7 Reasons to Outsource Your Technology Training

The most valuable resource any company has is its employees. No matter how good a product is offered, or how prime a market is, if the right teams are not in place with the correct skills to perform, then all efforts will be in vain. 

For a business to succeed, it must invest in its employees to keep their skills up to date.

When those investments are in the form of technology training, both employees and employers benefit. Workers gain skills that improve their career prospects, and the business gains employees who are knowledgeable in specific areas with the most, and often hardest-to-fill, needs.

Not All Technology Training is Created Equal

Unfortunately, internal training efforts can sometimes miss the mark. 

In a Capgemini and LinkedIn survey, 52% of tech employees said their company’s training programs didn’t help them gain new skills, and 42% went so far as to call them “useless and boring.” 

For technical training to be successful, training must be targeted, specific, and engaging. Developing internal training programs that often miss the mark wastes the time of both the instructors and student employees, leading to frustration on both sides and potentially negatively impacting retention. 

A better alternative is outsourcing employee training to a training institute that specializes in and is an expert at teaching technical skills. For companies unsure of utilizing an outside training provider, here are 7 reasons to consider:

1. Internal experts don’t have the skills or time for training

When you want employees to learn the valuable skills other employees already have, a seemingly obvious solution is to have your expert employees teach their peers. But that’s an option that presents a couple of significant issues.

First, those employees with valuable skills would have to take time away from their primary work to spend time teaching. The days (or more likely, weeks) they spend in developing a training program and implementing it means the time the company is losing that person’s output—the precise work you’ve deemed important enough to teach others. That comes at a high cost.

The second issue is at least as serious — the employee that’s awesome at a particular tech skill is not necessarily awesome at teaching it. Teaching requires an entirely different skill set than data science, cybersecurity, or software engineering. If you take some of your most valuable employees away from their main work to do training and they’re terrible at it, you’ll spend their time, the trainees’ time, and the company’s money, all to end up with nothing to show for it.

2. You can find trainers with the specific expertise you need

Chances are, there are multiple tech skills you want to teach your employees. If you were to try to hire one person full-time to handle your company’s technology training, you’d have a hard time finding someone who has all the different competencies needed to cover all those topics.

By contrast, when you outsource your training to a technical education provider, you can choose the specific types of experts you need to handle each training course or session. And if teaching technology is what they do as their primary job, instructors will have both the teaching skills needed and the specific tech knowledge to upskill employees.

3. Professional tech trainers will have up-to-date knowledge

Part of why providing tech skills training is so important is how fast tech skills go out of date. If a cybersecurity expert you hired five years ago did nothing to learn about new threats, it wouldn’t bode well for your company’s security.

An organization that teaches tech skills professionally will treat it as part of the job to stay on top of the trends and changes in the industry. If you find a good training provider, you won’t have to worry about them teaching your employees information that’s already outdated.

4. A good provider can customize their training to your needs

One of your alternative options for employee technology training is to license pre-created materials to provide your employees. That will cost you less than hiring a skilled instructor to provide the training, but the materials you get will be generic. They may not cover the precise skills you want your employees to gain, and definitely won’t address how putting those skills to use at your company will look. Static materials also can’t respond to the particular learning styles of your employees.

An experienced instructor can work with you to create a training course or session based on your specific needs and make sure the material is tailored to your company. And part of being a good teacher is being able to respond to individual students and provide the personalized attention and instruction they need. You’ll only get that from a trainer that brings teaching skills to the table.

That company has already done the work of hiring and vetting skilled trainers. Your job is simply to find the company you want to hire, interview them to make sure they’re qualified to provide the kind of training you need, then work out the details of your contract. A company that’s well-versed in providing this kind of service will have an onboarding process in place to make getting started easy.

5. The hiring process is simpler

Organizations that focus on tech training have developed teaching materials that they know work because they’ve had time to test them out with students. And if the training you hire them for is similar to courses they’ve taught before, they won’t have to start from scratch in creating training materials. They can pull from what they’ve already created, which can mean getting started faster.

Hiring trainers that teach tech skills professionally as their main job means that you get all the benefits of their experience. Anyone who’s spent years teaching students becomes an expert in figuring out the teaching tactics that work best for different types of learning styles.

6. Tech training experts will have proven tactics and materials

In comparison, hiring a company that offers technology training as a service means you only pay for what you need, whether that’s one session a year or regular courses. Since the teacher in charge of the training is employed by a third-party company, things like taxes and benefits aren’t your responsibility, and you can leverage the programs and trainers only when you need them.

Hiring a full-time employee to handle your technology training means paying for their salary year-round, covering health insurance costs, employee taxes, and benefits like paid time off. It’s not cheap—especially if you want someone good at what they do.

7. Outsourcing can cost (a lot) less than hiring full-time employees

Last but certainly not least, hiring new employees to fill existing skill gaps on your technical teams is expensive. Posting job descriptions, conducting interviews, onboarding costs, and yearly salaries and benefits add up quickly. 

By investing in your current employees, you minimize these additional costs associated with new hires and retain loyal top performers with priceless experience.

Get Started Training Your Employees

If you’re committed to investing in your employees with outsourced technical training, be sure to choose a provider that is experienced in your needed skillsets, and has the results to prove it.

To make sure your employees gain valuable tech skills, hire a company that:

  • Can provide trainers with specialized tech knowledge and teaching skills
  • Utilizes an industry-leading curriculum that teaches relevant and up-to-date skills
  • Can customize training or courses based on organization-specific needs
  • Have proof and results available of successful training and previous partnerships

If you’re wondering where to find a provider that meets all the above criteria, look no further than Flatiron School.

With tech training solutions that cover just about any need – whether that’s upskilling and reskilling existing talent or sourcing and screening brand new candidates – and programs targeted to skills across a variety of technical expertise, Flatiron School has what you need to fill the skill gaps on your teams.

And, when you partner with Flatiron School, you’ll be in good company with industry leaders such as Amazon.

Let Flatiron School help modernize your business with our training and talent services. Let us educate, so you can innovate. 

Get started today. 

Disclaimer: This blog post was originally posted in 2021, and was updated in November 2022. The information in this blog is current as of 23 November 2022. For updated information visit https://flatironschool.com/

Amazon Career Choice X Flatiron School Partnership

Amazon’s Career Choice program empowers its employees by providing them access to the education and training needed to grow their careers at Amazon and beyond.

In the U.S., the company will invest $1.2 billion to upskill more than 300,000 employees by 2025 to help move them into higher-paying, in-demand jobs. For this investment, Amazon selected Flatiron School as one of its education partners to develop a customized technical training program for its hourly employees to help them access better-paying, skilled positions in software engineering, cybersecurity, and other tech fields.

The Challenge

Amazon has been rapidly growing its workforce over the past several years to meet increasing demand, hiring hundreds of thousands of front-line employees across the U.S.

As a company, Amazon believes that everyone should have the opportunity to learn new skills and build their career. A job with Amazon may be a springboard into a long-term career in another field, so they want to provide the training employees need to grow their careers.

In addition to the coursework and classes, they are focused on outcomes for employees, providing them with support services throughout their education and career journey. They want partners who share this focus on outcomes.

Why Amazon Selected Flatiron School

Since the first cohort in 2021, Flatiron School has offered the technical and instructional expertise, program design experience, job-placement track record, and ability to deliver at the scale that Amazon needed for the Career Choice programs.

This is why Amazon has partnered with Flatiron School to develop curriculum programs across cybersecurity, software development, data analytics, and web development for nine cohorts and counting. 

Amazon’s Challenge

With demand for tech workers soaring, Amazon wanted to offer transformative technical programs, with strong job placement outcomes, as part of Career Choice. Amazon needed a partner with the ability to both teach in-demand technical skills and drive high job placement rates.

Flatiron School’s Solution

Scalable, Customized Courses Paired with A Proven Job-Placement Approach

  1. Flatiron School developed six part-time, customized tech programs for Amazon employees to drive deep technical learning. 
  2. All programs were 32 weeks and provided students with the flexibility to learn new skills…
  3. …while still working full-time, dedicating 12-15 hours per week to the program.

The Results

During the first year of the partnership, 270 Amazon employees from across 38 fulfillment centers used their Career Choice benefits to become Software Engineers and Cybersecurity Analysts.

The Amazon Career Choice program also increased warehouse worker tenure, retention, and employee satisfaction.

The inaugural cohort wrapped up in October 2021. Within less than a week of graduation, two Amazon employees had already landed jobs in tech, with significant increases to their salaries. Because of its success and the benefits they saw with the program, Amazon expanded the program in 2022 and internationally for 2023, enrolling over 800 Amazon Associates each year.

In 2023, 9 cohorts across Amazon Cybersecurity Analytics, Amazon Data Analytics, Amazon Software Development, and Amazon Web Development have been developed.

For more information on the Amazon Career Choice program, visit the program application page.

How Financial Services Prepares For The Holiday Season

With the holidays right around the corner, financial service companies are preparing for a busy shopping season. 

Public trust in the security of digital purchases has had a hand in the boom of online shopping. Consumers are now more likely to visit digital storefronts, instead of brick-and-mortar locations. As of 2022, an estimated 2.14 billion purchase goods online and at least 75% of consumers shop online at least once a month.

With every online transaction, gift purchase, or swipe of a card, financial services are tasked with keeping data secure.

So, with holiday shopping ramping up, what challenges should financial services be prepared to tackle?

Problem #1: How To Prevent Data Breaches?

A data breach can cost millions, tarnish a company’s reputation, and leave customers doubting that their information is safe. In fact, according to the Ponemon Institute and IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average total cost of a data breach increased from $3.86 million to $4.24 million in 2021.

Cybersecurity can feel like an endless game of one-upping bad actors. Even large companies struggle to keep up with digital innovation which has resulted in an ever-increasing number and complexity of cyber attacks. 

In a digital world where automated attacks can quickly overwhelm manual monitoring attempts, having adept and skilled professionals in place is critical to a company’s continued prosperity and longevity.

Solution: Invest In Cybersecurity Preparation and Plan Ahead

To tackle the cybersecurity threats attempting to infiltrate your organization, it’s crucial to develop a two-pronged plan – a prevention strategy and a response procedure.

Prevention Strategy

You’ve likely heard that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of treatment, which is particularly relevant to preventing cybercrime. 

Financial services should reinforce their cyber protocols and ensure that their team is skilled, supplied with appropriate software and platforms, and has the bandwidth necessary to handle the deluge of attacks. This can be accomplished either by outsourcing to third-party providers or investing in internal infrastructure and employees by hiring new employees with up-to-date skills or upskilling your existing workforce. 

Response Procedure

Should bad actors breach your organization’s data stores, it’s vital to have a plan of action in place. 

Shockingly few companies have a solid breach response plan in place, and time wasted scrambling to decide what to do, who has access to what, and which files may have been compromised lets whoever has infiltrated run amock in your system. 

To be fully prepared, financial services should develop, test, and implement an incident response plan to minimize the potential fallout of a breach. 

Related reading: Top 3 Cybersecurity Pain Points in 2022

Problem #2: How To Reach New Customers?

No matter the industry, product, or company size, the goal is ultimately the same – growth.

But for financial services, a saturated market can make it difficult to differentiate themselves from competitors and attract new customers. Many organizations find themselves pondering as the biggest shopping season ramps up, “how do we stay ahead of the competition and reach new customers who prefer online experiences?”

Solution: Leverage The Power of Data

To attract new customers, financial services can use the data they collect, which we discussed protecting above. 

Invest in Data Scientists who are able to decipher actionable insights from data collected about existing customers and use models to forecast emerging market trends. By making data-backed, research-based decisions, your organization can develop targeted promotions and bring in new customers, all with information you already had on hand.

Related reading: The (Data) Science Behind Netflix Recommendations

Tech Talent Solutions Made For Financial Services

Whether it’s the holiday shopping season or not, financial services have no shortage of challenges: legacy technology, cybercrime, and connecting data across brick-and-mortar and digital products. 

Let Flatiron School help modernize your business with training and talent services across Cybersecurity, Data Science, Software Engineering, and Product Design.

Contact us to get started.

Disclaimer: Information in this blog is current as of November 07, 2022. For more information, visit FlatironSchool.com.

How Retailers Prepare For The Holiday Season

With the holidays right around the corner, retailers are preparing for a busy shopping season. Each year, more consumers are shopping online. As a result, retailers must invest in their digital storefronts, backend security, and supporting software to keep customers coming back.

So, with holiday shopping ramping up, what challenges should retailers be prepared to tackle this year?

Problem #1: How To Prevent Data Breaches?

A data breach can cost millions of dollars, tarnish a company’s reputation, and leave customers with little trust that their information will be kept safe. In fact, according to the Ponemon Institute and IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average total cost of a data breach increased from $3.86 million to $4.24 million in 2021.

Cybersecurity can feel like an endless game of one-upping bad actors, with even large companies struggling to keep up with digital innovation that has resulted in an ever-increasing number and complexity of cyber attacks. 

In a digital world where automated attacks can quickly overwhelm manual monitoring attempts, having adept and skilled professionals in place is critical to a company’s continued prosperity and longevity.

Solution: Invest In Cybersecurity Preparation and Plan Ahead

To tackle the cybersecurity threats attempting to infiltrate your organization, it’s crucial to develop a two-pronged plan – a prevention strategy and a response procedure.

Prevention Strategy

You’ve likely heard that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of treatment, which is particularly relevant to preventing cybercrime. 

Retailers should reinforce their cyber protocols and ensure that their team is skilled, supplied with appropriate software and platforms, and has the bandwidth necessary to handle the deluge of attacks. This can be accomplished either by outsourcing to third-party providers or investing in internal infrastructure and employees by hiring new employees with up-to-date skills or upskilling your existing workforce. 

Response Procedure

Should bad actors breach your organization’s data stores, it’s vital to have a plan of action in place. 

Shockingly few companies have a solid breach response plan in place, and time wasted scrambling to decide what to do, who has access to what, and which files may have been compromised lets whoever has infiltrated run amok in your system. 

To be fully prepared, retailers should develop, test, and implement an incident response plan to minimize the potential fallout of a breach. 

Related reading: Top 3 Cybersecurity Pain Points in 2022

Problem #2: How To Increase Customer Loyalty?

With the rise of the digital-first era, shoppers are no longer walking into physical stores for their goods. Instead, they are logging onto their computers or opening a mobile app, credit card in hand.

Customer touch points now feature everything from brand-owned mobile apps to traditional website storefronts and social media platforms. Each channel is a chance for retailers’ brand messaging to reinforce customer loyalty.

So, how do retailers elevate the customer experience across all these touchpoints?

Solution: Develop Supportive Software

With so many brand touchpoints across multiple platforms and channels, delivering a seamless, omnichannel experience is key. To achieve this, retailers can invest in software engineering to develop custom retail software. 

Company-specific software creates IT solutions that automate the retail business process, streamlining offerings and product delivery. Everything from sales notification, invoice delivery, shipping, and returns/refunds can be accomplished by one, overarching system. 

That way, no matter where a customer interacts with your brand, they’ll be met with a consistent, pleasant, and easy-to-navigate system they know well. 

Related reading: Top 3 Retail Tech Trends in 2022

Problem #3: How To Quantify Consumer Behavior?

With trends that change at the pace of social media algorithms, it can feel just about impossible to predict trends. What was trendy one moment can be “last season” the next, with product and marketing teams struggling to keep up. 

Many retailers are asking, “how can we quantify customers’ behavior and translate it into sales?”

Solution: Leverage The Power Of Data

To predict consumer behavior and deliver tailored experiences that convert, retailers need simply to harness the power of data. 

Without a doubt, somewhere in every retailer’s system is a mountain of data. This data is generated by customers each time they interact with a brand. Data Scientists use models and machine learning to connect data points from multiple sources and generate actionable insights that can be incorporated into a retailer’s strategy at scale. 

To improve conversion rates, retailers should invest in a team of skilled data scientists – or upskill their current team. Data Scientists can use data-driven insights to create recommendations catered to each customer. That way, they’ll keep them coming back to the company that, somehow, knows them so well.  

Related reading: The (Data) Science Behind Netflix Recommendations

Tech Talent Solutions Made For Retailers

The tech that powers digital shopping is only as effective as the talent behind the scenes. 

For 10 years, Flatiron School has been teaching the tech skills that retailers need most. Let us help accelerate your business with our talent and training solutions.

Contact us today to get started.

Flatiron School Launches 5-Day Enterprise Cybersecurity Program

Flatiron School, a top provider of technical education and talent, has launched its 5-day Enterprise Cybersecurity Program, a comprehensive learning experience designed to equip organizations’ entry-level tech talent with essential cybersecurity skills and the capacity to act as a unit. 

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a fitting acknowledgment of one of today’s top worldwide business concerns. Studies show over 300,000 new pieces of malware are created daily, posing major threats to organizations’ data, security, and reputations. 

To help prevent and protect against these threats, Flatiron School created an accelerated 5-Day Enterprise Cybersecurity program to provide employees with the skills needed to mitigate or avert cybersecurity risks altogether.

Program Overview

The program focuses on solidifying foundational cybersecurity knowledge and providing learning in topics relevant to an organization’s cyber function, thus enabling talent to deliver the most advanced, cutting-edge work products to their organization and end clients.

“Now more than ever, businesses must equip their teams with the expertise needed to prevent and respond to the ever-growing amount of cyber attacks occurring worldwide,” said Nancy Ziser, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Sales at Flatiron School. “The goal of this program is to jumpstart learning essential cybersecurity skills for employees responsible for protecting data and minimizing threats to various organizations. We are excited to offer this kind of education to people who are continuously fielding cybersecurity issues on the ground.” 

Program participants receive 40 hours of instruction either remotely or in person over five days. Participants will receive foundational knowledge in:

  • Computer networking, including common network devices and common threats to each layer of the OSI model.
  • Identity and access management (IAM), including knowledge of LDAP and Active Directory (AD).
  • Vulnerabilities and the purpose of red, blue, and purple teams in securing an organization
  • Governance, risk, and compliance, including familiarity with NIST and ISO frameworks.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) and operational technology (OT) security risks.
  • Cloud computing and common security threats to cloud deployments.
  • SIEM tools and logging.
  • Cyber threat intel, including MITRE ATT&CK and the Diamond Mode.

To learn more about Flatiron School’s 5-day Enterprise Cybersecurity Program, please click here.

How Upskilling and Reskilling Saves Your Company Money

Technological advancements like automation, AI, and deep learning are helping companies reduce labor costs. More is getting done in less time. There are significant time savings, greater process efficiency, and cost reduction. 

But, as a side effect, your business may need fewer employees to perform the same work. Efficiency has improved, and there aren’t enough tasks to go around.

Some employees’ skillsets have become outdated and are not up to par with the current level of technology in the company or the world. 

So what to do with the workers that have become obsolete, through no fault of their own? Will you lay off loyal employees with obsolete talents and hire new employees with updated skills? 

While it is feasible to switch out current staff with new ones that have the skills you desire, it is not the most effective. Finding and hiring people is time-consuming, effort-intensive, and costly. 

Upskilling and reskilling obsolete employees, on the other hand, can be a great alternative.

What Is Upskilling and Reskilling?

First, let’s get some definitions out of the way.

Upskilling is the process of adding to an existing skill set within a current role (e.g., training a currently employed software engineer in a new programming language).

Reskilling is the process of learning new skills needed to do an entirely different job (e.g., switching from graphic design to software development). 

As an enterprise, you must constantly update your offerings to stay relevant and gain a competitive edge. Keeping your employee’s training up-to-date and on par with current market offerings is an essential part of the process. 

Approximately 90% of managers and executives who participated in a McKinsey survey1 agreed their organizations either already faced a skills gap or expected gaps by 2024. As per the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 20202, by 2024, approximately 40% of workers will require up to six months of reskilling to maintain their current employment.

Retraining employees can prepare them for future roles, help streamline business processes, enhance employee productivity, and improve enterprise efficiency.

How Does Upskilling & Reskilling Save Money?

Besides the intangible benefits of boosting employee morale by investing in furthering their careers, upskilling and reskilling offers various other tangible benefits3, including:

Reduce Training and Recruitment Costs

When recruiting employees with a new skill set, you’ll also have to bear associated costs — interviewing, hiring, background checks, onboarding, process training, etc. And, with the current highly competitive job market, employees with niche skills can demand top dollar. 

Retraining your current workforce with new skills can help save on the costs associated with new hires. With upskilling and reskilling, you’ll already have skilled employees trained on your organization’s processes and policies, so they can hit the ground running in their new skill or upgraded role.

Retain Knowledge and Talent

The technological landscape will continue evolving with new tech adopted every few years. But, loyal employees with years or even decades of accumulated knowledge about your company’s product verges on priceless. 

Upskilling and reskilling employees ensure that your company’s offerings keep pace with changing trends while retaining top talent.

Tenured employees at your organization are already aware of your business and processes. The knowledge they’ve gained over the years is valuable. Retraining them will help retain the employees and their expertise within the organization. 

If you don’t upskill or reskill them, they may update their skills themselves and find another employer. You’ll have to look for new talent and bear associated hiring costs to replace them, not to mention the knowledge and experience they take with them. 

An Adaptable, Future-Ready Workforce

Cross-trained employees with diverse knowledge in multiple areas are a significant asset to any organization. 

They offer better insights and can weigh in on multiple areas to enable the business to function more efficiently. With multiple skill sets, upskilled and reskilled employees can be leveraged across projects, teams, and departments. And, having already been retrained once, they can adapt other new technologies as they come. 

How To Upskill and Reskill Your Employees

Flatiron School offers full-time and part-time programs in four different disciplines- Software Engineering, Data Science, Cybersecurity, and Product Design. 

No matter your industry or offering, employee skill gaps in these areas can be addressed and resolved with our program offerings.

Software Engineering

With Flatiron School’s Software Engineering curriculum, employees can be ready to build software for websites and apps. They’ll learn about:

  • Front-end development
  • Front-end web applications
  • Back-end development
  • Back-end web application programming interfaces (APIs)

Data Science

By attending Flatiron School’s Data Science curriculum, employees can master the art of data analysis. They’ll be able to find patterns in data and help the organization make data-driven decisions. They’ll learn:

  • Data analysis and engineering
  • Scientific computing and quantitative methods
  • Machine learning fundamentals
  • Advanced machine learning

Product Design

With Flatiron’s School’s Product Design curriculum, employees learn how users interact with technology and how to improve brand messaging and enhance customer loyalty. They’ll learn about the various processes essential for effective product design:

  • The user experience (UX) process — Ethical and inclusive design, foundational research, and ideation and innovation
  • The user interface (UI) process — Elements of visual composition, typography and color, and interaction and animation
  • Product design framework, usability testing, and UI kit development for developers
  • Micro-interactions, data visualization, and communication

Cybersecurity Engineering

Employees who enroll in Flatiron School’s Cybersecurity Engineering curriculum will become a critical component of your IT security team. They’ll be able to protect the enterprise, client, and employee data from getting stolen, hacked, leaked, or damaged. During the curriculum, employees  will learn about:

  • Network security
  • System security
  • Python scripting techniques
  • Governance, risk, and compliance (GRC)
  • Logs and detection
  • Threat intelligence
  • Application security
  • Applied cryptography

Get Started With Flatiron School

If you’re considering a custom solution to meet your upskilling and reskilling needs, consider the following questions:

  1. Do you need existing talent?
  2. How many leaders will go through the training?
  3. What is your learners’ existing tech skill level?
  4. Which competencies and outcomes would you like to achieve?
  5. What are the desired program modality and delivery structure? (In-person vs. virtual, part-time vs. full-time, start and end dates, etc.)

Flatiron School’s Enterprise team works with your company to identify skills gaps and build a program tailored to your goals. With Flatiron School, your employees will develop in-demand skills to keep your company on the competitive edge and take charge of their careers at the same time. 

To get a custom training solution for your organization, contact Flatiron School today.

Sources:

  1. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/beyond-hiring-how-companies-are-reskilling-to-address-talent-gaps
  2. https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-future-of-jobs-report-2020/digest#report-nav
  3. https://flatironschool.com/blog/value-of-cross-trained-workers/