Business School Re-Imagined
for the Real World
“Education is what people do to you. Learning is what you do for yourself.”
(Joi Ito – Japanese Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist)
At SBA Canada, we believe that vocational training should be focused on the needs of smaller businesses And it is employers, not post-secondary institutions, that should provide that training.
why small business is important
NPV of an Accounting Career
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Accounting Training For Working Adults Not Educators
As a newly minted professional accountant I taught a few accounting courses at Camosun College in Victoria, BC back in the 1990s. The night school students I encountered were a lot different than full time students I taught during the day.
I used to say the difference was night and day.
As adults starting a new career, there are a great many skills to learn. The new competency map for CPAs – Canada’s regulatory body for accountants – speaks of enabling competencies that include self-direction. However, they continue to embrace learning strategies designed for the industrial age. Our current model for training young adults was developed in an industrial age. It resembles a production line and mostly has the effect of extending adolescence and increasing the costs of education.
In the 21st century we are beginning to see a shift from traditional models for delivering ‘learning’. The traditional model is focused on ‘teaching’ as opposed to ‘learning’. Clearly, we need to facilitate ‘learning’ – and that can’t be ‘delivered’, it has to be ‘absorbed’.
Malcolm Knowles – a leading expert on adult education (“androgogy”) contrasted the the approaches used in teaching children and youth with those developed for adult learners. In particular he talked about adults being naturally self-directed. Adults do best with experiential learning, using practical tools to solve real-world problems.
Adults bring their own life experiences and skills to the learning environment. If they graduated from high school, they should have adequate numeracy and literacy skills for the BUSINESS ANALYST TECHNICIAN program.
If not, they can brush up on foundational skills for free using various online resources (Open School BC). In British Columbia anyone can download “Mathematics 8” or “Writing on the Run” self-study materials. Also the KHAN ACADEMY provides free online courses covering high school and college curricula if students want to brush up on ‘rusty concepts’.
VOCATIONAL TRAINING IN ACCOUNTING FOR ADULT LEARNERS
In Europe the first evidence of double entry accounting dates back to 1299 in Provence. That pre-dates Luca Pacioli – the supposed father of modern accounting – by about 200 years.
While accounting hasn’t changed fundamentally in over 700 years, the underlying technology has undergone massive change – particularly in the last 20 or 30 years. However, the educational requirements haven’t changed much since the CGAs and CMAs introduced a university degree requirement in 1984.
At SBA CANADA we are clear that this needs to change.
Building on the insights developed by specialists in adult education, we have reimagined business school to better meet the needs of both students and their employers.
Increasingly though, successful accounting and bookkeeping practitioners in small firms are self-employed and don’t have staff. On-the-job training requires experienced coaches.
The best way to learn the trade is to work with small business clients, under the supervision of a professional accountant.
So for SBA CANADA, job placement is our first concern.