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Auditory, Visual or Tactile: Do Our Learning Styles Impact Our Chosen Career?

Every time I learn something new I grab my coloured fineliners and a crisp sheet of A4 and map the information out in front of me. I find the use of colour and act of drawing helps me to remember the information, but not everyone’s the same. I conducted a quick survey in the Zero Above studio and found that 71% of the team are visual learners. It got me thinking, do our learning styles have an impact on the careers we choose?

What are learning styles?

Typically, learning styles relate to the consistent way in which we process new information. Learning styles dictate the educational conditions in which we are most likely to retain knowledge.

What’s the difference?

Being aware of our learning style enables us to retain information for longer, use time more efficiently and have a better attitude to learning. There are three learning styles; auditory, visual and kinesthetic (tactile):

Auditory learners learn by hearing and listening. They understand and remember things they’ve heard. They store information by the way it sounds and have an easier time understanding spoken instructions than written ones. They prefer to:

  • listen to recordings of training collateral,
  • ask questions to solidify the subject at hand,
  • take notes and process emails via text-to-speech software.

Visual learners learn by reading or seeing pictures. They understand and remember things by sight. They can picture what they’re learning in their head and learn best by using methods that are primarily visual. They prefer to:

  • take detailed notes,
  • benefit from illustrations and presentations (especially in colour).

Kinesthetic, or tactile, learners learn by touching and doing. They understand and remember things through physical movement. They are “hands-on” learners that prefer to touch, move, build or draw what they learn and tend to learn better when some type of physical activity is involved. They prefer to:

  • experiment,
  • learn as they go,
  • take lots of breaks,
  • remember what was done rather than what was said.

The Zero Above way

We drive creativity with data, using behavioural insights and forward-thinking philosophies to constantly drive innovation. Data is crucial for decision making. Creativity is important for stimulating progress, involving imagination and taking knowledge to the next level.

There is a significant relationship between creativity and learning style which highlights the advantage of choosing a career based on the way you learn. But was this considered when the Zero Above team chose their careers? Here’s what they say:

Simon Mark Lewis, Head of Creative at Zero Above, describes himself as a visual learner. He says that his learning style definitely correlates to his chosen career, “I’m a very visual person, I don’t learn by reading or listening.”

Digital Manager, Dan Bloomfield is also a visual learner and says, “I definitely think that my visual learning style has influenced my choice of career. Working in digital requires you to be detail oriented to spot trends and identify potential issues with websites or ad accounts.”

In opposition to this, I am a kinesthetic learner and don’t believe that my learning style has any connection to my chosen career path in digital marketing. While I understand there is a degree of visual learning associated with my job, I don’t think it impacted my choice.

The same goes for Joe, our web developer. Despite him being a visual learner, he didn’t consider his learning style when choosing his career, “I think there is a certain level of logic in my role, which I don’t believe would be categorised within a visual learning style.”