The online education market expects to cover up to 19.5 billion by 2021, up from 12.9 billion in 2015, driven by an increase in the number of active students and the interaction of mobile devices for learning purposes worldwide. It represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.7% for the five-year forecast period.
Online education is a form of education through digital tools and resources rather than a physical classroom. The main requirement is an internet connection to access information from anywhere in the world at any time. You can comfortably access the statistics tool from Edutized in the comfort of your home.
Some of the most developed countries are now looking at online education as one of the best ways to modernize their learning systems. This shift has allowed many international students to get quality courses from reputed universities without even traveling long distances to attend regular classes.
In 2015, 51 million students were enrolled in online courses globally, representing 42%. In the US alone, online courses made up 34% of all higher education enrolments in 2015.
In addition to being convenient and flexible, online courses allow instructors to reach a larger audience and provide increased access to knowledge and learning resources even without physical limitations, such as the availability of classrooms or the proximity of individuals who can attend a physical class.
Online courses give instructors the freedom to design curricula according to their requirements and preferences, providing a more personalized learning experience for students worldwide.
Factors that have contributed to the growth of online education in 2021
- The upsurge of intelligent devices has played a significant role in the evolution of online education. The number of active mobile broadband subscribers worldwide is expected to pass the five billion mark by 2021, up from 3.8 billion in 2015.
- The growing adoption of tablets for learning purposes has also helped boost the popularity of online courses among students. As of 2015, the number of active tablet users worldwide is expected to pass 1.8 billion by 2021, compared with 1.6 billion in 2015.
- A similar trend is being observed for laptop adoption as well. Worldwide laptop shipments are forecast to rise from 488 million in 2015 to 566 million by 2021, with laptops being shipped to more than two-thirds of active students each year.
It is important to note that all these devices have a large screen and easy Internet connectivity, making them ideal for online learning. In addition, the devices are portable, allowing users to learn on the go from virtually anywhere in the world at any time.
- Mobile learning software is another factor that is expected to boost the popularity of online education in 2021. These software applications are designed to help instructors create educational content, including text, videos, images, and presentations, apart from enabling learners with an array of tools for managing their course schedules.
For example, students can use this software to view lectures synchronized with slides or video footage, participate in online discussions or download study-related materials from the Internet.
Online courses are also being increasingly used for professional development purposes. It is another key factor expected to drive the growth of online education in 2021.
For example, organizations spend about three billion dollars every year on corporate training programs worldwide. However, an online course can help reduce the cost of such training programs by nearly 50%, compared with face-to-face training.
Companies benefit from the flexibility and convenience of online courses and do not need to pay for instructor travel costs or other related expenses. Online courses require access to computers and other associated devices, which many employees already have.
The expectation is to increase the shift towards online learning for beginners in 2021. Many companies help individuals new to a particular skill set or technology learn the basics by providing video tutorials on their portals. These portals can also come with interactive features that allow users to engage with one another in real-time.
The benefits of online education
- The benefits of online education play a significant role in helping the industry grow over the next five years. For instance, students can study courses according to their own pace and schedule by completing lessons whenever they want without impacting their daily routine.
- Similarly, online education enables individuals to gain new skills remotely using technology that requires minimal orientation or assistance from instructors or other people.
- Online education also offers the flexibility of allowing students to complete lessons in areas with poor Internet connectivity or when they do not have access to their computers.
- Another benefit is that online courses facilitate faster learning since information is accessible from various sources, including lectures, textbooks, and websites. It also makes it easier to prepare students for upcoming exams.
- In addition, online courses provide instructors and organizations with several benefits too. Instructors can use this technology for creating, editing, and publishing content on e-learning portals without any additional effort.
- Organizations can train their employees using online courses to ensure they are up to speed on the latest technologies. It is beneficial because it reduces training costs, enhances productivity, and helps workers gain new skills quickly.
The increasing number of open educational resources, including textbooks and course materials offered for free on the Internet, is also expected to boost the demand for online courses in 2021. These resources provide students with easy access to high-quality educational materials, especially useful for beginners or those not majoring in a specific field.
Courses offered on the Internet will increase virtual internships for students, which can help them gain work experience. For example, students majoring in teaching can complete online internships with schoolchildren while working on their lessons.
As more people are expected to become aware of the benefits of studying on the Internet, the industry is expected to grow in size over the coming years.
It has prompted several initiatives by leading organizations and publishers to make it possible for more people to access educational resources and training programs at a lower cost. It is also helping these organizations enhance their reputation and reach new customers online.