The growth of the Internet has led to many things – things that one would not have been able to even imagine a few years ago. One of those things is online learning, which is now considered a credible alternative to traditional education. Gone are the times when we would have to go all the way to our campuses to attend classes. Online learning is convenient and extremely flexible. You can easily attend classes in the comfort of your own home. Most online learning platforms let you choose your timings as well, and this kind of flexibility works out in the favor of those who have busy schedules but still want to learn new things.
The online learning market is growing steadily, and why shouldn’t it be? It is a much more affordable substitute for the traditional way of learning. Many people who are unable to afford college can make use of online learning for acquiring employable skill sets and degrees to compete in today’s demanding job market. Many people who were not able to attend college in their younger days can make use of online learning. This alternative can even come in handy for people suffering from different ailments, be they psychological or physiological.
Take the example of someone with Agoraphobia or Social Anxiety. A classroom setting might not be the most comfortable for them (not to mention that such a setting might hamper their ability to learn) – ergo, in such cases, online learning is indispensable. Online learning is beneficial even for students who are advised bed rest due to physical ailments. As such, they wouldn’t fall behind with regards to education, just because of a physical illness. Most schools and colleges have started recognizing the importance (as well as the benefits) of online education, and hence, have started incorporating distance learning programs in their course schemes.
Now, almost all schools with enrollments of 5,000 students or more offer distance education/online learning courses and 80% of those with enrollments of fewer than 5,000 students offer distance education. At the smaller schools, these may be entirely online courses or a part of a traditional course. This data comes from the recently completed 2014 Survey of Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group and co-sponsored by the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), Pearson and Tyton Partners.
Online learning doesn’t just benefit college students – more and more firms are incorporating the online learning modality to train their employees. Employees are either enrolled in specific courses (depending on their field of work, i.e. for coders, it could be a course on Python) to expand their skillsets or are enrolled in corporate training courses which will enhance professional growth.
Here are our top picks for websites (some even have apps) for online learning:
Coursera is an educational technology company that offers open online courses in a verity of subjects. Coursera works with universities and other organizations to make some of their courses available online. They are offering courses in subjects like physics, engineering, humanities, medicine, biology, business, computer science, digital marketing, data science and more.
Udemy.com is the marketplace for online learning. Unlike academic MOOC programs driven by traditional collegiate coursework, Udemy provides a platform for experts of any kind to create courses, which can be offered to the public, either at no charge or for a tuition fee. Udemy provides tools that enable users to create a course to promote it and earn money from student tuition charges.
No Udemy courses are currently credentialed for college credit; students take courses largely as a means of improving job-related skills. Some courses generate credit toward technical certification. Udemy has made a special effort to attract corporate trainers seeking to create coursework for employees of their company.
What makes Zeolearn stand apart is that during the course, not only do students get theoretical knowledge, but they will also gain practical experience through hands-on projects. Zeolearn mentors who are industry- experienced professionals will guide your work and help you understand how to apply theory to practice. The sessions are more interactive and aim to cover the drawbacks of online learning, such as not being able to ask questions from the teacher. That isn’t a problem with ZeoLearn, as the instructors will strive for individual focus.
EdX is a massive open online course provider. It hosts online university-level courses in a wide range of disciplines to a worldwide student body, including some courses at no cost. It also conducts research into learning based on how people use its platform. EdX differs from other MOOC providers, such as Coursera and Udacity, in that it is a nonprofit organization and runs on open-source software.
Udacity is an educational organization founded by Sebastian Thrun, David Stevens, and Mike Sokolsky offering MOOCs. According to Thrun, the origin of the name Udacity comes from the company’s desire to be “audacious for student”. While it originally focused on offering university-style courses, it now focuses more on vocational courses for professionals.
The future of the online learning industry is paved with exponential growth and immense potential for profit. Now, more than ever, learners and companies are turning to online learning courses and online training events achieve their personal and professional goals.
Here are some important online learning statistics and facts, some of which may even surprise you!
The Global Online Learning Industry Market
The global online learning market reached around $107 billion by 2015. The global self-paced online learning market reached $32.1 billion in revenue in 2010, with a five-year compound annual growth rate of approximately 9.2%.
If we go calculate the growth rate by country, India, China and Malaysia are winning the top spots.
Learning Management System
The LMS market was worth $2.55 billion in 2013 with an estimated compound annual growth rate of approximately 25.2%. In other words, the LMS market is expected to be worth over $7 billion in 2018. The highest proportion of revenue contribution is expected to be generated in North America.
MOOCs in Corporate Training
Currently, 8% of companies use MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), while another 7% consider experimenting with MOOCs. It is predicted that in the following two years this percentage will rise to 28%.
- More than 350 companies cooperate with Coursera and Udacity to identify the best students that would probably make the best possible candidates for relevant jobs.
- Google has already enrolled 80,000 of its employees in Udacity’s HTML5 course.
Online Corporate Training
The online corporate market is expected to grow by 13% per year up to 2017. Today, 77% of USA companies offer online corporate training to improve the professional development of their employees.
While online learning might seem like a silver lining in, of and by itself, one must remember that everything has pros and cons, and that is how the world maintains this semblance of equilibrium. So, please think about that before completely ditching traditional learning or quitting your university or college in favor of online learning. Online learning would never be able to emulate the complete classroom environment, and a big part of the university or college experience is socializing with new people and making new friends – something that wouldn’t be possible with online learning. Online learning is effective in cases where money and time are constraints, but if you’ve got both of those in abundance, don’t shy out from going to college.