach Since I have just yesterday what to write #bildung is not # education

  11. Simone Janson

    Hello Zorem,
    that is nice that you have this attitude and I also find that that should be so. One can see, however, how much pressure is exerted at the universities to push people into prefabricated training schemes. Pretty sad the whole!

  12. Wilhelm Zorem

    What do you know for Professors? How is the man Professor become? Studying is about methods and basic knowledge. Without theory, there are incompetent practitioners.

  13. Quartera

    Or also "Lifelong Learning 2.0" RT @LVQ_Bildung: Skilled workers shortage 2.0: Nice findings from @SimoneJanson

  14. LVQ Continuing Education

    Or "Lifelong Learning 2.0 - Skilled Labor Shortage 2.0: Nice findings from @SimoneJanson

  15. LVQ Continuing Education

    2.0: One is never finished. Beautiful insights at @SimoneJanson #Career #Recruiting

  16. Holger Froese

    Rant to the Future of Vocational Education: Thinking Education Radically Re-Think? #Business

  17. Liane Wolffgang

    Rant on the future of vocational training: Radically rethinking education ?: Yesterday I was talking on a ver ...

  18. Simone Janson

    #Blogpost Rant on the future of vocational training: Radically rethinking education ?: Yesterday I talked on a ...

  19. Competencepartner

    Rant on the future of vocational training: Radically rethinking education ?: Yesterday I talked ...

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