While the online education sector was rapidly blooming even before the coronavirus pandemic, it is safe to say that in a twist of events, COVID-19 has accelerated this growth at an unimaginable rate.
Few could have foreseen COVID-19’s impending course and impact on almost every aspect of human life in 2020, when the initial cases were documented. Yet more than five months later, here we are, in our dramatically transformed world. Everything from to grocery shopping to board meetings are now being conducted online, exposing our heavy dependency on a stable internet connection. Bearing in mind these massive shifts in the status quo, it is evident that technology and Internet have been central to our evolution and adaptability in this pandemic era.
Let’s consider the online education industry for instance: The online education sector in India was valued at an all-time high of INR 19,300 crore in 2018. It was also expected to reach INR 36,030 crore by 2024. Fuelling this growth is the rising Internet penetration, and simplified unlimited access to innovative technology. Moreover, the online education industry was witnessing growth at a swift pace due to professionals and students wanting to up skill themselves in order to thrive in this new-age business landscape, whilst balancing their respective careers along with their learning endeavours. Concurrently, students who attended classes regularly still leveraged online learning to supplement their education.
COVID-19 Impacting The e-Learning Ecosphere
While the online education sector was rapidly blooming even before the coronavirus pandemic, it is safe to say that in a twist of events, COVID-19 has accelerated this growth at an unimaginable rate. Through online learning, being physically present in classrooms is no longer a given, paving the way to innovative new methods of education. As students refrain from being physically present in the same classroom as their teachers and classmates, online education is certainly the only way of learning during this age of social distancing.
Consequently, the scope of online learning has also extended. Most institutes of learning are now offering online education to varying degrees. Schools and colleges being closed indefinitely, implies millions of students are now dependent on online learning platforms to further their education. The e-learning space is expected to skyrocket in the coming months.
Why Is The World Turning To Online Education?
There are numerous advantages of turning to online education—even beyond the fact that the model is synonymous with social distancing. These are as follows:
It is convenient for students and teachers to embrace online learning. A stable internet connection and a computer are the only requirements to turn your home into your classroom, and considering today’s high-speed internet connections at affordable prices, this setup is super easy.
Previously, thousands of migrant students returned to their hometowns to stay home and safe with their families. In this scenario, online learning is a lifesaver.
- Specializations range:
Students are constantly seeking to enhance their professional skills through online learning. The Internet is a treasure of such relevant courses, with thousands of hours of useful content that can easily be accessed and boost their knowledge and skill base. Students can take control of their career by choosing the one that best suits.
Online learning is more cost-effective than traditional learning methods. Actually, online degrees can cost almost a tenth of their offline counterparts. This becomes a crucial aspect in today’s economy, where job losses and pay cuts are widely rampant.
Traditional learning methods, i.e., education followed by a degree, are now rendered outdated. Today’s students realise that hands-on learning and relevant practical industry training are far more valuable in the long run for building a successful career. Consequently, the desire and need to learn from industry professionals is growing. They believe that these experiences will help them prepare for employment more efficiently than say in a classroom with archaic lessons.
A revolution is on the horizon, since online education is the only viable option in 2020. Millions of students who have embraced e-learning tools during these circumstances might stick to them even after the pandemic has passed. Online learning might just become the new normal. It is an innovative method of learning that has been steadily gaining momentum in 2020, and evidence suggests, it is here to stay!