The influence of online learning on higher education professionals

Higher education marketing is a vital consideration for businesses that focus on educators and administrators in colleges and universities across the country. Understanding current trends in the higher education space and developing strategies for efficient and meaningful outreach are key tasks for companies that want to be seen as relevant and valuable by their customer base. Let's look at one especially important trend, the growth of online degrees and courses, as well as the education professionals who dedicate part or all of their time to this form of learning. 

A student working on a computer.Online courses are increasingly popular even as total postsecondary enrollment decreases.

Understanding the popularity of online learning

More students are spending part or all of their postsecondary careers engaging in online learning. There are many reasons for the popularity of online education, including:

  • Access: Students can participate in a well-regarded program without having to physically move close to the campus. That means they don't have to disrupt current professional and personal responsibilities.
  • Convenience: In many cases, learners can engage with course material on their own time, allowing for more flexible schedules even if they live hundreds of miles away. A variety of such programs allow for part-time attendance, offering further benefits.
  • Cost: While not universal, many online programs carry lower costs than the traditional alternative.

Inside Higher Ed said that, based on data from the U.S. Department of Education, use of online courses grew appreciably even as total enrollment in postsecondary institutions declined in 2017, the most recent year for which complete data is available. With online learning increasingly popular, more educators are leading such courses as administrators spend more time on them.

How can your company market to education professionals focused partially, primarily or exclusively on online learning?

Targeting educators and administrators involved in online learning

There are some basic considerations to start with when it comes to connecting with professionals who primarily engage with, lead or supervise online learning efforts. Providing materials that are easily distributed digitally is a core concept to keep in mind. Businesses that offer education-focused apps, similar digital tools and media may only have to make slight adjustments to seem relevant to education professionals focused on online instruction. On the other hand, companies that offer materials like textbooks and even hardware may have to adjust or narrow down marketing efforts to ensure only relevant products and services are offered to this audience.

Effective, accurate and current information about education professionals and the courses they instruct or administrate is another core need. Understanding which instructors teach which online classes - and which have no involvement in teaching students over the internet - is just as important as having relevant marketing collateral and outreach plans in place. Without this knowledge, it's all too easy to waste time and money reaching out to the wrong prospects with irrelevant material. To learn more about Agile's approach to offering useful, dependable and accurate course-level higher education data, get in touch with us today.

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