Benefits of E-learning

Democratizing Opportunity: How AI-Enabled Long Tail Learning Empowers The Blue-Collar Workforce

The Long Tailgetty

Education it is undergoing a significant shift, largely driven by the demands of a rapidly changing and globally competitive landscape, accelerated by the Great Leap Online during the pandemic. Traditional education models are struggling to keep up; they intentionally have focused on subjects that cater to large audiences, usually in pursuit of professional diplomas. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) changes this equation in two ways. First, it can create and deliver specific, tailored content to very small audiences. Because this process of content creation can now be performed at negligible cost, the second implication of AI-powered education is that it can be designed for non-traditional audiences, which include “blue collar” tradespeople who work with their hands. Two of my colleagues, Sonia Scrocchi and Simon Gruene, have been conducting research with me into this area. This article presents some of our findings.

Long Tail Learning

The ability to reach small, previously neglected audience is labeled a Long Tail Strategy. The impact of long tail learning on education is comparable to the transformative impact Netflix and Amazon had on their respective industries whose traditional counterparts provide a limited, one-size-fits-all approach. Long tail learning today, like Netflix and Amazon who offer personalized and virtually endless options, offers convenience and customization, making education accessible and relevant to unique learning needs.

Further amplifying the demand for specialized knowledge is the more recent accessibility of artificial intelligence. AI has simplified the process of finding legitimate information relating to niche topics, providing a near-infinite inventory of information that is available to a notably wider audience than traditional education. Beyond the tools available to the general public, AI has also played a significant role in modern education in the form of e-learning software’s and smart systems. These tools incorporate machine learning, knowledge engineering, and virtual reality to closely mimic and respond to a learner’s thought process. With these applications, the rising demand for differentiated education can be effectively met in a way that caters to diverse learning needs.

As a result of this shift in education, it’s no surprise that a variety of companies have already entered the long tail learning space. Many even cater directly to specific industries and their training requirements. Sadly, however, most of these companies have focused their efforts on ‘white-collar’ roles and industries, ignoring the needs of the labor workforce.

Education for Blue Collar Trades

Unfortunately, traditional education models overlooked people pursuing careers in ‘blue-collar’ and trades roles, despite their critical need for continuous skills development. Often, individuals in these roles come from backgrounds that have been historically marginalized, and a lack of accessible educational resources further amplifies this. By ignoring this group and failing to provide education that caters to their lifestyles and career requirements, the gap in equality would have continued to expand.

Thankfully, one exception exists to this otherwise widespread ignorance towards blue-collar and trades workers. CERTD is a company that offers a long tail learning space, built specifically for workers in these roles. Specializing in industry-specific training, CERTD recognizes the essential need for continuous learning and equips workers with the knowledge they need, as well as certifications that attest to their level of expertise. They are recognized for having one of the world’s largest libraries for occupational resources and are making a substantial impact by enhancing job readiness and upskilling for the workforce.

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