ACADEMIC LEARNING VS CORPORATE LEARNING: WHICH ONE’S FOR YOU?

With the availability of technology nowadays, remote learning has become so much easier and accessible. With devices and internet connection alone, knowledge transfer and online training are more available than ever.

Organizations – academic and corporate alike – have turned to online courses to provide constant learning and education for students and employees.

While academic and corporate learning share similarities, the two can be distinct as well. If you are wondering what the differences are and which one’s right for your organization, then keep reading.

Academic learning vs corporate learning: the main difference

The main thing that separates academic learning apart from corporate learning is the objective.

Corporate learning aims to develop specific skills that help employees perform better in their professional roles. It takes place when employers intend to implement training programs and upskill their workforce.

Academic learning is undertaken by individuals to gain qualifications and increase their knowledge in a specific field. This takes place – not particularly for competency building – but for knowledge transfer.

Academic learning and corporate learning have specific characteristics that tell them apart.

Corporate learning: characteristics and features

  • Length - short and snappy. With the need to be more agile and ready for jobs of the future, we see more companies implementing corporate training and e-learning. This allows their employees to cope with the rapid changes in job roles and expectations in today’s world. It is for this reason that corporate training needs to be straight-forward, quick, and easy to consume.
  • Focus – practical, competency-based, and career-oriented. Corporate learning is geared towards improving work performance. Because corporations are highly focused on competencies, this type of learning is centered on specializations relevant to the day-to-day performance and fulfillment of an employee’s role.
  • Frequency – dynamic and agile. Given the pace of the corporate environment, this type of learning is constantly changing to adapt to rapid shifts in the industry. Training courses and content can be revised frequently to address new topics or concepts in quickly changing fields, i.e. digital marketing.
  • Outcome – certification. A corporate Learning Management System (LMS) tracks its learners’ progress through certifications. Learning and Development teams look into these as a basis for gauging employee progress or whether they are ripe for promotion. Also, using grading systems in a corporate setting seems too academic or patronizing, doesn’t it?
  • Platform – usually intranet. Corporate LMS platforms are typically available on learning portals set up on a company’s intranet. These platforms serve as a go-to for employees, not only for courses but also for how-to’s, career tips, news and updates, and other resources.

Academic training: characteristics and features

  • Length – usually based on the academic calendar. Contrary to corporate learning’s short and snappy approach, academic training is more like a journey to discovery. Most academic LMS are grounded on the academic calendar and are patterned after actual courses provided by education institutions, only they are offered online.
  • Focus – knowledge transfer. Educational institutions provide academic LMS that focus on knowledge transfer. Rather than being practical and situation-based, academic LMS focuses more on the course progression and discovery, i.e. facts and theories.
  • Frequency – slow and steady. Academic learning does not have to keep up to industry changes at such a rapid pace. Instead, it usually follows the academic calendar and semestral timing. Especially when courses are related to science and humanities, they are mostly theoretical and fact-based (as opposed to situational and practical). Thus, the courses are less frequently updated.
  • Approach – theoretical and holistic. In the same vein, the method for academic training is more comprehensive. It doesn’t have to focus on developing a specific competency or specialization; it zeroes in on deepening understanding and broadening knowledge from multiple disciplines.
  • Outcome – grades. An academic LMS tracks its learners’ progress through a grading system. It also provides support for prerequisites and enrolment options based on tenure or academic levels completed by the learner.
  • Platform – social and peer-to-peer. As academic learning focuses on discovery, there is focus on collaboration and social, peer-to-peer learning. This involves the sharing of best practices, experiences, and in-depth discussions of the courses.

Academic or corporate learning—which one is for you?

The answer depends on the objectives of your organization and what your org wants to achieve. You can always leverage on either type, depending on your learners’ needs, and the tool that will be most effective for them. Edubrite is both a corporate and academic LMS we can help you determine which one best fits your organization. If you’d like to learn more, contact us now.