Technology is a growing field in general and especially in the Philadelphia area. Alan Todd, CEO of CorpU, finds that many companies are hiring technologists who have learned from a technical school or outside program and are extremely competent in their skills.
What sort of education is needed to successfully do your job?
“Formal learning—a college degree and/or advanced degree—is a critical foundation for most leaders today. However, what’s critical to success in the workforce is continuous learning that is tied specifically to the challenges you face in the office every day. That’s why I founded CorpU, because I realized the kind of education that helped me and my peers do our jobs better was the continuous learning we had along the way.”
Do you believe education plays a vital role in landing a great job in the technology field?
“The answer to this question is changing today. In the past 20 years, it was absolutely important for anyone pursuing a job in tech to have a related bachelor’s degree. But our research here at CorpU has shown that employer attitudes and beliefs around this are shifting. Companies are hiring very competent technologists who have learned their skills from a technical school or outside program. It’s less about the degree, and more about the specific competencies. The skills needed for this industry are evolving very quickly—as the technology evolves—and employers are hiring from whichever institutions and organizations provide a relevant education.”
What is the most relevant aspect of your education that applies to your day-to-day job?
“My advanced interdisciplinary work at both the Wharton School of Business and the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania was very influential. It formalized many things I knew from being a manager, and gave me the theoretical underpinnings—in regards to leadership and how people are learning. I’m in the business of leadership learning, so combining studies from these two disciplines was very relevant.”
What is the most fun aspect of your job?
“I am a knowledge junkie! I love that I get to work with the brightest minds from top universities, as well as the savviest business leaders from the world’s biggest and most successful companies.”
Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.