Online learning

The world is looking significantly different right now – with most of us working from home or adapting to filling our days if furloughed – it’s important that now, more than ever, we are focussing on how we can continue to invest in ourselves. With this in mind, we’re looking at how online learning is becoming ever more popular, especially with the next generation and how this could affect financial services as a whole.

The advice gap

Something that has become increasingly apparent to us is that the advice gap is growing and circumstances such as those we’re currently facing only adds to this challenge. Some advisers are under incredible pressure to adapt and change in order to survive in the new world we find ourselves in. There is a likely possibility that we see a rise in those opting for earlier retirement than first planned, much like we did post-RDR, which naturally means that the need to build capacity at all levels in the finance becomes ever more urgent.

However, with challenge comes opportunity as I said before and although there is this potential threat, increased access to online and remote learning, means that we could see this turn around quite quickly as professional development becomes accessible to a greater volume of people than it otherwise was pre-COVID.

Is online learning the answer?

We are welcoming a new generation of tech-savvy individuals into the working world and in the absence of the face-to-face interaction the majority of businesses are accustomed to, online learning is becoming ever more popular with people, or businesses, who need a level of flexibility on their time. If still working (albeit it from home), the business needs you more than ever and are already likely to be juggling unusual working hours with childcare or other family commitments. And what if you’re not working and currently on furlough? Well, you’ll be looking for ways to spend your time and enrich yourself in the process.

For many, the freedom to study in the comfort of their own home/office is just one of the many pros to independent online learning. The modern world is busy, and is often a juggling act for those with demanding personal, social or family commitments so the ability to invest in their own personal and/or professional development without compromising other areas of their life is incredibly appealing. Face to face learning still absolutely has its place, and for some, it remains their preferred style of learning however busy schedules often mean it’s the toss-up of doing it or not doing it at all. And in a heavily regulated industry such as financial services, those seeking progression simply can’t afford to not invest in their training. Having access to a course 24/7 enables the learner to pick up their studies whenever suits, but the quality of the learning so that it’s engaging, interactive and simulates a classroom environment as best as possible makes the experience a positive one.

The alternative to online learning is face to face training, which although is effective, does come with additional expense – both in travel and lost days to the business, so isn’t always viable and can present an unnecessary barrier.

What we are doing…

Quite simply, we’re moving our programmes to be online. Having spoken to many across financial services, those on existing courses and feedback from others we’ve consulted with, online training courses present great value to both the learner personally, and also the employers investing in their staff.

The reality is, is that ‘online courses’ was always part of the business plan but as with everything and everyone, they remained ‘goals’ on paper for longer than intended and so we have Covid-19 to thank for accelerating the urgency and ultimately turning those ‘goals’ into ‘actions’. The world may be different right now but our passion for professional, and personal, development and our determination to build the much-needed capacity across financial services remains.

We’re currently busy at work redesigning our current content to be suitable for online, independent learning, as well as plotting and preparing to launch additional courses over the coming months too.

It’s important to us that we retain our difference and we take great pride in our approach to skills training so our content remains to be delivered in a way which is modern, relevant and relatable to a range of levels of experience – still no death by PowerPoint over here. We’re incredibly excited for the next phase of our development as a business and excited to be able to offer a training solution that makes training for a role in financial services more achievable than ever.

Our mission of upskilling those with no or little experience of financial services remains central to everything we do and we for one, can’t wait to see how the new post-COVID world will look in regards to professional development. It’s impossible to what the future of learning will look like, but we are proud to be part of shaping it.

Let us know if you’d like to be kept in the loop of our latest updates.

Natalie Bell – Director