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Celebrating the love of learning: creating life-long learners

Being passionate about education and committing to lifelong learning is vital to adapting to an ever-changing world and being successful in a workplace built around the fourth industrial revolution (4IR).

CTU Training Solutions prides itself on instilling a love and passion for learning in its staff, facilitators and students. It does this through various means, including innovative teaching and learning methodologies like gamification, O’Reilly Solution, Cisco Network Academy, ColCampus and many more.

Dr Abhinanda Gautam, Academic Dean of CTU Training Solutions, says: “It is our vision to create an exceptional educational experience for our students. Exceptional educational experiences happen when both the facilitator and the student are passionate and engaged in the subject matter. Creating exceptional educational experiences and instilling this love and passion is part of our company culture.”

Instilling a love of learning in students and staff alike seems straightforward. Dr Gautam explains: “You have to consider what motivates the individual, what is their purpose in life? Without meaning, purpose and direction, it’s difficult to create a lifelong love of learning.”

CTU Training Solutions’ approach to education and teaching is designed around the happiness, engagement and well-being of learners, staff and facilitators. “It’s important to outline why students are learning the things that they are. Learning should always be relevant to the student’s everyday reality, whether that be their qualification, their future job or their extracurricular activities.”

She recommends that learning material be linked to current events or issues of the day and regularly updated to keep it fresh and relevant to everyday life. “Without passion, learners can lose focus and interest in completing their course. A study showed that up to a third of college dropouts listed boredom as the reason they abandoned their studies.”

She points out that learning should also encourage constructive practices and skills such as positive emotions, engaging in the workplace or having meaning in life. These practices are applied equally to learners and staff at CTU. In today’s workplace, professionals are expected to do more and do it faster, therefore it’s critical to connect professional development with career growth.

The new generation of graduates entering the workforce prefers to see their career path as a matrix instead of a ladder. This challenges employers to balance the need to ensure professionals with similar job functions develop proper functionalities while creating meaningful variety. Dr Gautam says: “Staff need to be given an opportunity to have a career path within the organisation – whether this be achieved through upskilling or further education. Organisations also need to tap into the appropriate competencies of their people.”

She highlights how important it is for students to continue learning and developing their skills after graduating. “Learning should never stop. While no one can pressure someone to embark on further learning or studies, most people associate learning with formal education such as school or university, but learning methods like hybrid training (virtual instructor-led training), full qualifications part time (FQPT) and short courses make education more accessible to everyone and give people the option of how and when they want to learn. People are told from an early age that they must get a good education. But they need to decide whether to get a formal education resulting in a qualification or an education that will maximise their potential and enable them to get a more satisfying job.”

Career-focused learning

Sadly, too many people simply don’t enjoy their jobs. Somewhere along the line, they didn’t receive proper guidance, leading to a lack of employee engagement. With knowledge and skills inevitably acquired while working, ongoing learning is unavoidable. “Lifelong learning is about creating a positive attitude to learning for personal and professional development,” says Dr Gautam. “Students who continue to learn and upskill themselves are lifelong learners, motivated to learn and develop. They realise that lifelong learning can enhance their understanding of the world around us; they’re curious to learn, understand and know more.”

CTU Training Solutions encourages its students to be curious and passionate about gaining new knowledge and skills. It has the resources to empower its graduates with the specialised skills and knowledge that will allow them to participate in a competitive work environment. “Being passionate about education and committing to lifelong learning is vital to surviving in an ever-changing world and thriving in the 4IR. CTU Training Solutions’ national and international qualifications give its students a solid foundation to continue learning and growing throughout their career.”

While there are millions of young people worldwide unemployed or underemployed, there are employers with jobs they’re unable to fill. South Africa’s official unemployment rate was cited as 34.9% at the end of 2021, with 14% of them degree holders.

“This shocking statistic could well be because the degree might be in a subject that’s not in demand in today’s workplace. Skills such as artificial intelligence and machine learning are currently in demand. But in the future, other skills that we can’t even imagine will be required. As parents, mentors and guides, how do we steer our youth in the right direction? This is the challenge faced, a growing mismatch between the youth’s skills and employers’ needs – and the problem is likely to intensify with the 4IR, therefore CTU is continually doing research, skills assessments and working with businesses, both big and small, to not only determine what the current skill demands are, but to determine what skills will be needed well into the future. CTU Training Solutions has the power to transform people’s personal and professional lives, and it also bridges the gap between what’s needed and what’s offered.”

There are said to be more broadband subscriptions than there are people in the world. While the world is getting smaller, it’s also becoming more complex and uncertain. “We talk about digitisation and AI, but we need to consider the human skills that will complement the growth of AI, machine learning and robotics, so we end up with first-class humans instead of second-class robots.”

What will the role of education be in future? Dr Gautam says there’s a need to pair AI with the cognitive, social and emotional skills and values of humans. “As educators, we need to be at the cutting edge of what will be required in future, which requires us to take the lead in becoming lifelong learners.”

CTU Training Solutions offers career-focused qualifications including a BBA degree in Project Management, diplomas, national qualifications and international certifications across five faculties: Business, IT, Design, Engineering and Management, and Humanities. CTU practices blended learning; its learning methodology places focus on a classroom approach with integrated and virtual learning to make students workplace ready.

After graduation, CTU Training Solutions has the tools and resources to help graduates gain specialised skills and knowledge to help them thrive in a competitive and ever-changing work environment. Short courses present the perfect opportunity to upskill, while international certifications are also obtainable. IT skills gaps – such as those required for the 4IR – can be bridged with learnerships, which also assist businesses with their B-BBEE transformation imperatives.