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With nearly 21 million learners registered with Alison, so many that Alison is actively making the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals a reality, a question often asked by third parties is, “What attracts so many people to study for free online with Alison?” With so many people, from so many different needs, backgrounds and cultures, individuals have varying reasons for studying with us online. However, there are many core learnings we have from surveys, questionnaires and direct learner feedback over the years. In order of importance, the following reasons are shared;
Competitiveness & Competence:
The No. 1 reason people study with Alison is to improve their workplace skills. These are learners often already in a job or seeking a promotion, who find the self-paced learning provided by Alison, in Certificate and Diploma format, ideal to stay competitive in their place of work. Whether it is refreshing the knowledge of Project Management , learning new Six Sigma Skills, improving their time management, or learning a new language, in the modern economy, employees and entrepreneurs know they need to keep their skills fresh and current.
Differentiation / Edge
In an increasingly competitive world, workers of the world, whether white collar or blue collar, know that to get ahead, they need to have something the next most competitive individual does not. Perhaps there are three people in the marketing department, but only one knows how to build a website after doing a free course on Alison, or you are seeking a promotion in a hotel, but you alone have a Diploma in Hospitality Management. With 3,500 courses to choose from, having knowledge of various areas of knowledge and competence regularly gives Alison Graduates an edge in the workplace.
|Reasons why learners buy Alison Certifications||Percentage|
|I wanted to have a record of my personal achievement||31%|
|I thought it could be useful in the future (e.g. to get a promotion, to show to perspective emplyers, etc.)||25%|
|It was required by my employer||12%|
|To help support the Alison free learning mission||7%|
|It was required by my educational institution||6%|
Alison’s short self-paced courses allow learners to get to understand a subject in a block-by-block fashion that can be built upon steadily over time. With that, 88% of Graduates who responded to our 2014 Graduate Survey stated that completing courses on Alison improved their confidence. For many, Alison is the first international education they have ever experienced or engaged in. Furthermore, 90% of Alison graduates said in this same survey that learning for free on Alison “encouraged them to learn further”. Importantly, we would like to point out that Alison learners were not only encouraged to complete more courses on Alison, but many reported that as a result of learning for free on Alison, they felt up to it to apply to attend a local college or university course for the first time. Studying on Alison also gave confidence to entrepreneurs who reported much more confidence in seeking to start their own businesses once they had completed entrepreneurship and business courses on Alison.
All around the world, attrition rates from new learners at traditional colleges and universities are as high as they have ever been. More and more young people are being encouraged to study at college, but making course choices is a challenge in these times where knowledge is expanding at an unprecedented rate. So, what many hundreds of thousands of learners do is if they think they want to study Psychology or Programming at college, the first step they should be encouraged to take is a free course, on Psychology or Programming on Alison. There is no cost, and if you finish a course or two, excel at it and like it, then, and only then, consider applying for a four year degree in the discipline. Along a similar vein of preparation for college or any type of further study, the area of Math, Statistics and Probabilities is on nearly every course curriculum as they are analytical skills essential for the technological world we live in. Again, we find many students come try their hand at these essential third level courses before applying to college. An increasingly common story is that learners find more than enough to learn on the Alison free learning platform and dispense with the idea of long-term paid college attendance completely!
Studying for free on Alison is indeed a task that is most often done on an individual basis, but feedback we receive from learners also tells us that the incentive to learn and achieve with Alison is also driven by commitments our learners make to their families and communities. By learning online, a member of a family or community gives a clear example to others on where their priorities lie. A more productive and capable learner through free learning is not only more impactful in the workplace, but also more impactful within their families, their communities, and beyond that, more impactful within the countries that they live in.