Special Ad Section (Advertorials): “Innovators in Educating the Work Force”

Fortune Magazine

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This is an excerpt from an ad supplement published in Fortune magazine—a copy-intensive project with multiple contributors, for which I was project manager and chief writer. It was one of three advertising supplements I did while at Corporate University Xchange (per résumé). Click PDF link bel. to see full sample.

Corporate Universities: Innovators in Educating the Work Force

The education market is undergoing a seismic shift throughout the world. Businesses have pointed to the fact that the “product” coming out of our educational system does not have the requisite skills, knowledge and competencies to be successful in the global marketplace.

Yet, the United States spends 9.8 percent of its gross domestic product on education—a total of $619 billion, $60 billion of which is targeted to the corporate education market. Amazingly, this is second only to health care spending, which totals 14 percent of our gross national product.

Just as health care has moved to a market-driven system, the education market is being challenged to better meet the needs of its customers. Leading this movement is a growing segment of corporations that are launching corporate universities as vehicles to remain competitive in the global marketplace.

A corporate university is essentially the “in-house” training and education department of an organization, designed so it can maintain tighter ownership of learning outcomes in order to better meet corporate priorities.

The corporate university has evolved into the strategic umbrella for educating employees, customers, suppliers, and even outsiders, for a fee. In fact, the rapid growth of corporate universities from 400 in 1988 to more than 1,000 today underscores how rapidly the private sector is taking on the role of educator.

While the word “university” conjures up thoughts of an ivy covered building, and tenured faculty, the corporate version is very different. As a group, these 1,000 corporate universities are emerging as innovators in the design and delivery of high-quality on-demand education. They are using distance learning technologies to bring learning to the workplace, forming collaborations with local, international and virtual universities, and developing tools so employees can share their best practices.

What does the future of learning look like at these corporate universities? Each year Corporate University Xchange, Inc. conducts a survey of 100 corporate university deans, known as the Annual Survey of Corporate University Future Directions. We asked this group of university deans to share their best practices with us.

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