Training vs Education

… or .. the case for edu-train-ment.

The college vs. course problem many face.

As an educator who works both independently and for institutions of higher education, I often run into individuals who are unfairly critical of the other. In the higher education setting, I find that many educators view technical training as something of little value. In the training world, I see many trainers who wish to only teach the steps, and often, as fast possible, leaving students with little to remember after the steps are no longer relevent.  So if we had a third group, what would that look like and would it be effective?

More often than not these educators believe that just showing someone how to do something leads to a mass of individuals who are trained prescriptively in their approach. This prescriptive nature then leads to a deficiency in the development of problem-solving capabilities and an overall failure to approach any ensuing problem objectively. Any solution that found will often be rigid or less elegant in design.  The “we’re never doing it any other way, because that’s how we were shown” mentality.

A few organizations that I’ve consulted, trained, or taught at have all had a various mix of trainers, educators, and their approach to both. Of all of them, I’ve seen it best done by the community colleges. I have found many of these to be organizations who wish to provide students with concrete experiences with a bit of philosophy and context to understand exactly why something works.

Similarly, I’ve decided to structure my training classes that we run at LCG to be a good mix of both here’s how (from a real-world perspective) and why something works. I find that the learning from an initial lecture, followed by a period of lab time with actual practice, and ending with a period of interactive assessment to be an excellent pattern to ensure that learners are both able to do something and retain the context surrounding the why.

I fully believe that training, even those that are done in preparation for certifications (like CompTIA, ISACA, or (ISC)2) to be a more effective mode of learning than others if done in this way.

What has been the most effective for you?

Jason Lowmiller currently serves as Lead Trainer and Consultant at Lowmiller Consulting Group, LLC (LCG). He has a Master of Science in Cybersecurity, holds many industry certifications from ISACA, (ISC)2 and CompTIA, and teaches as an adjunct professor for several Indiana colleges and universities.  He has consulted and provided training for local governments, local and higher education, non-profits, international organizations, and even members of the “Big Four” accounting firms.

Categories : LCG

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