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From the recent CPD and Learning Survey that I recently ran, I want to now start looking at the comments that have been left by the respondents. Rather than just list them, I will blog about them individually or group a couple as some of the comments provide an interesting insight into how CPD (Continuous Professional Development) is considered.

All entries to this survey were anonymous.

The first comment I want to analyse is:

Anything I do is on my own time and for my own personal development

From my experiences working and learning, I have found that any learning done in and outside work around the areas that I do during my daily working career have been applied without thinking about it. Personally I would find it hard to apply a level of consciousness to separate any learning done in my own time to my job, unless it was a very different type of learning (such as learning to canoe or play the piano).

There is a need for employers to support development of its employees which can take many different formats such as:

  • Time
  • Courses
  • Exam fees
  • Brown Bag Learning (lunchtime learning sessions)

Providing support does provide a better culture for learning in the workplace, but this is a two way street and employers may require you to develop your skills with the same time they provide inside work as outside work.

Looking out across the various industries and their CPD requirement, some industry verticals have to do development to keep their qualifications such as the medical profession. There is a mixed bag of support and no support for employees, however they are doing it as part of their daily routines.

At the end of the day CPD is a choice for the individual and how much time you are willing to invest in your own development. To pinch a bit of Shakespeare (with a tweak):

To CPD or not to CPD that is the question?

For me the answer to this is simple. If you do not decide to carry out your own CPD, others around you most probably are.

The next generations of IT Professionals are already learning from an early age supported by Government Educational Curriculum’s.

These types of support will bolster the IT Industry and with more choosing it as a career also drive towards the Era of the Contextual Web. The next generation will develop key skills at an early age that they can just create the tools and applications that they need when they want them. Maybe they wont spend much time playing the xBox or Playstation, but coding them instead.

The next level of Innovation and entrepreneurship may just come from a 10-11 year old!

Learning can feel like “Keeping up with the Jones” and a “marathon” at times, but if you do not have a plan to develop, you may be on the pavement cheering those who do by.