It takes a village

Online postsecondary education options help retain, grow talent

Posted on Apr 30, 2020 :: Partner
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Posted by Mike Devine, media specialist, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

Innovation is a central point of pride for Northeast Wisconsin that has led the 18-county “village” to many successful industrial and technological developments that benefit the local economy and community.

But in today’s competitive global labor and product markets, it takes the whole “village” to attract — and maintain — a dynamic workforce that will continue to produce cutting-edge advancements.

A fundamental question to consider is: What can the region offer to attract and retain industry-trained professionals?

A key element in the offer package should be online degrees and professional certificates.

Opportunities for educational advancement that are cost-effective, convenient and from accredited institutions will not only optimize career-advancing skills for employees, but also help Northeast Wisconsin recruit and retain a top tier of talent.

Three value propositions — affordability, flexibility and reputation — form the foundation of why Northeast Wisconsin employers should consider championing online learning when appealing to accomplished professionals.

Affordability

The price point for any educational opportunity is a pivotal point of concern, but it is important to note that the cost is similar to the in-person course format.

Many online degree programs throughout Northeast Wisconsin feature easy-to-comprehend cost structures so prospective students understand their investment and can budget accordingly.

Some employers also may offer tuition reimbursement.

Flexibility

Many full-time working adults are looking for degree programs that are offered 100 percent online without structured class times.

They want to enjoy the autonomy to plan their study schedule around work and life events.

Reputation

The talented graduates these programs produce will help meet the demand for high-impact leaders and influencers of Northeast Wisconsin in manufacturing, information technology, health care, engineering and more.

In this expanding and ever-evolving space, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has established itself as a hub of education in the New North geared toward continuing education.

Through partnerships with peer University of Wisconsin System institutions, UW Oshkosh provides opportunities for working adults in Northeast Wisconsin to pursue bachelor’s or master’s degrees in six disciplines:

· Applied Biotechnology (master’s)
· Applied Computing (bachelor’s)
· Cybersecurity (master’s)
· Data Science (master’s)
· Information Technology Management (master’s)
· Sustainable Management (master’s)

“Companies can set themselves apart by building a team that integrates technology into solid business practices,” said Susan Adams, UW Oshkosh’s director of continuing education. “Our graduates are able to lead those units and solve the issues we face today and in the future.”

The course content and format of these programs offered through the online collaborative degrees at UW Oshkosh support the predictions of more remote work options and a greater dependence on technology found in the Young Entrepreneur Council’s report called “The 8 ways the workforce will change in 2020, according to business leaders.”

Once enrolled, students will have access to another “village,” this one filled with a dedicated student success coach and expert UW faculty.

Mike DeVine is the media specialist in the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Division of Online and Continuing Education.