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UK adults turning to online courses to further careers

Adults in the UK are turning to online learning platforms in order to stay competitive in their fields and to learn new skills, despite their increasingly busy schedules.

Coursera, which offers online courses from some of the top universities worldwide, has noticed that the number of new users registering for its educational platform has increased by 50 per cent over the course of the past 12 months.

In the UK, the company has over half a million users that are registered for a variety of courses. Coursera has noted that of those currently studying, 30 per cent are using their smartphones to access their courses, which illustrates the flexibility of studying online.

The company's data also shows how post-graduates are embracing online learning. Over 80 per cent of Coursera learners are over the age of 22 and the company's CEO, Rick Levin notes that professionals and parents are the most active online learners due to their desire to significantly change their lives.

47 per cent of online learners in the UK are enrolled in course categories that will boost their careers such as business, computer science and data science. Coursera's latest statistics show that online learners are searching for ways that they can improve their career prospects outside of the traditional education landscape. Through online learning, many people in the UK have found a way to help their careers progress and have even been able to re-train for alternate career paths.

Coursera has certainly made progress in expanding its course enrolment in the UK and popularising online learning. For online learners looking to earn a traditional degree, the company has partnered with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to offer a Masters of Computer Science in Data Science program.

The program is currently accepting admissions until 15 June and could be an excellent way to take advantage of the wealth of opportunities that online learning has to offer.

Image Credit: Bolyuk Rostyslav / Shutterstock

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.