According to new insights from a research report, “Online College Students 2014: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences,” about one-third of college students are getting their education online entirely. The rest of them are either taking classes completely on campus, or are in blended classrooms—doing part of their coursework online and other portions on campus.
Online education is no longer a novelty; it’s commonplace and increasing in every educational institution worldwide. As these opportunities increase, the marketplace evolves. We are in the midst of a transformation of the way people shop, choose, consume, and endorse education.
The news source Education DIVE recently did an article covering some of the key news in online education today, resulting from the recent research performed by The Learning House Inc.—which helps colleges create online degree programs.
Here are a few points on what the online education marketplace looks like this year.
Competition is rising
Since online education is no longer a new innovation, students have the opportunity to shop around for the right online degree—and they have a lot of options. More universities are offering programs that are done completely online. Students are looking for high job placement rates, affordable prices, and the ability to transfer credits to other schools. The Learning House reported that the majority of students cared most about the overall reputation of the college or university.
Cost is not the deciding factor
Students are considering a lot of factors when choosing to take an online course, and price is not the main one. Online degrees are not cheap, and in some cases even more expensive than a traditional education. Education DIVE reported: “Among students who had already enrolled in an online program, 66% of undergraduates and 79% of graduate students said they didn’t select the least expensive program. Financial aid is critical for about half of all online students, but only 20% say they would not attend an institution if their financial aid needs were not been met.” The study shows that men and women are willing to pay more money for a higher-quality program. Quality and reputation is key.
The motivation has changed
Due to a poor economy and the job crisis, more people are unemployed and looking for work. The amount of unemployed online students has risen from 16 percent in 2012 to 30 percent in 2014. A degree in a related field is more important than ever in acquiring a job, other than experience. Completing a bachelor’s or working on a master’s could be the deciding factor a person gets hired or not. So many are rushing to the computer to get a degree in hopes of getting employment or their dream job. Statistics in this report show that about 40 percent of online students reported improvement in their employment status after graduating.
To read the full reports and article, click on the links below: