According to Babson Survey Research Group, nearly 33 percent of college students are taking at least one course online. As online higher education continues to evolve and gain popularity, it is crucial that online universities continue prioritizing student’s needs.

Following trends in the industry is one way online universities or universities offering online classes can learn what those needs are and where they can innovate to meet them.

Related content: Are we missing the boat in online learning?

As we enter a new decade, it’s clear that digital learning is the way of the future and the trends outlined below are indicators of where online universities can grow and what students expect when they choose to continue their higher education online.

Career-readiness is the top priority.

According to an annual report recapping online education trends, career advancement is the top driver of continuing education. For the first time, in 2019 a majority of students identified themselves as career accelerators who are interested in earning a degree in a field where they already work or have practical experience.

About the Author:

Alison Bell has more than 20 years of higher education leadership experience and is the chancellor of WGU Indiana, a nonprofit, online university offering 60+ degrees in the four colleges of business, teaching, I.T. and health/nursing. WGU Indiana is the first-ever state model within Western Governors University and prides itself on being the nation’s first accredited competency-based university as well as having a diverse student body across the entire state of Indiana.


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