The Profile Of The Modern Learner: The Trends And Data You Need To Know

The Profile Of The Modern Learner: The Trends And Data You Need To Know
Summary: Does your learning strategy really meet the needs of the modern learner? They’re hungry to learn but also busy, impatient, and overwhelmed. Using insight from research and surveys, here’s what you need to know to ensure your strategy satisfies today’s savvy professional.

Why Should You Get To Know The Profile Of The Modern Learner?

The opportunity to learn and develop is the number one reason that people join new organizations, but it’s also the main cause of employees leaving (Fosway). So, it’s worrying that only 15% of people asked said they can access learning related to their job.

Profile of a modern learner in 2018

Check out the full modern learner infographic here.

But, your employees don’t need to feel the same way! To ensure your learning really works for your people, you need to understand their needs and preferences. Start by getting clued up on these key facts about the modern learner. Remember, this is a starting point, your own audience will have particular needs that your team needs to get a handle of too!

Capture your audience needs with this free template.

5 Facts You Need To Know About The Modern Learner

1. They Want To Learn!

The desire to learn is deeply ingrained in the modern learner, with 94% of employees reporting that they would remain at a company if it invested in their professional development.

The great news is that providing access to relevant learning will also benefit you as a business. Research from Brand Learning shows that learning is vital for business growth since it is a key factor in increasing employee engagement and performance.

2. Their Spare Time Is Limited

The modern learner is really busy, so it can be hard to gain their attention. Typically, an employee is interrupted 56 times a day (Atlassian), spends 25% of their working day on emails, and checks their phone a whopping 150 times! (IMPACT 2018).

Profile of a modern learner in 2018

In comparison, employees only put aside around 20 minutes a week for L&D—that’s just 1% (Bersin & Forbes)! Take this into account when creating your learning and considering the length of your content; are you respecting your learner’s time?

3. They Don’t Want To Feel Like "Just A Number"

Today’s learner wants content to be tailored to them. In fact, 70% of people will look elsewhere after 5-10 seconds if the content isn’t obviously personalized (Bersin by Deloitte).

This desire is reflected in Google search trends. For example, in the last 2 years, mobile searches that include the phrase "best" and "___for me" have risen by 80% and 60% respectively.

Take this into account by making your learning personal, timely, and of high quality.

4. They Learn When And Where It Suits Them

Research into learning behavior by Towards Maturity found that:

  • 48% of learners asked to choose to learn in evenings and weekends
  • 41% learn at their desk
  • 28% learn on the way to or from work
  • 30% learn during breaks and at lunch

Profile of a modern learner in 2018

There’s no set time and place for learning. Just one individual can choose to learn in a variety of different locations at various times of the day; it’s important to take learning context into account.

5. They Rely On Their Phone

It’s no surprise that mobile plays a big part in learning. After all, the average person spends 2 hours a day on their smartphone (Time To Log Off). In today’s culture of immediacy, it also takes only 7 seconds for someone to decide if the content is for them, with 70% of users will leaving if the content isn’t properly optimized.

Don’t make the mistake of isolating your mobile learners. Take into consideration factors such as whether to use vertical or horizontal content and adjust for different devices, not forgetting about the desktop, as 41% of people still learn at their desk (Towards Maturity). Although, perhaps this stat would be different if all learning was fully mobile-optimized?

7 mobile design strategies: Tips, examples, and demos.

Get To Know The Modern Learner Even Better

This really is just a handful of facts about the modern learner and a few ideas about how to use insight to inform learning strategy.

Get to know the modern learner even better in this infographic, and discover how learners prefer their learning and what motivates them to learn.

All references mentioned in this article can be found in this infographic