Who is currently looking for training online? And what kind of training are they looking for? These questions & others like them are of increasing interest to several parties recently as user’s behaviour changes. Training providers, HR & Training Managers & online marketers alike will benefit from an insight into the characteristics of the users currently searching online for training and courses.

Findcourses.co.uk is regarded as the UK’s largest search engine for courses, and the only site dedicated to Professional Development training.  Launched in 2009, Findcourses.co.uk has doubled in size in only a year – growth that Findcourses.co.uk’s CEO, Fredrik Andersson, recognises is a result of the increasing number of unique monthly visitors to the site, the growing list of courses – more than 4000, the increasing number of training providers that want to be on site, and through keeping up-to-date with user needs.

Finding out ‘where users are looking when searching for courses’, for ‘what purpose they require training’ and in ‘which delivery format they prefer the training’ was very interesting for the team at Findcourses.co.uk. The onsite survey, titled ‘Tell us who you are’, ran for a three month period, in which vital information was gathered from active users that illuminates the requirements and motivations people currently have when looking for the right training and courses.  Additionally the results provide an up-to-date insight into this changing market and will help Findcourses.co.uk develop the site in the coming months to ensure sure all needs are catered for and that Findcourses.co.uk continues to be the leading site for Professional Development in the UK.

Generally, people looking online for training, are interested in courses run in cities corresponding to the geographical population-spread of the UK – the South East (40%), the Midlands (17%) and the North West (15%). In order of popularity, users were interested in training delivered in the following ways: Public courses with dates (40%), Company specific training (30%), E-learning/distance learning courses (26%), and MBA/Executive Education Programmes (4%).

Typically users looking online for training are Members of Staff / Employees in full-time employment (44%) who request material about courses for the purpose of professional development in their current position (34%), get the course approved by their HR / Line Manager and then sign up, or who take the material to their next development meeting.

The second largest segment of users are Managers / Supervisors (28 %) including HR Managers / Learning & Development Managers who are interested in training for the purpose of their own professional development (32%) or who book courses for one, or several of their employees. Thirdly, another group of users searching online for training are CEOs / Executives / Company Owners (10 %) that are looking for Executive Education or Management courses. Finally, the remaining group are individuals looking to develop themselves or change careers (4%) that have a private budget behind them.

Schemes, initiated by the Government, such as Time to Train, are clearly playing a part in the increasing number of professionals currently looking for training and courses. Findcourses.co.uk found that users were largely employed in organisations with up to 1000 employees (60%), 24% at companies with over 1000 employees and 13% work in small businesses with 10 or less employees.

The large majority of delegates looking to develop themselves professionally through training have between 11 – 20 years of working experience, with the average work experience bracket being 1 – 10 years (30%), and 18% of users having more than 21 years professional experience. Most people looking for professional development training (71%) are educated to an undergraduate or postgraduate level, 14% A-Level / 6th form college, and 5% GCSE Level /school leaving.

Areas of training fluctuate in popularity frequently, although there are certain categories that do not fail to attract users, and we see certain categories that experience trends throughout the year. Currently the top 10 categories (in order of popularity) are Business & Management, Health and Social Care / Services, Human Resources / Staff, Professional IT, Project Management, Sales, Instructor courses & Teacher training, Engineering / Industry, Languages, and Law & Legal.

Findcourses.co.uk has just published the Spring 2010 Performance Report – a short analysis of the performance, growth, and user behaviour between January and June 2010. If you would like more information on this please contact us: info@findcourses.co.uk

Findcourses.co.uk is the UK’s largest search engine dedicated to Professional Development – search, find and compare thousands of training courses in the UK. Findcourses.co.uk partnered with The Independent to power The Independent’s Training & Courses Site: http://courses.independent.co.uk/ – providing a search service to hundreds of thousands of users every month.

Findcourses.co.uk also runs a number of niche sites dedicated to helping people find the right training and courses for their development including: coaching courses, executive education, sales, health and safety, language courses, IT courses, e-learning and leadership courses. FindCourses Global AB is the international network of educational sites providing information on Professional Development training in Sweden, Finland, Germany and Denmark.