Smart learning and the job market. An interview with /Beyondthebox CEO Aleksandra Maravic

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Aleksandra Maravic, started her activity in the automotive sector, moving soon to Asia between China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore. With over 15 years of experience in business development she decided to return to Milan and get involved as an entrepreneur to build a bridge between the tradition and excellence of Italian organizations with the technology and innovation of startups. Her platform /Beyondthebox represents one of the first Italian experiences of smart-learning, a mode of training that is spreading at a global level.

Speaking about the job market today means thinking in terms of dynamism and constant change... How much has the pandemic crisis affected this?

For years now we've been talking about liquid labor, a term that indicates how rapidly contexts and markets can change and how necessary it is, in order to remain competitive, to constantly update one's skills, even in a short period of time. The situation of the last few months has only accelerated this path of sudden change: most workers have found themselves facing new professional habits, one of which is smart-working, and the need for training has become ever stronger.

Corporate training as a priority then, but which training to choose?

According to the survey carried out by the recruiting platform Infojobs (May 2020), in Italy, during the lockdown phase, 52% of companies offered their employees online courses, which were appreciated by the majority (66%); 48% of companies said they had switched to the online all the courses already planned  demonstrating an ability to promptly adapt to contingent needs, while 20% had already consolidated an e-learning system before the pandemic. Often it is the workers themselves who ask their employer to participate in training courses, to strengthen their skills and grow professionally: where the company has not done so, 55% have decided to take advantage of this "suspended time" to invest in training themselves.

And today the web plays a central role in training processes...

There is no doubt that, today, training pairs with online. Eliminating all logistical difficulties and being able to obtain quality content with a click can only be the winning move. Smart-learning, however, does not mean web training but smart training, a meaning that goes beyond the medium and focuses on the content: if you simply translate the classic training courses on the web you do nothing but change the medium without moving or improving its weaknesses.

How does a smart-learning platform work in practice?

You just need to go to a site, briefly describe your doubt/project and the artificial intelligence will find the expert's skills best suited to solve the problem. The help that is provided in this case translates into a video call of 20 or maximum 40 minutes in which the expert selected will bring a concrete and incisive help with respect to the need expressed by the user as we no longer talk about corporate roles or paths defined by a CV, but by skills born and developed by experts through experience and propensity to achieve results.

How effective is smart-learning?

Smart training has proven to be the most effective choice for many workers because it allows to obtain an answer to a specific and contingent training need that, once obtained, can immediately be put into practice. The interactivity of smart-learning turns out to be an essential quality for the purposes of learning optimization: the training session becomes a moment of confrontation and dialogue with the expert that leads to a better memorization of information. Moreover, smart-learning obtains, as a consequence, a very important result: personal satisfaction. Having the possibility to confront with an expert about a specific need in a tailor-made meeting where you can dialogue, learn and express any doubt will lead the user to feel more confident in the acquisition of know-how and will be able to test himself immediately, obtaining satisfaction from what he has managed to achieve with personalized learning.

How do you see the future development of smart-learning in our country?

The need to train quickly cannot and should not sacrifice the quality of the content, so the key to development will depend on the level of customization, speed and completeness of the content that will be offered, as well as the performance of the platforms.

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