Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, e-learning has emerged as the safest and most reliable solution to providing continuity in education. However, even before COVID-19, the industry was on its rise. According to research studies, the global online learning market is projected to reach $325 billion in 2025. Owing to the pandemic, we can expect this industry to develop at a faster pace.
Let’s see how the rapid growth of the e-learning industry can positively impact the economy.
Producing a Higher Level of University Graduates
Back in 2012, the University of California rolled out an online program. Its main goal was to become the first highly-rated American academic institution to award an online bachelor’s degree. They launched a pilot project in January 2012 for academics and students. The idea was to provide access to undergraduate online courses that deliver UC quality.
Since then, many for-profits have started shifting to online education. Some have even built entire business plans around e-learning.
Universities Adopting MOOCs
Many well-known universities, including Oxford, Imperial, Harvard, and MIT, have adopted virtual learning and started experimenting with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
For reputable institutions like these, that is an opportunity to extend their reach, appeal to international students, and maintain high-quality brand equity. For middle-tier schools, on the other hand, providing quality online education is a chance to build a better brand, and attract new students.
Online education is a popular and affordable solution for students as well. Those not having money to finance traditional university education can get a degree from a reputable and internationally recognized university at a lower cost. These students are not restricted by their location anymore. They can choose the learning program that best meets their needs.
Creating New Jobs
Jobs drive economic growth. More importantly, they ensure that economic growth is shared to improve living standards across the globe.
However, just because a country is experiencing economic growth does not mean jobs will follow. Over the past few years, many countries have seen tremendous economic growth that was not supported by the rise in employment.
That is where online education helps, as it provides more professional opportunities. It requires a solid IT infrastructure and penetrates various industries, which translates into more jobs.
For example, the need for online learning platforms means more opportunities for programmers, website and app designers, InfoSec professionals, hosting vendors, marketing professionals, etc. Just look at how many jobs have been enabled by the Internet sector. In 2018, the internet sector created 6 million jobs and contributed $2 trillion to the U.S. GDP.
Online education also allows people in various sectors and industries to monetize their knowledge. For example, if you are a golf professional, you can create an online platform and offer quality golf training videos for a fee. If you are an accountant, why not create a webinar or an Udemy course to turn your knowledge into profit?
Reducing the Gap in Skilled Workers
According to research studies, the U.S. faces a shortfall in college graduates. As per the Public Policy Institute of California, there will be 1.5 million fewer graduates than needed by 2025.
Back in 2011, the Obama administration tried to address this problem. They announced the launch of a $2 billion grant program, intending to encourage virtual learning and facilitate access to online education.
According to Statista, in 2019, about 36% of the U.S. population had graduated from college or another higher education institution. The number of women with a college degree has grown by 7% since 2010.
Online Education Grows the Number of Graduated Students
With the rise of online learning platforms and modular learning programs, students are not limited to strict university curricula anymore.
Online learning tools allow them to pick and mix from a wide array of different courses. Instead of signing up for one degree or program that is only partially relevant to them or employers, they can choose courses that are best suited for their needs.
For employees, that means more opportunities to focus on their interests and continue growing their knowledge. On the other hand, for employers, this is a chance to increase employee productivity and optimize business processes.
The study by Wiley Education Services claims that 78% of online learners feel their online experience was the same or better than traditional classroom experiences. Moreover, 79% of those completing an online degree strongly agree that it was a worthy investment.
Over to You
Online education offers many benefits, such as flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and self-paced learning options. Most importantly, it acts as a powerful tool for boosting economic growth. It transforms the traditional role of higher education and creates new jobs. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the impact of the e-learning industry on the economy has been and will continue to be even more dramatic.
Eve Anderson is a marketing specialist turned blogger who is interested in sports and exciting travel destinations. Eve loves to share content that informs people