Many of us forget that the web can be a great educational resource, especially when we spend our lunch breaks watching kitten videos on YouTube and moaning about our morning commutes on Twitter. There is indeed more to be gained from the internet than social shares, and one such example of this is online learning.

Whether you have taken a course online or know someone who has, it is an area that has been growing significantly over the past handful of years. Recent studies have been released that demonstrate some key numbers in this area, which make quite interesting reading for any self-professed tech geek like you or I.

Looking at the numbers

Did you know that more than 6.7 million (approximately one third) of all students enrolled in postsecondary education took an online course for credit in autumn 2011? This statistic was uncovered by the 2012 edition of the Babson Survey of Online Learning [1]. This study was also conducted in the 10 years preceding 2012, and significant growth has been observed over the decade.

It is true that percentage increases were smaller in 2011, but this seems to correlate with the statistics that show that overall enrolment in American colleges and universities also fell that year – essentially showing that education could have been too expensive for some students during the economic downturn.

Growth continues

So despite the fact that online enrolments slowed somewhat, growth is definitely still in the cards. This is hardly surprising as there are such a variety of courses available online; one example is the Microsoft training available here, as well as getting qualifications in Sage or online marketing skills.

In short, there is evidence that shows that enrollment in distance courses and programmes is ‘more than healthy’, as described by online resource Inside Higher Education [1].

What is also apparent is the fact that nearly half of non-profit colleges are offering fully online programmes, which is almost double of those that were in 2002. More than seven in 10 public and for-profit colleges are also offering the same type of online programmes – going even further than freestanding courses.

Have you studied online?

It is interesting to think about whether you have studied online before at any point, such as during school, university or even simply to get another qualification. If you haven’t it might actually be worthwhile checking what is available out there as it can be quite beneficial to your CV if you show that you are continually willing to learn and grow.

Whilst there is some data available on online learning, such as the study referenced above, it would be great to see more research in this area, including on a country-by-country basis. Of course, we will have to stay tuned for that, but it could be the case that someone takes on the research who has actually studied about data management through an online course themselves…

Source:

[1] http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/01/08/survey-finds-online-enrollments-slow-continue-grow

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Many of us forget that the web can be a great educational resource, especially when we spend our lunch breaks watching kitten videos on YouTube and moaning about our morning commutes on Twitter. There is indeed more to be gained from the internet than social shares, and one such...