Last year, online learning platform Udemy put forth 5 trend predictions for 2017. As an online platform, we can assume Udemy’s information may be a little biased towards online learning — but that doesn’t mean it’s bad data.
Looking through their findings, a question arises: did these predictions stand up to 2017’s scrutiny? And as Udemy is an American-based company, did these predictions reflect data globally and in the Australian VET market?
NCVER holds a vast amount of data on the Australian educational system, so let’s see if these trends align with what our national data directory said about the year.
Australia shows an increase just as the trend would suggest, thanks to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. From the 12.8% of learners who were educated online in 2013, we’ve increased to 19.2% in 2017. Though traditional education still reigns supreme, the online underdog is slowly rising, collecting support and making alliances to eventually overthrow the long legacy of paper — or possibly find a way to create a future symbiosis of physical and digital learning.
Udemy’s findings indicate that 48% of their market is millennials, followed closely by Gen X at 39%. They predict that both numbers will increase and that the sheer number of millennials learning at their age will outnumber the amount of learning seen in other generations at the same age. If we investigate our own market of 2017 Australian graduates, the information looks pretty positive: 45.8% were 25-44, while 20-24 were 18.2%. The generation brackets overlap in this data assessment but it's pretty clear that Gen X (35-50) is still on top.
However, Udemy predicted both would increase, and at a whopping 64%, both add up substantially. Because the market is saturated with these numbers, learning and development will, and already has, taken a turn towards better analysis. As new minds enter the workforce, they build on the foundations of their predecessors and implement new and exciting ideas.
As mobile overtakes the competition to grab our attention, you can be sure education will not be left out. OzTam’s 2017 Australian Video Viewing Report shows that on average, Australians spend approximately 20 hours a month viewing video on mobiles, tablets and desktop, and a further 80 hours on traditional TV. Thats 20% of the data dedicated to mobile viewing, and it’s only increased from previous reports.
Millennials on average spend 24 hours on mobile, tablet and desktop, and 30 hours for TV, showing that the next big generation spends almost half their video time on multiple screens. Mobile viewing is definitely becoming normal, and if you take into account morning and afternoon commutes from work, like Udemy have, you can see how mobile video viewing is increasingly popular.
Many sources have cited different beliefs when it comes to optimal learning time, so really, this prediction is a bit of a grey area. However, Udemy believes it’s on Wednesday around 3pm. Which makes sense — furthest away from the distraction of past or future weekends, with a slowly increasing learning curve from Monday, makes for a pretty good time to learn. Of course, it always depends on the person. It may be beneficial to do your own investigations into your RTO’s general consensus.
This was absolutely true, as 18% of all jobs in Australia in 2017 were professional, scientific, and technical services. This data was made possible by the Australian Government’s 2017 Job Report which also indicated that the professional, scientific, and technical services field was one of the largest growing sectors, with 154,100 new jobs and a 17.7% increase from 2011. As this field continues to grow and thrive in the Australian market, so should its education.
Four of the trends have been backed up by evidence, while the fourth (optimal learning) has some great arguments — but the evidence is too far spread across the week. This shows Udemy was right on track and gives great insights into last year.
But this isn’t just about last year — this data can be used to look into the future.
Mobile phones could rule the world by 2020, and online education could become the largest learning platform for people younger than 60. The future has endless possibilities, and using data to fine-tune the predictions and trends of an era is exciting. If you’re interested in discovering more trends, check out our 2018 trend article and find out what will help your RTO thrive.
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