May 15 is the launch of my second business: second in birth date, but at least at the moment, primary in effort! The concept of Your Commercial Foundations (YCF) has been in development for a number of years – over and over, I would see incredibly smart and capable clients not able to fully participate in their own projects and applications due to a lack of understanding of the commercial world and its priorities.
YCF is essentially an immersion course in the language and culture of the commercial world – in the same way you can take a crash course in French to get the most out of your visit to France, YCF’s short courses will enable participants to get the most out of the commercial world. And whether or not your personal goal is to actually take an idea to market, all of our now work ultimately takes place in a commercial world of return on investment – of time, of effort, and resources – whether we work for profit or not.
Creator and innovators – my principal focus, whether it’s in the form of scientists, researchers, technologists, designers, or artists – need commercial savvy as well as innovative thinking and professional skills to participate fully in a global marketplace for ideas. YCF aims to help them develop this to the level of fluency they choose – we know not everyone wants to be commercialization specialist or MBA. The programs have been designed to be both stand-alone and modular, so participants take their skills in the direction and depth they wish. Corporate employers are also able to have modules delivered to groups, allowing tailoring to incorporate individual business processes.
For more information on the YCF programs and approach, please visit the website at http://www.ycf.net.au. And for those of you wondering, yes I did the artwork. Be kind.
“When it comes to things like business education, we have an interesting debate [Success] is far tougher to teach at university. As an entrepreneur, you just need to be able to add up, subtract and multiply…What matters is you create products that people really want.”
Food for thought: Sir Richard Branson, at UQ Business School’s luncheon 9 May 2013 (Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/branson-tells-uq-forum-not-to-waste-money-on-degrees-20130509-2ja84.html#ixzz2TGUvVcys
Changes in the mix of skills and occupations required by various industries influence the demand for education; this particularly influences mature-age students to return to education. The development of post-graduate courses and flexible methods for course delivery has allowed the expansion of this field over the past five years. In 2012-13, mature age students ie over 25 years old, accounted for 17.3% of the education and training market. Demand for these courses is high as people update and upgrade their knowledge and skills for career change and progression. Australia also has a strong record for participation in lifelong learning, measured against other OECD countries (IBISWorld Industry Report: Education and Training in Australia, February 2013.)
There has also been an explosion in choice of post-graduate courses on offer during this period, as universities have sought to attract students to fee-paying courses. Masters degrees, Executive Education programs and Graduate Diploma/Certificate courses attract thousands of mature age students every year seeking to advance or distinguish themselves in an increasingly competitive and changeable global market.
The master of business administration degree (MBA) has transformed during this expansion from a degree of distinction to the staple of the postgraduate business industry. An MBA is effectively a general management qualification featuring a taste of all the core disciplines but focusing on leadership skills According to the University of Western Australia Business School’s postgraduate program director, the typical MBA student will be late 20s and early 30s, going into their 40s. Many of them have non-business degree backgrounds – they may have good technical skills but no knowledge with respect to strategy, basic accounting or finance or leadership and organizational skills. In contrast, masters students tend to be younger and continuing their studies in a field similar to their undergraduate degree (“Specialist MBA takes it to the next level” Australian Financial Review, 24 September 2012.)
Professionals seeking to secure promotions and expand their careers are studying short courses in IT, finance and communication, seeking the right mix of skills to give them an edge in the job market. The Chief Executive Officer of Open Universities Australia, Paul Wappett, has noted that students are currently very discerning about the type of education they want. According to Mr Wappett, some students are doing short courses because they need particular skills to help them in their current job, with others taking single units because they are looking for promotion opportunities.