The Rise of Online Education: How Does It Affect the Market?
Over the past two to three years, online education has been gaining a lot of popularity. More students are actively choosing to pursue their bachelor’s and master’s degrees online than to enroll in a brick-and-mortar university. The trend can be seen not only across Europe but also in the United States and most parts of Asia.
The rise of online education is mainly fueled by technology. Today, more people use smartphones and laptops on a regular basis, which makes taking and completing the available online courses easier. Nevertheless, there are questions surrounding today’s online education landscape, among which is how the new generation of online students will affect the market.
Access to Better Education
Upon further inspection, it is not difficult to see how online education can be very popular. For starters, students now have more options to choose from. They are no longer limited to universities near where they live or majors available at those universities. In fact, a lot of European students are now enrolled in top US universities such as Washington state University without having to relocate to the other side of the pond.
The same wealth of opportunities is also available to professionals wanting to pursue a master’s degree. In the old days, getting a master’s degree while maintaining a full-time job was very challenging, but today, professionals can simply choose to pursue an online MBA from any distance learning program. They even have the option to complete their MBA degree online in as little as 12 months.
Better Quality and Accreditation
Another factor that is helping boost the popularity of online education is the fact that top universities are also opening their distance learning programs to more students. These programs are fully accredited and follow the same high standards as their offline counterparts. Problems such as shady universities offering fake degrees can be easily avoided now that proper accreditation is in place.
The job market is responding to these changes positively. One in three hiring managers actually prefers online degree holders because they follow a more up-to-date course and often have better, more specialized skills for the job. Corporations no longer value online degrees less than offline degrees; in some cases, online degrees are even considered more valuable.
Down to the Last Dime
Universities who operate online learning programs enjoy a unique advantage of being able to cater to more students at a much lower overhead cost. This, naturally, allows online degrees to be far more affordable than the equivalent offline course. A recent study revealed that online degrees are up to 40% more affordable, which means more students can access the best education without worrying about tuition and other fees.
There are even scholarships designed specifically for online students. More institutions are offering aids to help students from around the world, including Europe and Asia, to study at US universities with the help of online programs. Combined with the positive market response and the many courses available, these scholarship programs are helping more students acquire their online degrees.
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