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Job Training Funds Go to Workers Who Need It Least

A recent Georgetown University report on employee training trends and spending claims that the least experienced American workers are often the ones who ironically receive the least postsecondary job training from employers and educational institutions. "Employer training trends to be for the most experienced and most educated employees," summarizes lead author Anthony Carnevale of the study's revelations.

A recent Georgetown University report on employee training trends and spending claims that the least experienced American workers are often the ones who ironically receive the least postsecondary job training from employers and educational institutions. “Employer training trends to be for the most experienced and most educated employees,” summarizes lead author Anthony Carnevale of the study’s revelations.

(Photo Credit: Shaun Wallin/Flickr)

Of the $1.1 trillion spent on postsecondary education and training in the United States in 2013, for example, employers allocated a whopping 86 percent percentage of training budgets to what the report’s authors refer to as “prime-age” employees, which describes workers between ages 25 and 54. In addition, 58 percent of funding went to college educated-employees with bachelor’s degrees.

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On the opposite end of the spectrum, recent college grads and other young employees up to the age of 24 received only 3 percent of the trillion-dollar training pie, in spite of their status as the least experienced workers arguably most in need of training. Older (and presumably more experienced) employees over the age of 55 fared only slightly better than their youngster counterparts, at 11 percent. A mere 17 percent was designated for those with a high school graduate level of education or below.

In spite of what seems to be a relatively non-prudent misapplication of employee funding and resources, there are ways to counter the repercussions if you use a little imagination. Do you fall into one of the categories of workers who don’t receive significant postsecondary training opportunities from your employer? If so, be proactive! Consider taking your postsecondary education and training into your own hands by seeking out resources outside of work on your own.

To give you a head start, here’s a roundup up of some less obvious resources that could provide an opportunity to stay competitive in your career — whatever it might be. Most of the following programs and resources are fee-based, but a couple of them, such as Codeacademy, are completely free.

DIY Employee Training Ideas

Codeacademy: free weekly interactive programming lessons (former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a graduate).

The International Stunt School: a 22 year-old program that prepares graduates to perform stunts for film, television, video games, and live theme parks both domestically and abroad.

MediaBistro: courses and seminars on publishing and marketing/advertising-related topics ranging from from novel writing to Pinterest-based marketing (most classes are fee-based). Classes are available both online and and on a brick-and-mortar basis in a variety of cities.

Ancient Pathways: While it has no direct correlation to corporate survival, this respected Arizona-based survival school has been around since 1989 and is so hard core, there’s no doubt it will give you a leg up at the office. (Military officers are known to be frequent students.) Class offerings include a “Knife Only Survival Course” and bushcraft training, which entails four-14 days of “walking into the wilderness with a minimum of gear and relying on your skills while foraging and depending on nature’s resources.”

The Actor’s Studio: a recurring, no-cost group workshop for actors and directors to hone their crafts. The legendary institution was founded by Elia Kazan, Cheryl Crawford, and Robert Lewis in 1947 and has locations in both NYC and Los Angeles.

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Do you work for a company that offers incredible (or unimpressive) training opportunities for its employees? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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