Recently I saw this infographic from Bersin by Deloitte, HR specialists, which dissects the modern learner. While they were focused on learners in a corporate environment, their findings are applicable across industries and provide great insight into the challenges that those focused on professional continuing education encounter.

Today’s work places are fast-paced ever changing environments that demand that employees constantly develop new skills and hone their existing ones. Whether your learner is a skilled doctor needing to stay up-to-date with the latest medical advances, or a fork-lift operator who must remain current with all safety requirements, continuous learning is a must. This need for instant access to information is part of what is fueling the move to digital, or online continuing education. And with 30% of employees working remotely, online education provides economical and logistical benefits.

One of the main benefits on online continuing education is that it enables anytime, anywhere access. Between interruptions every 5 minutes at work (often by work applications and collaboration tools) and spending 41% of the workday on tasks that don’t actually help get work done, to being distracted by smartphones, the modern learner is left with 1% of the typical workweek to devote to learning. So it is only natural that such an overwhelmed and distracted workforce seeks flexibility about when and how learning occurs. The days of marathon training sessions or multi-day training courses are numbered as learning becomes more on-demand and more collaborative.

These changes are reflected in what we’ve seen here at InReach. While we have a diverse client base that covers a number of industries, as well as market sectors, there’s a common thread that is the growing preference for online, on-demand education. As you think about your continuing education program, take the modern learner and their preferences into consideration.

Remember, this is only a small piece when it comes to understanding the modern learner. Learn what makes the modern learner tick from a recent webinar I hosted that delves deeper into the behavior of learners and how organizations should be adapting to meet their needs.