Business Commentary for Rational Individuals

Online Education

Dr. Bill Belew

Issue II - June 18, 2006

Introduction by Mr. Stolyarov: Online course enrollments are skyrocketing at rates ten times those of enrollments in traditional universities, writes Dr. Bill Belew. Online classes give educational opportunities to full-time-working individuals who otherwise could not have gone to college; they are also more profitable for the organizations offering them.

Enrollments in online courses are increasing 10 times faster than traditional enrollments.

Let's see, every time someone visits a campus, takes a tour, visits a book store, eats in a cafeteria, looks at an empty gym or stadium, and then sits with a counselor for an hour or so, and then finally signs the enrollment form...10 people sign up online!

Uh...gee...I wonder ...If I were a school, where should I apply my time and effort? Hard question.

Schools like Arizona State University expect enrollment in at least one online course to soar from 15,000 to 100,000 within the next five years.

ASU now has students from New Hampshire, Iowa, Mexico, India, and China.

Online education is now accessible to anyone who has high-speed internet. I just recently completed a degree with a friend who made it through with the old fashioned dial-up connection. (She's much more patient than I.)

There is one more thing that drives the online learning surge: it is very lucrative -- emphasis on very.

People earning degrees online are older than most traditional graduates; they work full-time and already have families.  They also choose the web because it is convenient. 

Online learning is now part of mainstream higher education, and if it's not part of your school, it should be.

Online learning is also more profitable.

One can be sure the fopros will capitalize on it.

What do you think?

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Dr. Bill Belew is a former Intelligence Officer for a Destroyer Squadron. He lived 20 years in Japan, where he started a language school for Japanese ECS. Dr. Belew teaches classes for a vocational school and online for a national university.

See Dr. Belew's blog, PanAsianBiz, for news and discussions about business and current events in Russia and Asia. See ZhongHuaRising for Dr. Belew's reports on business in China, RisingSunofNihon on business in Japan, and TheBizofKnowledge on business education.

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