Looking to upskill IT staff? An LMS may be key

Learning management systems (LMS) are moving out of the academic realm and finding a niche within enterprise IT departments to improve skills acquisition and boost engagement.

Looking to upskill IT staff? An LMS may be key
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Learning management systems (LMS) have traditionally been used in educational settings to organize curricula, deliver content to students and track progress. But they’ve found new life in enterprise IT departments, as organizations seek to upskill workers to meet ever-evolving workplace needs.

“The definition of LMS has expanded, going well beyond course management,” says Bryna Dash, vice president of government sales at Blackboard. “Yes, course management — the creation and delivery of dynamic courses, course registrations, enterprise content management, the ability to record and analyze learner progress — remains a pillar of an LMS, but today’s best LMS provide a more holistic approach, offering solutions that cover a broad spectrum of learning requirements.”

That spectrum can include technical certifications, continuing professional education, badges and credentials from bootcamps, online courses and even free MOOCs. Continuing IT education can add or supplement critical technical skills within your organization, preserve institutional knowledge and increase employee engagement and retention. But finding the time for staff to attend classes can be challenging.

“In our IT department, our staff pursues professional education, certifications, skills badging — maybe they’re trying to add these new skills, or learning a new technology, or even trying to get a credential to get a raise or a promotion,” says Bill Thirsk, vice president of IT and CIO at Marist College. “But if I’ve got a network engineer — it’s hard to spare a staff member for a week to go somewhere to take courses or a test or do training in person. So, LMS is really critical, because they can be online, maybe for a couple hours a day, taking that same certification course, or going to a discussion forum, virtually attending a conference, and then receive that credential.”

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