Business development · 24 September 2015

Entrepreneurs turn to online courses for mindfulness and coding help

Among the top ten most popular online courses were learning to code through making games and yoga as meditation
Among the top ten most popular online courses were learning to code through making games and yoga as meditation

Those in the UK are signing up for online courses in coding, app creation and learning how to influence effectively in a bid to up their employability credentials and skills as business owners, according to new research from Udemy.

The global marketplace for online learning found that 390,000 people in the UK have signed up to 1.3m courses through its platform. Of those, 75 per cent are related to work, with many looking at improving themselves through speed reading and mindfulness. Some 48 per cent of courses picked were in the technology field, as digital skills are seen as increasingly valuable among job seekers. There had been more than 660,000 enrolments in Udemy’s technical courses to learn to programme, build apps and games or design websites in the UK.

A recent report from CMI found many new businesses were floundering due to poor management and owners failing to cooperate effectively with others. While guidance on management courses can be found within big companies, micro firm owners don’t have this option, so online alternatives can be appealing. A quarter of Udemy users identified themselves as entrepreneurs who have started or intend to start a business.

The What’s Britain Learning Report found that mindfulness courses were the most popular of those unrelated to career bolstering – though the focus on positive thinking and wellbeing has become increasingly discussed as having value within the workplace.

Udemy noted the difficulty for job seekers and entrepreneurs alike as jobs today continue to change, “too fast for the traditional education system to keep up and adequately train the next workforce”. It said 12 of the top 20 courses would not have been heard of a decade ago, with skills like web development integral to many British businesses, but not universally taught in school.

Interestingly, while the CEO of alldayPA, Reuben Singh, said of those interviewed by his organisation, only one in five school leavers and job applicants have the necessary soft skills needed for business life, Udemy did report an interest among enrolment for building soft skills. Courses on topics like interpersonal communication and time management were also popular.

Dennis Yang, the CEO of Udemy, said: “In the last 12 months, we’ve seen a 140 per cent increase in the number of online courses being taken in the UK as more and more people look to shape their future.”

He feels the report reflects the need to keep learning long after leaving school as people “seek skills to help them chart their own career paths”.

The top ten most popular courses across all topics in the UK were:

(1) The Complete Web Developer Course – Build 14 Websites

(2) The Complete iOS 9 Developer Course – Build 18 Apps

(3) Learn To Code by Making Games – The Complete Unity Developer

(4) The Freedom to Choose Something Different by Pema Chödrön

(5) Become a SuperLearner: Learn Speed Reading & Advanced Memory

(6) 7 Scientifically Proven Steps to Increase Your Influence

(7) Photography Masterclass: Your Complete Guide to Photography

(8) Learn Mindfulness Meditation for a Calmer and Clearer Mind

(9) Yoga as Meditation

(10) Photography: Ditch Auto – Start Shooting in Manual

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Rebecca is a reporter for Business Advice. Prior to this, she worked with a range of tech, advertising, media and digital clients at Propeller PR and did freelance work for The Telegraph.

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