There is a lot of competition in online education, particularly for graduate degrees in nursing, business, and IT. As students and employers grow more comfortable with online education, coupled with the increased technology that helps online education function smoothly, more colleges and institutions have entered the market. Did you know there are over 580 online MBA programs? That’s a lot for students to choose from. How do learners find the right program for them with that kind of choice? Programs need key differentiators to help them stand out among the crowd – things like pricing strategies, niche concentrations, or unique program features.
Launching emerging programs is another strategy. These can be a little riskier, but we have seen the huge potential of early-to-market programs as the sub-discipline matures. We help our partners develop evidence-informed strategies fueled by our research of a variety of sources, including our own research.
Another challenge is the increase in short-form education. Coursera, Udemy, and others offer short-form courses and certificates that can compete with university programs. Added to this are companies such as LinkedIn Learning, Amazon, and Microsoft that are directly offering training.
Despite this, learners trust the education they receive from colleges and universities over these other options. Google research in 2022 found that students are 56% more likely to consider a university program over others. Colleges and universities, however, can struggle with finding the right program for the right students – industry moves quickly with changing job needs. The academy can move slowly, while the competition can pivot with the increasing need for upskilling and reskilling in the job market.
Academic Strategy helps our partners navigate through this by identifying key job skills and predicting those skills that will be needed in the future. We can help our partners translate the skills into programs, concentrations, certificates, and courses that address the learner’s needs.