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COVID-19 Survey Results: The Impact of COVID-19 on Learning

Professional Training News Professional Development Market Research Industry Trends for Training Providers

Please note: our survey is still open and we plan to track trends and changes in training buyers' perspectives throughout. The results below are for all survey results between 5:00 pm GMT 03/17/20 and 10:00 am GMT 03/20/20

We're working hard to measure the impact of COVID-19 on corporate learning. With the help of our community of  training buyers, we've been able to identify a few key trends on how individuals and organizations are prioritizing, adapting, and feeling about corporate learning.

As of 10:00 am GMT, we had over 200 responses to our survey from corporate training buyers as well as individual learners, all of which are included in the statistics below.

 

Key Takeaways for Training Suppliers:

  • COVID-19 has not dampened the appetite to learn: 60% of individual learners are more likely to book a course in the coming three months.

  • Individual learners are most motivated to learn more in the next three months due to an increase in free time followed by a desire to prove value to current or future employers.

  • Organizations are already beginning to change their focus to business critical training - with many moving to business continuity and crisis management as a top priority.

  • An unsurprisingly strong shift to preferring digital course formats: 61% of training buyers are more likely to book online training for their employees and 43% of individual learners who usually prefer in person training are now more likely to choose an online course.

  • Training providers can quickly change their course modality to increase buyer confidence. 71% of respondents would feel comfortable booking if the provider offered an online version of their chosen face-to-face course. This suggests that corporate training buyers aren’t looking for an immediate move from live courses to self-paced, they just want the session to be offered virtually.

 

COVID-19: The Role of Training Providers

 

Q: Is there anything our training providers could do that would make you feel more comfortable about booking training right now?

add-a-subheading-3* for this answer, respondents could select more than one option

 

An overwhelming majority of survey respondents (71%) would feel more comfortable booking training right now if the provider offered an online version of the course they want to take.

The runner up in popularity at 37% is for providers to offer free rebooking of their courses. Respondents’ third choice to increase their confidence in booking is for providers to allow cancellations up to 48 hours before.



Results from training buyers

 

Q: Have your L&D activities been affected by COVID-19 in the short term?

add-a-subheading-5* for this answer, respondents could select more than one option

 

Unsurprisingly, the majority of corporate training buyers who answered our survey are changing their usual activities - with only 6% saying that their activities have not been affected.

While only 26% of respondents have canceled all training, 57% answered that they are currently postponing training. However - 62% of those who answered that they are postponing training also answered that they were going to start using teleconferencing, were swapping classroom courses to online courses, or were still delivering online training.

Based on this, we suspect that many respondents who have postponed training have only done so until they can work out safe alternatives for employees.

 

Q: If you answered that your training priorities have changed, how have they changed?

7* for this answer, respondents could select more than one option

 

Of respondents who answered that their training priorities have changed due to COVID-19, 44% are changing their training focus to topics that are business-critical. Tied for second and third at 34% are increasing crisis training and prioritizing business continuity training.

We see that 65% of respondents who answered that they are focusing on business-critical training are also increasing crisis or business continuity training, suggesting that these areas are now seen as business-critical.

For the majority, this shift in training priorities does not seem to apply to who is getting training - only 4% of respondents answered that they are only offering training to senior employees.

 

Q: Has COVID-19 affected the type of courses you would consider booking for employees in the next 3 months?

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When it comes to booking employee training in the coming three months, 61% of respondents answered that they are more likely to choose online courses for employees. 

23% will wait to see how the situation plays out and are currently unsure if they will change the type of courses they book. The remaining 16% will book the same type of training as usual in the coming three months.

 

Results from individual learners

 

Q: Would you say that COVID-19 has made you more or less likely to sign up for a training course in the next 3 months?

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Currently, the appetite to learn has not been dampened by the COVID-19 crisis with 60% of respondents saying that they are more likely to sign up for training in the coming three months.

Of the 40% who are not more likely, only 15% of of these individual learners are less likely to sign up for a course in the next three months. The remaining 25% are currently unsure - which is no surprise in our current circumstances.

 

Q: Why has COVID-19 made you more likely to sign up for a training course?

3-1* for this answer, respondents could select more than one option

 

The number one reason that respondents said they were more likely to sign up for a training course in the next three months was that they now have more time for a course (49%).

Many professionals may be working to make the best of downtime created by social-distancing and could be channeling that energy into becoming more valuable to their current or future employer with recession risk increasing.

 

Q: How do you normally prefer to learn?

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Survey respondents are nearly evenly divided on their preferred learning style with 53% preferring in person training and 47% preferring online courses.

So how has this changed? Respondents who said that they normally prefer in person training are 41% more likely to choose an online course because of COVID-19. 31% will stick with their preferred learning style, and 28% are currently unsure. (See graph below)

 

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Overall, individual learners seem to be retaining a positive attitude about learning and will be focusing their efforts throughout the next three months on preparing for their future success.

 

 

Picture of Abby C. Guthrie
Abby C. Guthrie

Abby C. Guthrie is the Communications Manager for findcourses.com. She works to shape strategy and align team members to achieve product and site growth. Originally from Indianapolis, Abby has worked with digital marketing since 2015.