With online resources making it even easier for people to learn a new trade, research shows that affiliate marketing is one of the many areas hosting a high proportion of self-taught professionals.

It is believed that over half (53%) of people in the UK and Northern Ireland with skills in performance marketing received no official training or tuition before pursuing a career in the affiliate industry.

In a poll of 1,036 individuals from Optimus Performance Marketing, the agency discovered that just 47% of affiliate marketers benefited from industry-related tuition at their school, college, university or workplace prior to becoming a fully fledged professional.

Despite many finding employment with the DIY approach, 73% of the group said that more needed to be done to improve accessibility of tuition for people wanting to enter the world of affiliate marketing.

We don’t need no education?

As it stands, aspiring affiliate marketers are using a wide variety of resources to learn about their potential roles.

Internet tutorials are proving to be the holy grail of knowledge for the self-taught contingent, judging by the 42% who relied on web ‘how-to’ guides for their research. E-books are used by 28%, with video tutorials and physical publications helping 8% and 4% respectively.

Unfortunately not all are comfortable with affiliate marketers learning everything without assistance.

Mark Russell, managing director of Optimus performance marketing, said the results do not bode “particularly well” for those trying to recruit the next generation of marketing talent. He argues that having that training available would only be of benefit to the industry in terms of awareness and growth.

Other readings from Optimus did however suggest that self-taught professionals may be closing the knowledge with on-the-job training.

The study revealed that the average affiliate marketer has worked in the industry for 3.8 years – a respectable length given that their industry celebrated only its 20th birthday last month.