Baby boomers using NBN for new education boom

AUSSIE baby boomers have entered a golden age of lifelong learning, driven by an appetite to up-skill and assisted by growing access to fast broadband.

New NBN research reveals tech-savvy baby boomers are taking advantage of super connectivity to fulfil their learning potential from the convenience of their own home.

Over a third (35 per cent) of baby boomers say they have an unmet study ambition and of these almost half (48 per cent) say that with access to faster internet at home, they would fill this void via online courses and 30 per cent via distance education.

Key findings from nbn''s research show Aussies baby boomers are harnessing:

  • New year goals - when thinking about ambitions for 2016, baby boomers are most likely to:
    • learn more about a particular topic of interest (49 per cent),
    • learn a new skill (29 per cent),
    • take up a new hobby (25 per cent) and
    • gain a new qualification (11 per cent);
  • Loungeroom lectures - of those baby boomers who are interested in one of the above, almost half are harnessing tools such as
    • online videos (44 per cent),
    • YouTube (36 per cent) and
    • TedX talks (10 per cent);
  • High-tech homes -more than half of baby boomers have now equipped themselves with a
    • laptop (69 per cent),
    • desktop computer (68 per cent) and
    • tablet or iPad (49 per cent). 
  • The majority also agree that technology at home
    • makes it easier to learn at their own pace (73 per cent), and
    • levels the playing field between different locations (67 per cent).

"The growing appetite for lifelong learning is attributed to a number of factors, such as increased accessibility,
flexibility and diversity across education,"  said Open Universities Australia (OUA), CEO, Paul Wappett

"As more people gain access to faster internet at home, via the NBN, Aussies no matter what age or geographical location can up-skill for work, re-skill to change careers, or simply learn something they are deeply passionate about," he said.

"Over the last five years to now, we've seen the number of baby boomers as a percentage of total students continue to rise and interestingly, the majority of these students tend to select subjects according to their interests or needs, rather than studying towards a specific degree. The three most popular subjects amongst baby boomers are Developing Research and Analytical Skills, Management Concepts and Principles of Economics."

The NBN is scheduled to reach almost one in four Australian homes and businesses by June 2016, with new construction work set to be complete or underway across 1,500 communities and suburbs over the next 12 months.

There are currently more than 1.7 million premises around the country which can already connect to the NBN and our goal is that every Australian will to have access to fast broadband by 2020.

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