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Global learners turn to DIY methods for skills

By Wang Zhuoqiong | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-10-18 13:22
Johnathan Chocqueel-Mangan, chief strategy officer of Pearson, speaks at the launch event of The Pearson Global Learner Survey. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Global learners are now taking control of their education with a "do-it-yourself" (DIY) mindset, adding to their formal education a mix of self-teaching, short courses and online learning to keep pace with the talent economy, according to the Pearson Global Learner Survey.

The survey, conducted by Pearson and Harris Insights & Analytics, give learners in 19 countries the opportunity to voice their opinions on primary, secondary and higher education, careers and the future of work and technology. More than 11,000 people, ranging in age from 16 to 70, participated in the poll.

The survey also shows learners are thinking beyond traditional notions of learning, signaling a massive opportunity for education providers to reinvent learning to meet the needs of a new economy.

"Gig jobs, unconventional careers, tech disruption and lifelong learning have ushered in the talent economy. Now more than ever, learners understand the need for lifelong education," said Johnathan Chocqueel-Mangan, chief strategy officer at Pearson.

Chocqueel-Mangan added: "More employers now see education, like healthcare, as an employee benefit. Vocational training, like Pearson's BTEC offering in the UK, is giving people more career pathways than ever before."

Globally, 81 percent of people say learning will become more self-service oriented as people get older. Americans, Australians and South Africans agree most strongly with this proposition. When they have had to retrain themselves for work, 42 percent of learners in the US and 50 percent of learners in China and India used internet resources.

When asked what learning methods they prefer when "upskilling", about 80 percent of learners in China, the US, Australia and Europe cited professional short courses or online tools.

The survey found in the next decade digital and virtual learning will be the new normal. 80 percent of Americans believe smart devices and apps will be used to help learners, with people in countries like China and Brazil even more enthusiastic about their use.

90 percent of people in China believe AI will have a positive impact on education.

Gen Z thinks you can be successful without a traditional college education. Globally, 68 percent of learners think you can do just as well with an education from a vocational or trade school.

China, India, Brazil and South America are outpacing the US and UK in the "upskilling" race and defining a new global economy.

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