As colleges and universities evolve in defining the classroom, strategic ways to reach potential students and grow enrollment are being explored. The online education trend peaked in popularity years ago, however, it still remains at the forefront and continues to evolve. While the trend is nothing novel, it’s worth keeping an eye on as higher education utilizes technology for a springboard to learning.
Today, students are increasingly opting for online education classes. Interestingly enough, students attending public schools are more likely to study partially online, while students attending private nonprofit schools are more likely to study exclusively online. Post-graduate students, on the other hand, are using online education to further advance their academics and fine-tune their skills and knowledge. According to a report from 2018 in the Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics, “…while overall postsecondary enrollment dropped by almost 90,000 students, nearly half a percentage point, from fall 2016 to fall 2017…the number of all students who took at least some of their courses online grew by more than 350,000, a healthy 5.7 percent.” While online education isn’t solving the overall enrollment decline in the United States, it certainly hasn’t hurt it.
Schools are diversifying their offerings as online education becomes mainstream. If you didn’t think you could take courses in accounting, business administration, emerging media, hospitality management, industrial management and nursing online, think again. In June of 2019 a handful of colleges and universities announced innovative online academic programs. Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management is offering an online master’s degree in hospitality management with a specialization in mega-event planning. The University of Jamestown is offering online bachelor’s degree programs in financial planning and wealth management, industrial management, emerging media, and human resources. The University of Central Oklahoma is offering online programs in R.N. to B.S. nursing and bachelor of business administration in either human resource management or marketing. It’s safe to say, there’s something for everyone.
The online education trend is predicted to grow because of its flexibility and convenience. It opens the doors to people of all ages, lifestyles, and geographic locations. As online reach becomes the norm, academic pursuits become endless. What’s next?