I have been working on this field for few years and I see a promising growth of online education for few reasons:
- endless possibility of courses to access
- flexibility in learning
- access to Premium universities.
Some of the challenges may be:
- Screening on the quality of education
- too much offer can make decision making difficult or biased.
Happy to discuss this further in details!
My answer is based on my experience with clients in this field. Nevertheless, seeing how this question is about the future, I wouldn't presume it to be 100% accurate.
In the near future (5 years): an increase in the amount of 'players' offering online courses and increased growth of the existing ones (in most subjects, except for those which are already saturated).
Later on (7-10 years): the closing of the smaller players and/or the buying out of smaller players by bigger ones (or companies not in that field but who provide complementary services).
There are a lot of online courses out there in every single niche that you can think of.
Most of the most successful online courses either already have a strong following or a strong marketing strategy.
Start with some good content marketing for free and build an audience :)
Universities themselves are getting rid of the traditional learning environment and instead using “flipped classrooms” whereby some of the content is delivered to students online - I experienced this. If major Universities are flipping the script, then I’d say that online courses have a good future. I particularly think that courses online will get shorter over the next few years as people becoming increasingly time-poor. Call me if you have any follow up questions.
I've been working in the education sector (private and public) since the mid 1980s. I pioneered remote and distance learning programs 'way back then' and have enjoyed the evolution that we've come to know now as online learning. Teaching in University (using the various LMS platforms) showed me the robust nature of remote training. In the last 20 years I've seen a growing acceptance of distance and remote learning and see only good things ahead. Naturally, there will be a shake out of the charlatans and con-artists who create crappy content, so the future will be won by those who differentiate themselves early on. There are some fascinating trends (which I've been watching and write about in my http://60SecondNewsletter.com) will disrupt the landscape somewhat. However, those keen to provide a quality problem/solution experience will prosper. I'm happy to answer more specific questions if there are any. Take care, and happy training!