Career agents for Boston-based John Hancock Financial Services Inc. can be excused these days for thinking they're full-time students rather than full-time insurance professionals.Over this past year, John Hancock's 1,400 career agents have had to get up to speed quickly to learn about new-product offerings, new state and federal regulatory compliance issues and a new parent company, Manulife Financial.

With so much to learn and so little time in which to learn it, John Hancock agents are among a growing number of insurance professionals discovering the power of online learning and training. As they consider enrolling in traditional instructor-led courses, agents often find it difficult to squeeze training into hectic schedules. By leveraging insurer-sponsored e-learning tools, insurers and their agents have at their disposal a flexible alternative to classroom instruction.

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