Pearson Survey: ‘Do It Yourself’ Education Becoming a Global Trend

Market Trends

Pearson Survey: ‘Do It Yourself’ Education Becoming a Global Trend

Sep 19, 2019

DO OR DIY: While self-published reports are usually self-serving, it’s hard to dismiss a new Pearson Global Learner Survey, conducted by The Harris Poll, that queried some 11,000 people ages 16-70 in 19 countries. It may also provide some insight as to where still-large Pearson plans to place its bets.

Two major takeaways, both with implications for workforce learning: a DIY mindset, driven by tech and “self-service learning,” is leading to patchwork lifelong education. And China, India and Brazil are among the countries where employers and the employees themselves appear ahead of the U.S., U.K. and Canada in upskilling, due largely to the influence of tech and automation on their jobs.

Some notable stats in the report’s 49 pages:

  • “A formal education” is seen as most important (79 percent or more of respondents) in South Africa, Brazil, China, Hispano-America and Europe. But it rates lower in the U.K., U.S., Australia, Canada and India.
  • Globally, 68 percent agree that a degree or certificate from a vocational college or trade school is more likely to result in a good job or career than a university degree.
  • Also globally, 70 percent agree that colleges and universities care more about their reputation than educating students.

This goes beyond an apparent image problem for traditional higher ed. Taking the report’s findings as a whole, expect learning to become more like Amazon shopping: self-service, and increasingly so over the length of a working life.

While Pearson doesn’t explicitly say so in its survey (a companion paper considers it), opportunities likely exist for companies that can weave together that patchwork of skills into a coherent fabric to dazzle employers when they see potential employees cloaked in it.


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