Coach training takes time and money and so it’s understandable that people want reassurance that online learning works. Julia Griffin, ICA graduate, coach and educator, unpacks why learning coach training via e-learning sets you up for a life of coaching success.
Consider the business case for e-learning: you will be able to coach virtually.
Millennials are expected to make up half of the global workforce by 2020
As a data-driven generation, millennials are well versed in e-learning spaces and they rightly expect a lot from their experiences. This cohort of adults are not weighing up the value of analogue experiences over digital experiences – they accept, value and demand both.
It’s very exciting to imagine what Generation Z will want from professional coaches as they hit the coach training market in around ten years – as this group of adults will have encountered an even a greater amount of screen time than their predecessors. Put these markets together and they will form a large part of your coaching business. They are looking for convenient coaching services that align with their way of being in the world. There will be considerable financial reward in providing them with a service that suits and speaks to them.
For example, Millennials (and soon Generation Z) form a very large part of the self-improvement market which is worth 13.2 billion in the United States alone. Interestingly, they will also be big consumers of online content: MP3 downloads, e-books, webinars, online courses and self-help apps. As a coach, these will be part of your business life. *1
That is why, at ICA, we go to great pains to make you “coach confident” as well as business ready. Having studied in an e-learning environment, you exit our coach training programs equipped to access virtual assistants or create a webinar as well as being “coach confident”.
If you are still looking for compelling reasons to study online, then please look around you. ICF’s first virtual “ICF Advance Conference” takes place in October 2018. As coaching professionals, you will see an increase in demand for online coaching and more and more professional development and training will be offered this way.
Yes, the world is finally catching up to ICA !
Consider the professional reasons for e-learning. You want certification and experience of diverse settings.
ICA has always believed that professional standards and training are essential for anyone setting themselves up as a coach. ICF and Price Waterhouse Coopers’ global coaching study found that the U.S. coaching market was worth $955 million in 2015. Market data expects this to rise to $1.02 billion in 2016. The “average” U.S. coach makes $62,000/year.
These are reassuring statistics, but perhaps it is this cautionary tale that we must heed ”Nearly all motivational speakers offer coaching services now. However, the field is loosely regulated and incompetence is a common complaint. Just about anyone can call themselves a life coach.” *2
ICA’s coach training, certification and pathway to ICF credentials will give you a critical edge in the market. However our learning experience goes beyond this by tapping into our global learning community, leveraging global leadership, knowledge and skills, creating long lasting friendships networks and collaborative business opportunities.
Population wise, clients are more mobile than ever before and corporations and businesses are more global in their outlook. It’s quite typical, for example, for a start-up business by a young entrepreneur to have an immediate global outlook. Equally, as a coach hired to work with a large multinational, your clients are quite likely to come from all parts of the world.
We have always been proudly global at ICA and our teleclasses offer an exciting fusion of learning derived from students representing Western and Eastern cultures. As a learner, you tap into invaluable skills, knowledge, networks and diversity.
“Releasing Judgement” may be the name of one of our modules, but it’s also an ICA mantra and sets the scene for how we see the future for an interconnected and global coaching profession.
Consider the learning: you want connected learning experiences.
I am frequently asked if e-learning is as good as face to face learning. The question is somewhat spurious for me. Everyone wants connection and connectedness. Any learning environment can be lackluster if it doesn’t have the following ingredients:
- excellent learning design,
- experienced teachers,
- an environment that fosters connection
- opportunities for both formal and informal learning
We offer self-paced and flexibly delivered online learning and teleclasses as a key part of our delivery. Login and you will find ICA students – seated variously on sofas, office chairs, kitchen tables, train seats – discussing and practising coaching. Who are they? A mix of corporate professionals, managers, HR professionals, yoga practitioners, teachers, health professionals, stay at home parents and everyone in between – all sharing perspectives and learning. (And if you want to meet them, please take one of our free classes)
ICA trainers are highly experienced coaches and excellent trainers. BOTH skill sets are essential to effective coach training. We have been delivering online education for nearly twenty years so we know how to build knowledge in online settings – and it’s not to do with the technology – it’s totally related to the skill of our trainers.
A sense of connection is created through a multitude of experiences. Think back to your fondest learning experience. Maybe it didn’t even occur in a formal setting? It probably involved making friends, feeling supported, rapid learning for fun, pleasure or gain. This is a perfect description of ICA. We are a learning community.
As a new student, you link in with a generous and supportive group of people who are also dedicated professional and passionate coaches. You will find people who you really “click with” and then informal learning is lifelong and ongoing. Beyond the teleclasses and peer coaching, there are our Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Live Events and Global MeetUps. Beyond these spaces are the personal emails or Zoom or Skype link ups and face to face meet-ups.
Like all communities, the break out spaces are important.
We provide the space for you to reach out and connect. So if you are thinking of becoming a coach and want to work out which program is best for you, I’d be happy to talk you through our programs. If you would like to see for yourself who are wonderful and diverse community of coaches are, please look at our alumni and browse through the yearbook. I look forward to bumping into you in the virtual corridors of ICA.