The coronavirus brought enormous changes to many industries. Tourism and retails suffer, while tech companies like Zoom rose during the pandemic. Many are saying that the craze of teleconferencing will eventually fade as people return to the office. However, one particular industry will likely enjoy some long-term benefits, and that is online learning. The global online education market is expected to reach a total market size of US$319.167 billion in 2025, increasing from US$187.877 billion in 2019, according to Research and Markets. Many online course platforms also benefit from this explosive growth, like Thinkific has raised $22 million in September. 

Online Learning by Young Students

When talking about online education, many would naturally think of students learning from home, as schools have closed to protect them from being infected. As a result, students are getting increasingly adaptive to learning online. Though not every student and parent enjoy school from home, we cannot deny that more learning activities will continue to occur online after the pandemic. 

Online Learning by Adults

Besides young students, a considerable part of online learning’s new market potential comes from adults. During the crisis, individuals are encouraged to use the time freed up to take up new training. Many recognized the power of technology during this unprecedented incident and sparked their interest in learning new technology. Some traditional small business owners realized the need and the potential of bringing their business online. Many who become unemployed hunt for new skills and new jobs. As such, the crisis provides a robust test of the potential of learning online. Many have discovered the benefits like the below. 

Benefits of Online Learning

Online learning brings these benefits that make learning new skills and knowledge more accessible and effective: Learn at your own paceWith the pre-recorded classes, students can pause and go back whenever they need to. They can also revise by re-watching the videos. Fast learners can play videos at 1.25x to 2x the speed. They can take their time to study and only take the quizzes when they’re ready. Lower tuition feeSince course instructors can now record the class and reuse the materials as many times as they want, the time it takes to teach one student is essentially the same as teaching 100 students. More students now share the cost of course creation and therefore benefit from the lower tuition fee.  Learn at your own scheduleFor part-time students or working professionals who take classes for self-development, they can learn whenever they are free with the pre-recorded lessons. They can attend the class before work, during lunch, after work, or even when they can’t fall asleep at night. 

Benefits of Teaching Online 

Online education also brings many benefits to teachers and course creators:

  • Spread your influence and knowledge to more students at a much lower cost 
  • Selling online courses can be a lucrative business.
  • Grow your business by educating customers and increasing brand awareness 
  • Bringing your classes online can generate massive growth for your teaching business. 

How You Can Benefit

Whether you are a student, a teacher, a working professional, an entrepreneur, or a subject expert, we hope to bring some fresh perspectives on how you can participate to enjoy some of the above benefits. 

For Students

Every student has something they love learning. Some have the dream of working at NASA, while some want to become a chef growing up. With the tremendous amount of free resources online, you can now learn what interests you for free. Want to work at NASA? Take the beginner class in Astronomy offered by the University of Arizona for free. Want to become a chef? Start with learning some cooking basics at Udemy

For Teachers and Subject Experts

Whether you are a yoga instructor, a musician, or an English teacher, you can create an online course for free with many online course platforms. Creating an online course can add extra income to your current income streams and even boost your industry’s reputation. For example, Nikolas Nuñez is teaching music to adults in a novel way online. And there are more live examples from experts in different fields. 

For Working Professionals 

Keep learning to acquire new skills, change career paths, or help with promotion. In this ever-changing world, it is essential to develop new knowledge to stay relevant and remain competitive. For example, people in banking are starting to learn to program. Digital marketers are learning artificial intelligence to deliver better marketing results. If you’re thinking about pursuing a postgraduate degree in a different field, you may want to take a course online. It can help you determine whether that subject area is what you want to pursue. Some choose to acquire recognized certificates online instead of doing a full-time post-grad degree. There are many learning options nowadays to explore. 

For Entrepreneurs 

There are many ways you can grow your business with online courses. First of all, you can sell your knowledge of entrepreneurship and your subject area. Teach others how to do it. For example, if you are a coffee barista who opens a cafe. You can create an online course, teaching others from choosing coffee beans, making coffee to planning and budgeting for opening a coffee shop. People love practical tips and experience. Tell them your story and show them how to do it. Sharing your experience can not only help others to achieve their dreams but can also be an excellent source of income for you. The second way is to build an online course as a marketing tool to bring leads and customers to your existing business. At the most basic level, your business consists of:

  • Lead Generation – Identifying potential customers
  • Making Sales – Turning leads into customers
  • Customer Retention – Selling more to the existing customers

Focus on creating a course that can attract potential customers, get them to know you and your business, build relationships with them, and finally turn them into your customers and potentially sell more to them in the future.Let’s say you run a digital marketing agency. Your potential customers are those interested in promoting their business online. Many business owners would first try to research digital marketing to have a basic understanding, then to decide whether they:

  • Do it themselves,
  • Hire an in-house digital marketer, or
  • Hire a digital marketing agency 

And here, you can identify these leads by creating a free ‘digital marketing for businesses 101’ course. It gives you the chance to show your expertise to your leads to build trust and get the leads to learn about you and your agency.  Always provide more value than expected even if the course is for free. Only in this way will your potential customers be willing to pay for your services at a later stage. Even if they decided to do it themselves or hire someone in-house, you’ve made an impression as a digital marketing expert in their mind. Some businesses come back after years of the first contact. You never know. 

Final Thoughts

The e-learning industry is growing rapidly, and nearly everyone can participate and benefit from it. Take your first step, learn something new, or create your first online course today!