The global spread of Covid-19 forced both the education and corporate sectors to transition to online learning and remote work to continue with operations while the world figured out how to cope with the pandemic. According to Research and Markets forecasts prior to the pandemic, the online education sector was estimated to grow to $350 Billion globally by 2025. Revised estimates are now projected to reach $457.8 Billion by the end 0f 2026. eLearning is experiencing rapid market growth and playing a significant role in the global economy.
eLearning capitalizes on the ability to merge education and the internet to provide people with the opportunity to gain new skills. At the 2020 $50 Million round of Udemy, president Darren Shimkus says, “The biggest challenge is for learners is to figure out what skills are emerging, what they can do to compete best in the global market. We’re in a world that’s changing so quickly that skills that were valued just three or four years ago are no longer relevant. People are confused and don’t know what they should be learning.” Online learning assists corporations and individuals with adjusting to the constantly evolving demands in the world of work.
No physical location is required to provide eLearning. For corporations that means a reduced cost of travel, lodging, time out of the office, and printing (bonus points for saving the environment). Individuals have the luxury of choosing convenient times to schedule courses and the ability to work at their own pace providing flexibility. Oh, and let’s not forget the elephant in the room, the current cost of gas and airline tickets.
Online education is scalable. 5,000 people could be participating in the same course simultaneously all over the globe. This means a lower cost to train large groups. There is also potential to continuously expand course offerings.
According to Forbes, “All those online learning enterprises have a massive amount of user data which enables those platforms to use machine learning algorithms that can enhance the learning patterns of people. Machine learning algorithms use pattern recognition which can personalize the content for each individual. For example, when a student repeatedly struggles with a concept at the course, and the platform can adjust the e-learning content to provide more detailed information to help the student. The instantaneous feedback loops inside the platforms, which are provided by other online students or the platform improve the learning curve. This also offers shy or more reticent people the opportunity to participate in class discussions more easily than face-to-face class sessions.”
eLearning is rapidly growing in popularity and shows no signs of slowing down. The internet has become the default platform for information seekers. Education and the internet are merging into a cost effective, scalable marriage. Both corporations and individuals alike can capitalize by training and developing skills necessary to compete on a global scale.