By Anna Clay McAdams, Manager of Employment Resources

As the world continues to advance technologically, the workforce will have a constant need for evolving skills.  Thomas Friedman of the New York Times said several years ago, “This is not your parents’ job market.”

The good news is, you’re never too old to learn. The question is, how will you learn?

Community colleges have focused on experiential learning since their inception. Experiential learning is a hands-on approach to learning through experience and reflection.  Students participate in job shadowing days, panel discussions, business etiquette luncheons, capstone projects, networking nights, employer site visits, and Work-Based Learning to complement the classroom environment.

The benefits of this type of hands-on learning, according to Rob Franek, Editor in Chief of The Princeton Review, allow you to:

  • Discover what you love by going out into the world to see and be enmeshed in the environment you think you would like to work in.
  • Take a risk by participating in an unpredictable environment where you can experience success and failure.
  • Learn how to talk about your skills by reflecting on your experience and having a clear understanding of what your role would be on the team.

Start learning today. It’s simple.  Aristotle wrote in Nichomachean Ethics, “for the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”

  • Volunteer at a local non-profit.
  • Ask your kids to show you how to use an app on their electronics.
  • Watch the Great British Bake Off and try a new recipe.
  • Spend a day shadowing a friend at work.
  • Take an online class.

If you’re an employer and interested in your organization taking part in experiential learning at Wake Tech, please email Ian Gibbons, Coordinator of Employer Relations at ijgibbons@waketech.edu.