Alison.com, one of the largest free online learning platforms, with +17 million active learners and three million graduates of its +2000 courses, has carried out a survey of 10,000 of its students looking at the reasons why they enrolled on the platform.
The economic fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in job losses worldwide. In the UK alone, it has been reported that the unemployment rate currently stands at 4.5%, representing 1.5 million Brits out of work. It is no surprise that over half (51%) of Alison students surveyed are currently unemployed. From this group of job seekers, 59% joined Alison because they are looking to get on the career ladder and land their first job. This suggests that people are no longer relying on a degree or formal education to get ahead in the world of work. The remaining 41% have previously been employed and are actively looking to get back into the workforce. It seems that job hunters understand the competitive nature of the labour market now more than ever and are taking advantage of free online learning to become more attractive to potential employers.
The survey also revealed that almost a quarter (24%) people studying with Alison joined in relation to their current employment. From this group, over half (56%) joined the platform as a way to expand their offering to their employer and secure a promotion. The economic uncertainty means many people are fearing for their futures. It has been warned that the current economic climate may contribute to unemployment in the UK rising to a peak of 8% during 2021. Almost a fifth (19%) of respondents who are currently employed are learning with Alison to increase their chances of getting a new job in the same sector. Whilst a quarter (25%) of those in work on the platform are studying with the hope of switching industries. People are embracing online learning in a bid to have an edge on their peers, whether they are looking for a new job or to score a promotion.
The research reveals that almost a quarter of respondents (24%) are studying with Alison for reasons unrelated to their employment status. Over three-quarters of this group (76%) state they are learning to increase their general knowledge. The remaining people in this group (24%) admitted they are on Alison to fulfil a specific interest. The pandemic has allowed people to reflect and use their time to focus on the hobbies that they enjoy.
Mike Feerick, CEO and founder of Alison says, “The survey highlights that now, more than ever, people are looking to online learning to not only make themselves more attractive to employers and increase their chance of getting hired, but also to future-proof their careers. In the current climate it is crucial that employees embrace self-development to stand out from their peers. It is also encouraging that despite what has been an extremely turbulent year, people are using the time to empower themselves through increasing their knowledge on topics that they enjoy. The fact that Alison courses are free to study, and group reporting for employers and psychometric testing are also free makes Alison and ever more attractive destination for workers and employers alike”
Unemployment rising to a peak of 8% during 2021 – Capital Economics, 13 Oct 2020
UK unemployment rate is 4.5% – ONS, 13 Oct 2020
Alison is one of the world’s largest and free-to-use employment empowerment and online education platforms with +17 million active learners. It is the global leader in free learning for basic education, workplace skills and psychometric testing with three million graduates of its +2000 courses. Alison also enables subject-matter-experts to freely publish on its platform enabling a new era of free knowledge and skills transfer within businesses.