Almost half (43%) of workers avoid taking a course because they think they’re too old to learn something new, according to new research by Go1.

Nearly half (46%) of men believe they’re too old to learn a new skill, whilst two in five (40%) of women thought their age was a deterrent to learning something new.

Over half (51%) of millennials (26-41 years old) believed they were too old to learn a new skill.

Is age really a learning hurdle?



Interestingly, nearly 38 percent of employees reported a promotion after taking an online course.

On the other hand, almost 60 percent of late millennials and early GenX (35-44) learned a new skill to change their career.

Meanwhile, for older GenX and beyond (55+), 22 percent admitted to and have learned new skills to change their career.

GenZ (16-24) have taken the extra mile from career changes and have become business owners. More than 43 percent cited learning new skills helped them start their own business.

Much of this renaissance for learning new skills stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic as it encouraged 50 percent to learn more digital skills and 34 percent to take an eLearning course while they were furloughed.


The Current Learning Landscape:

The Top 5 Skills Users Are Learning:

  • Health, safety & wellbeing (24%)
  • IT software (14%)
  • People & communication skills (13%)
  • Leadership (11%)
  • Sales & customer service (10%)

The Top 10 Skills People Want to Learn:

  • IT (22%)
  • Problem Solving (19%)
  • Motivation (18%)
  • Language (18%)
  • Management (17%)
  • Positivity (17%)
  • Leadership (17%)
  • Writing (16%)
  • Creative Thinking (15%)
  • Communication (14%)


The Gender Gap Has Crossed over into Learning

It is no secret that men dominate the STEM fields of the workplace due to systemic inequities, and it is reflecting on the type of content consumed by each gender.

More men took a course on IT software (18%) than their female counterparts (10%).

But while men out consumed women in STEM courses, women exceeded in courses in health, safety, and wellbeing (30%), compared to 18 percent of men.


Developing skills and improving mental health

While career advancement is important across the workforce, what often gets forgotten is employee wellbeing.

However, over half (55%) are finding that developing their skill set has improved their self-esteem, and 50 percent finding learning a new skill is improving their mental health.


The Great Resignation

With The Great Resignation in full swing, the report shows that nearly half (45 per cent) of Brits are taking additional steps to upskill in the hope of changing career.

Whilst high amongst those aged 25 to 44, the report also found one in five workers over the age of 55 are considering a career change too, showing the scale of the resignation isn’t just impacting the young.


The Great Incorporation

There is a record number of Brits launching businesses in 2021.

Data from Companies House shows 810,316 new businesses were incorporated, an increase of 21 per cent, a new record. Go1 data shows that a third of Brits (32 per cent) undertook training to launch their own company, suggesting this trend is showing no signs of abating and could lead to a new generation of British entrepreneurs.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.