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The online education sector is still an emerging market, but it looks set to swell significantly as academic institutions further embrace technology in the delivery and marketing of their course content. There is already a symbiosis between online media and education. But as academic content becomes more accessible across devices, the shape of formal education could be set to change significantly. Online learning and course materials are now being published to vast audiences internationally, at a fraction of the cost of running classes locally. For this, and many more reasons, online learning is an industry that is preparing to explode.

Online education is an increasingly competitive space, with private and academic institutions competing against each other for students from across the world. These are students that could not be taught locally, and are therefore targeted for online learning programs. This industry is already highly sophisticated, and it is becoming more so by the day. Companies are making big money in this sector, as are the universities and academic institutions that prospect for new student enrollments online. Because the reach of online training can be so much greater, it is possible to look for enrollments from much further away than would previously have been possible.

As education providers penetrate additional online markets, this business looks set to continue to grow. Wider audiences are being exposed to this type of learning every month, and the online course enrollment figures across the industry are attesting to the popularity of the online learning format. With an online course, there is nothing to prevent an institution from targeting a worldwide audience, rather than a local audience of students. This allows institutions to tap into students internationally, and service their educational requirements with the same content, time after time – a practice which can generate significant revenues in course fees from new students across the globe.

One of the beauties of online education is that it costs so much less than a physical university, allowing for strong margins for private providers and academic institutions alike. Once course materials, as in for different types of business degrees, have been developed once, your academic staff are largely redundant for that course. In this sense, online is a lightweight medium through which to provide education and training. This makes it an especially attractive option for education providers who are looking for new, innovative ways to deliver their academic content.

The online education sector is already experiencing substantial growth, and this shows no signs of slowing up any time soon. Private providers are driving much of this growth in popularity, but even colleges and universities are now moving into online education. The low-cost reach that comes from teaching online allows colleges to raise funds from teaching online students, while commercial providers are able to provide quality training solutions in a low-cost, sustainable way. While online education is some way off being capable of replacing the traditional lecture-seminar approach, it will become a more intrinsic part of the wider learning environment in the years to come.

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