Thinking for the Future: A Look Back at 2021

The topics you were thinking about most in 2021

December 14, 2021 | By GTPE Communications
Adult professional reading blog content on laptop computer.

In a world of constant change, a forward-thinking mindset can foster resilience against short-term fluctuation. As individuals who have invested in professional learning, you have already taken the proactive effort to be agile in preparation for transformations in your careers and industries.

At Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE), we are also thinking forward. By leading conversations around lifelong learning, industry trends, and innovation in education, we aim to reveal insights that help you derive strategies to prepare for the future of work.

Over the past year, you have also engaged with us in these conversations. By reading and reviewing our thoughts from our blog, The Lifetime Learner, you have shown us what matters most to you and your career journey. To better understand how we can move into 2022 and beyond, let’s take a look back and remember your favorite topics of 2021.

Tech and Business Trends Forecast for the Next Decade

Still reeling from the transformational impact of 2020, we consulted industry experts to learn what new developments we might expect to see in the next ten years. With the increased prevalence of data, organizations in every industry can expect to be held to high standards of transparency. We will also see more connectivity across all industries and countries. And, as technology continues to advance, every industry will experience more automation in its workforce, forcing people to develop and rely on their human skills.

The Challenge of Mass Transition to Remote Education is an Issue of Scale

A year after GTPE was called upon to lead the massive transition of all Georgia Tech learning to remote environments, dean Nelson Baker and associate dean Yakut Gazi published an open access book that shares the story from multiple perspectives, examines lessons learned, and provides further questions to ponder. While Georgia Tech was already a leader in education on a “vertical” scale, transitioning to a “horizontal” scale revealed many weaknesses and obstacles in educational delivery. Baker and Gazi share how these gaps became opportunities to innovate new solutions and strengthen the educational experience for all learners.

Best Practices for Virtual Meetings

While this piece was written in 2020 following the Covid-19 lockdown that normalized virtual interaction, its advice on virtual meetings continued to apply to the work world in April of this year. As virtual meetings persisted as the standard operating procedure for most organizations, you continued to reference this guide on virtual meetings planning, facilitation, and follow-up. Like any meeting, a virtual meeting requires careful preparation to be productive and successful. However, the added layer of technology creates another element of complexity that must be given special consideration.

OMS Cybersecurity’s Two-Year Anniversary

GTPE launched its Online Masters of Science in Cybersecurity in the middle of 2019 with an inaugural cohort of 250 students. Two years later, enrollments had grown by 285% and represented 59 different countries. To celebrate this milestone, we took a look back at the history and growth of the cybersecurity master's program, and how the program is amplifying its industrial impact, championing innovation in education, expanding educational access, and connecting learners and thoughts on a global scale.

Father-Son Duo Tackles Safety and Health Training Together

After over 30 years in the safety and health field, Victor Shell Sr. discovered the power of professional education in GTPE’s certificate programs. Earning at least nine certificates, the breadth of knowledge strengthened his confidence to provide true and current safety information for the employees who depended on him. Eager to share the benefits of his education, Shell Sr. offered to teach his son, Victor Shell Jr., what he had learned. Shell Jr. eagerly agreed, and soon was inspired to obtain his own education from GTPE. This inspiring father-son story encouraged us to work towards our goals, lift others up, and take advantage of each and every learning opportunity that comes our way.

Ten Tips to Help You Succeed as an Adult Learner

There is not secret that returning to the classroom as an adult learner can be a daunting task. Although this piece was published prior to 2021, the information is still relevant today. Not only must you reacclimate to the learning environment, but you must also find time and energy to balance course assignments with your many other full-time adult responsibilities. To help alleviate this stress, we broke down ten tips to help you succeed as an adult learner, which covers everything from scheduling to learning practices to mindfulness and perspective.

The Value of an Advanced Degree During Times of Uncertainty

With the need to reskill and upskill becoming increasingly more important in a fluctuating economy, obtaining an advanced degree is a good way to stay current with in-depth knowledge-building and application. But, because they are so time-intensive, choosing the right program can be daunting. We broke down the three top characteristics to look for in your advanced degree search: industry-led curriculum, whole-person skills development, and robust professional networks.

Best Practices for Meetings in a Hybrid World

As workforces began to incorporate more in-person activity into their operations, the challenge of hybrid meetings came into being. We took some advice from Yakut Gazi, associate dean of Learning Systems, and other relevant sources, to compile a guide for hybrid meeting best practices. Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of meetings, communication technology, and hybrid environments, we examined the new normal for workplace interaction and the hopeful opportunities that it brings.

The Value of Risk Management for Everyone

While risk management has traditionally been thought to be a skill reserved only for project management, it is actually extremely relevant for every role in any professional field. Consulting experts in the industry, including Chris Carter, director of the Project Management Certificate program at Georgia Tech, we broke down the meaning and applicability of risk management in the workplace today, and why you should consider incorporating it into your work role today.

The Supply Chain Crisis

Although Covid-19 hit a year and a half ago, it continues to wreak havoc on the global supply chain, threatening the holiday season. Manufacturers and distributors around the world are facing cargo ship backlogs, worker and material shortages, and transportation price spikes, all while trying to keep up with a massive amount of orders for the holidays. Supply chain experts weighed in on the crisis and what it will take to solve it.