3 Questions Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2009

Vincent S. Daniels has been a sales and business development consultant for two decades and entered academia in 1999 as the founding director of the International MBA program at Florida International University. Since 2004, Daniels has served as executive director of executive education and educational outreach in the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University. He teaches courses in entrepreneurship and sales management and delivers corporate training.

Q. How important is it to keep continuing education in the budget in today’s economy?

The changes that are taking place in the world, the knowledge base of the world, is growing so quickly and changing so quickly that if you don’t have good continuing education, your people will fall behind in no time. Another reason for it though is really motivation of employees. The employees feel that education is a very good benefit for them traditionally, because it’s something that they’re gaining that is going to be valuable to the company, but it’s also valuable to their careers.

Q. What type of continuing education should companies focus on today?

One, obviously, is education that will give productivity quickly. One of the problems right now is that you’re losing people, you’re letting people go; so, therefore, the people who are staying have to be more productive to keep up. Particularly for productivity, it would be more functional-type areas of education. For instance, project management professional certification.

Q. How can a company determine effective training techniques to maximize education dollars?

Really, techniques depend greatly on the type of job that the people are doing and on the level of the participants — what education level, what experience level they have — and, of course, desired outcomes. Basically, you do an assessment. You bring in a university or a consulting firm, unless you have the right people in-house, and you do a needs assessment as to what types of techniques should be used, what types of things should be offered in order to maximize your dollars. And you set up a good methodology for analyzing return on investments.