An open book. Many development organizations are building physical or virtual communities to foster continued learning for their employees. Photo by: basag

For those development professionals agonizing over what to study and specialize on in graduate school, fret not — your education is becoming less likely to stop there.

Deloitte, for example, established Deloitte University, a 107-acre campus in Texas described as a “leadership development haven” to continue growing their talent pipeline.

“The development of our people is an absolute requirement,” Larry Quinlan, Deloitte’s global chief information officer, said last week during the “Talent Mobility & the Future of Jobs” summit in Washington, D.C., organized by the Diplomatic Courier, STEMconnector and the Global Action Platform.

For companies less likely to establish physical campuses for learning, young startup Brave New Talent is bringing enterprise organizations and individuals together in online communities to share knowledge, exchange ideas and engage with mentors.

Much of the world’s knowledge is locked inside the experience of professionals and within the confines of company walls, noted Brave New Talent’s founder and CEO Lucian Tarnowski.

“We want to provide a medium to unlock this knowledge and experience,” he said.

Quinlan and Tarnowski were just two of the many panelists present at the summit, which focused heavily on the importance of furthering education in science, technology, engineering and math — known as STEM — to address a hefty employment gap in an ever-evolving technological age. Panelists from Deloitte, Wal-Mart and the Institute of Food Technologies all named positions within their respective organizations that a STEM-educated young person might fill.

The inability to fill jobs despite massive unemployment is not only due to geographic imbalances in demand and supply, but also linked to large skills gaps that exist between the needs of the industry and the output of the education systems, several panelists noted.  

“Shame on higher education for not being more in step with needs of today’s employers,” said Steve Currall, dean of the School of Business at UC Davis. But even with closer collaboration, there will always be a place for tailor-made learning for a company’s employees, he said.

Deloitte University, for example, isn’t the answer to perceived or real inefficiencies in the education system, Quinlan stressed — it exists to ensure that Deloitte distinguishes itself to its employees as well as its clients.

“No one is done learning the moment they get their degree,” concluded Karenann Terrell, EVP and chief information officer for Wal-Mart.

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About the author

  • Kelli Rogers

    Kelli Rogers is an Associate Editor for Devex. Based on the U.S. West Coast, she works with Devex's team of correspondents and editors around the world, with a particular focus on gender. She previously worked as Devex’s Southeast Asia correspondent based in Bangkok, covering disaster and crisis response, resilience, women’s rights, and climate change throughout the region. Prior to that, she reported on social and environmental issues from Nairobi, Kenya. Kelli holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and has since reported from more than 20 countries.

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