Back to School
A review of the leading continuing education programs for direct marketers
By Hallie Mummert
How productive are you? Competent enough to put out the work of four people? OK, well maybe not four of your contemporaries. But it might surprise you to know that productivity in the United States has increased four-fold since the late 1940s to keep pace with the economy, says Peter Cappelli, professor of management and director of Wharton Business School's Center for Human Resources, in Philadelphia. In August 2003, Cappelli published a study on labor trends, Will There Really Be a Labor Shortage?, that discussed work force composition in the years ahead.
In particular, Cappelli underscored two important realities that both employers and employees need to face:
1. The United States' strengthening economy puts a premium on productivity, meaning companies want workers who are efficient and output-oriented. Not many jobs being filled or created are entry-level—even when they are labeled as such!
2. The continual hiring of outside talent as opposed to training and grooming junior employees to take on more responsibility has resulted in high turnover within companies, negatively affecting productivity levels.
It's a bit of a vicious circle. Further exacerbating the situation is the generational clash within the work world. According to research conducted by Roger Herman, CEO of consulting firm The Herman Group, in Greensboro, N.C., Generation X just isn't motivated by the same values as their Baby Boomer bosses and colleagues. Independent and experience-oriented, this group of workers is more likely to switch jobs, companies, even career paths, throughout their lives.
These labor experts, including Gregory P. Smith, president of Conyers, Ga., consulting firm Chart Your Course International, encourage companies to invest in their employees through professional and personal enrichment programs, including continuing education. Without a doubt, a significant number of recent college graduates today are spending time and money on higher education to attain a level of proficiency that will set themselves apart from competitors in the job market.