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Why freelancers are turning to online learning

The unpredictable work schedule of self-employed people makes it difficult for many to commit time to training. With financial and time constraints making traditional forms of training unfeasible for many, people are instead turning to online learning platforms to aide their professional development.  To help bring online training to its members, IPSE is delighted to announce a new partnership with Pluralsight, an industry-leading technology learning platform.




Indeed, 63 per cent of IPSE members said online study was their favoured means of training. Our research indicated that freelancers typically prefer interactive, online learning platforms, which provide users with control over the time they take to complete their training. So, what are the benefits of this flexible way of learning?

It’s self-paced
One advantage of online courses is their flexibility: they can seamlessly work around erratic schedules. Because you can learn at your own pace and access learning material at a convenient time, you don’t have to pass up a paid opportunity or miss out on training if you are unable to attend a class. After all, an online course is reflective of the way many freelancers work anyway.

It’s informal
With emerging concepts such as social learning – which involves freelancers collaboratively sharing knowledge and learning from each other – there appears a shift towards a less structured form of learning. This might also explain why they tend to shy away from traditional qualifications especially when they don’t feel that they need it for their development.   

It’s interactive
Some people may be concerned that online learning does not provide the same experience as a classroom or face to face training workshop. Online learning providers are constantly evolving and developing new solutions and tools to create that same authentic interactive environment. Many platforms also use bitesize video learning which is creative and animated to keep learners engaged. 

It’s adaptive 
Training is more valuable when it’s tailored to an individual’s learning needs, and this is exactly what many new online learning solutions provide. Platforms tend to have assessments that ask you questions first in order to gauge your current skill level, and then provide the required learning to fill those knowledge or skills gaps. 

It’s cost effective
The obvious benefit of online courses is that, generally, they are cheaper than taking a traditional training course. Although there are justifiable reasons for the disparity such as reduced level of administration and support, online courses and platforms can provide great value for their access to resources, flexibility and quality of learning. 

Following feedback from members, IPSE is delighted to be working with Pluralsight, an industry-leading technology learning platform. With over 6,000 courses in software development, IT ops, creative professional, data professional, architecture, manufacture & design and creative training, the platform experience includes skill assessments and curated paths to create an interactive, personalized learning experience. Learn more about what this means for IPSE members here.

Meet the author

Olaitan Ajimobi

Education and Training Officer