Hitwise, a division of Connexity, reveals Brits are turning to the internet to expand their skill set to keep pace with the increasing demand on today’s connected workforce. Over 4.1 million Brits have searched for instant-skills and ‘how to’ queries in the first quarter of 2016.

Brits are increasingly looking to acquire new skills online, with data revealing over 1.3m Brits visited an online learning site such as FutureLearn in the first quarter of this year. The findings go on to show a stark difference between digital natives (those aged between 18 and 34, and who have grown up with the internet) versus digital migrants (those aged over 35) in the technical skills they are prioritising.

Digital natives are 3.9 times more likely than digital migrants to search for ‘code’ or ‘coding’ when finding online courses and are 30 per cent more likely to search for ‘how to use social media for business’.  Those under 34 also account for over half of all visits to online learning sites despite only accounting for one-third of the UK population.

Digital migrants, however, are more likely to use the internet to support entrepreneurial pursuits, such as starting a business or becoming self-employed. They are a huge 135 per cent more likely to search for ‘how to be self-employed’ and over 100 percent more likely to search for ‘how to write a business plan’ than digital natives.

Nigel Wilson, Managing Director at Hitwise says:

“This trend supports the UK population’s desire to educate themselves in order to support their work life, be that for employment or entrepreneurial ventures. The sheer pace of digitalisation within the UK workforce means young people are required to learn with an almost ‘immediate effect’.  We continue to see year on year growth with sites such as YouTube (displaying video tutorials) and online learning sites such as FutureLearn and Udemy.

“With London Tech Week this week, there are likely to be many discussions around the evolution of technology, its endless possibilities, but also the mounting pressure it demands Brits of all ages to adapt and prepare to ‘up-skill’. It is now a necessity if they want to remain relevant.”








Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.