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Basic Training

Entrepreneurs have taken a little knowledge a long way by meeting the increased demand for training services.

Entrepreneurs have taken a little knowledge a long way by meeting the increased demand for training services.

We have a lot to learn. The technology we mastered yesterday is already obsolete. The management skills we learned in college no longer fit today's workplace. We lack confidence and direction. And we face unprecedented change. Few of us will be doing the same jobs the same way 10 years from now or even two years from now. The gold watch is officially a relic: Multijob careers are now the norm.

The new realities of the workplace don't apply just to employees. Employers, too, are feeling the burn. To stay competitive, organizations of all kinds are downsizing staff and raising standards, putting increased pressure on their employees to perform, perform, perform.

Transformation of this magnitude doesn't happen by itself; it wouldn't exist without active learning. This is precisely why employers spent some $55.3 billion on training in 1995, up from $30 billion in 1983, according to the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). And employer-sponsored training is only part of the picture. Individuals also comprise a ready market for training in employment skills, job hunting and career advancement.

Career training is a vast and intricate market. Its players include major national firms, individual consultants, boutique training organizations, private seminar companies, community colleges and career schools. While some of these formats aren't appropriate for the average entrepreneur wanting to break into this industry, many are, and new opportunities open daily. Here is an industry with ample room for innovation and growth. The only real prerequisite is having knowledge to share.

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This article was originally published in the June 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Basic Training.

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