Older Australians are the fastest-growing online learners

Australians over 65 are the fastest-growing new adopters of non-formal online education.

Older Aussies are fast learners

Australians over 65 are the fastest-growing new adopters of non-formal online education, according to new research commissioned by NBN Co.

The Connecting Australia report also reveals older Australians are heading online in large numbers to watch tutorials, complete new courses and learn new languages.

The report uses research from independent economics and data analytics advisory firm AlphaBeta. It combined national census data with an Ipsos survey of 3500 individuals across 1700 postcodes in metropolitan, regional and remote areas, including those connected to the NBN network and those not connected.

According to the report, NBN connected users are twice as likely to be enrolled in an online course than those not connected to the NBN, and are also more likely to enrol in online courses in the future.

Key findings regarding online-learning include:

  • Almost four out of five over-65-year-old NBN-connected users are engaged in non-formal education, compared with just over one in two of those not connected to the NBN.
  • NBN-connected users aged 45 to 64 are 1.4 times more likely to use the internet for learning online compared to those in areas without access to the NBN.
  • 32 per cent of users connected to the NBN network spend at least one hour a day on the internet on non-formal learning, compared to only 20 per cent of internet users not connected to the NBN.
  • In metro areas, NBN-connected users are 1.5 times more likely to use the internet for non-formal learning than those not connected to the NBN.
  • Regional NBN-connected users are 1.8 times more likely to use the internet for non-formal learning compared with regional users not connected to the NBN. Regional NBN-connected users are also 1.4 times more likely to express interest in enrolling in online education in the future, compared to metro NBN-connected users.

Council on the Ageing (COTA) chief executive Ian Yates said the report’s findings were good news for keeping older Australians engaged in the digital space.

“Digital connectivity is an increasingly important part of life for older Australians and our aim is to ensure older people are included in all aspects of Australian life,” Mr Yates said.

“It has always been a concern that the digital world could be isolating for older Australians, but it is great to see evidence that many are utilising services … to make the most of new opportunities to learn online and upskill after their retirement years.”

Have you taken an online learning course? Which one did you take? Did you find it useful?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    22nd Aug 2018
    I have completed a Diploma and an Advanced Diploma of Share Trading and Investment online through Wealth Within. It has given me the knowledge and confidence to trade the share market successfully. Which is helping me build savings for retirement.
    22nd Aug 2018
    I too have done three certificates in nutrition, food as medicine and exercise as medicine. And I don't even have NBN!
    23rd Aug 2018
    I did my study before I had NBN
    22nd Aug 2018
    The best education is to be had on the porn sites - omfg - I never realized, if only I knew back then what I've learnt since. Diploma's, Certificates....mere batter for deep fried ego's.
    22nd Aug 2018
    Can someone please enlighten me on what relevance the NBN has to the idea that older Australians are seeking learning from the internet. I suggest they would do this irrespective of whether they have NBN or not. This seems to be a spot of BS from NBN Co. By the way I will not get NBN before July 2019 so I get on-line courtesy of my Foxtel cable.
    23rd Aug 2018
    There are also many many craft courses online, of which I have done many. They mightn't be "proper" courses for want of a better word, but there is so much to be learned that can impact on having a pleasant and productive life.

    And let's not forget YouTube, where you can find how to do anything at all. It's also a very valuable learning tool.

    I love my internet, don't know what I ever did without it. We don't have NBN here either, maybe next year sometime. Hopefully it will make our connection a lot more consistent, even if it's not faster. Joys of living in the country where the NBN was supposed to help first.

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