Today’s declining enrollments suggest that, more and more, students are questioning the value of a four-year education. Even businesses are beginning to discount the value of a traditional degree—an education seems to matter most when it’s combined with marketable skills. What does this mean for the future of higher education? Based on the widening skills gap, income disparity, and cost-to-value of a college degree, students will most likely enroll in schools that provide the job and life skills necessary to thrive in today’s digital world.
Larger, more elite institutions will likely weather the changes in the higher ed landscape, but smaller schools with fewer resources looking to stay competitive may have to consider adjusting the way they deliver education. To best serve students, institutions will need to offer education that is hybrid, bite-sized, and personalized.
Students Want Hybrid, Omnichannel Delivery
The pandemic emphasized what many institutions already knew to be true—that education can be delivered in a hybrid model. In the spring of 2020, students started the semester on campus and were quickly forced to become remote learners. When colleges and universities brought students back in the fall, many gave students the option of returning in person or remaining remote, creating hybrid environments that allowed each learner to make their own decision.
Some students can’t focus on a Zoom conference, while others appreciate asynchronous learning from recorded lectures. A hybrid, omnichannel educational model allows students the flexibility to learn in person or remotely and to engage in learning through multiple channels and devices. Students can choose their preferred educational model based on their learning styles as well as the fluctuations in their lives.
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