Companies are starting a new trend of offering to their employees custom designed classes right inside their four walls. There is no need for employees to relocate to a university far from their home and work to take classes. This makes higher education convenient for employees who have families and other limitations. Many companies want their executives to gain skills and acquire experience in real world environments, as well as get up to date on corporate standards. At the same time, companies don’t want to disturb executives’ work schedules by sending them to colleges in distant countries.

ArcelorMittal, a steelmaker recently formed by the merger of two giants, wanted to build an integrated corporate culture. To accomplish this objective, the company decided to send their employees to executive education programs located right in the company’s world wide locations. Partnering with Duke University of the U.S. helped the company achieve their goal. “Clients like that – putting the programs where the people are,” says Gordon Armstrong, marketing director for Duke Corporate Education.

Duke University isn’t alone when it comes to universities teaming up with companies for these custom classes. The Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley has specialized programs in international business for companies as well. The Stanford Graduate School of Business also conducts similar programs. Before long it seems like the majority of universities will be partnering up with various companies to offer the custom classes rather than just the select few at the moment.

While such an educational set-up may seem like a great and efficient idea for these companies, it excludes learning that comes from interacting with different kinds of people in an academic setting. Arguably, there is a lot that can be learnt about business by talking to your classmates (say, in an executive graduate program) who may be from other companies, industries, or might even be customers of your own business! Maybe some day the two benefits will merge, but as of today, there remains a trade-off with bringing school in-house!

For more information visit the following article in The Wall Street Journal: Universities Tailor Courses for Companies

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