Even before COVID-19, there was already high growth and adoption in education technology, with global EdTech investments reaching US$18.66 billion in 2019. As we continue to find our equilibrium in a post-pandemic world, there has been a surge in the adoption of online learning, and for a good reason.
The current environment has democratized education, making online learning an affordable and preferred option.
The online learning market in 2014 was worth $165.36 billion; it reached USD 250 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to grow at an exponential CAGR of over 21% between 2021 and 2027 (Source: Global Market Insights and Forbes).
Simultaneously, bite-sized training, online degrees, and shorter certificate programs are increasingly gaining popularity instead of traditional education. This is where Emeritus comes in. We focus on providing a high-quality online learning experience so individuals can learn in-demand skills to take their careers to the next level.
In the last year, Emeritus has seen a 109% increase in student enrollment and doubled the number of education partners it collaborates with. So far, in 2021, Emeritus has introduced approximately 190 programs.
The demand for online learning solutions shows no sign of fading, and we can say that online learning is the future of education at a global level.
The 2021 Emeritus Impact Survey offers insight and data to support this. The survey analyzes the effects of professional learning on the careers of 2,200 professionals across 75 different countries who took the company’s Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs). While 94% of past learners said that their chosen program had a positive impact on their career and professional development, 96% noted that this impact came within the first 12 months after completing the program.
Let’s take a look at the top reasons participants have found online learning with Emeritus compelling:
1. Flexibility to learn
E-learning has caused a shift from “just-in-case” education to “just-in-time” education, allowing people to master skills and concepts as they need them, anytime, anywhere.
Since content can be accessed through the day at the learner’s own pace and comfort, more than 80% of respondents agreed that the format of the course they took allowed for an easy balance across work, personal life, and studies.
Respondents found the program to be accessible, flexible, engaging, and diverse. Many valued the peer-to-peer assignments as a valuable way to get in touch with peers worldwide and enlarge their network as it is not a common attribute of online programs.
2. Applied knowledge for impact
Applicability of the content and hands-on practice are perceived as valuable elements of the learning experience. Online learning presents exceptional growth opportunities, and it is only possible when the knowledge imparted is put to action. The 2021 Emeritus Impact Survey highlights the most appreciated aspects of our program partnerships as:
- Real-world industry examples
- Case studies
- Learning from the experience of reputable faculty, guest speakers, and peers
While 78% of respondents agreed they learned valuable tools and strategies to immediately apply at work, almost 85% of respondents use the knowledge they have acquired at least sometimes. Nine out of 10 past learners believe that taking the program has a positive impact on their business or organization.
3. Learning community and networking
Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs) add a tone of personal engagement between faculty and students, course customization, mentoring, and career counseling.
At Emeritus, we pride ourselves on cohort-based learning. In this approach, a small group of individuals learn and progress through the specific course to foster collaboration, networking, and peer support while exposing learners to various perspectives. The courses are designed around the learning outcomes while offering a resume-building education credential to the online content.
Individual assignments, meaningful feedback, office hours, and networking with peers all stood out as vital learning experiences for past learners in our survey. With 60% of respondents believing that interacting with reputable faculty and peers from across the globe had a significant impact on their career.
Emeritus’ Senior Director of Learning, Ashley Chiampo, concludes, “When online learning became more prevalent almost six years ago, there were many reservations regarding the lack of offline connection with educators and peers. Happily, these perceptions have been overturned, as evidenced in our impact survey; we focus on developing experiences that rival or improve the traditional classroom experience. In fact, one of the roots of Emeritus learning is learning through others. Over the years, we’ve created community experiences and connections to facilitate organic learning from fellow learners and the program leaders as examples, making education more digestible — bite-sized and practical.”
Most learners have realized that online education is flexible and their steppingstone to a better future and success; the survey highlights almost 70% repurchase intent.
As this phenomenon continues to grow, so does our mission — to make education accessible.
Here are a few takeaways from the 2021 Emeritus Impact Survey:
By Neha Mulchandani