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How does the online course market work?

Are you thinking about investing in online courses? Check out what the market currently looks like!

Luiza Sousa Alexandre

01/15/2020 | By Luiza Sousa Alexandre

What will we see in this post

If there’s one market that is growing rapidly, it’s the online course market. After all, everyone is looking to learn and develop new skills, either to grow professionally or even as a hobby.

Online courses offer this and much more. With them, you can learn anything and for those who wish to become entrepreneurs, the market represents a plethora of opportunities!

The best thing is that if before you needed a computer to watch the courses, now you can watch them on smartphones or tablets, from anywhere as long as there’s an internet connection. Teachers can reach increasingly more people, and students have full autonomy over their learning process.

The benefits are numerous and the growth of this market is no coincidence. 

In this post, we’re going to analyze how the online course market works and show you data that proves that distance education isn’t merely a temporary trend. Let’s get started?

The growth of the online course market in the world

We live in a world where everyone is connected. With the growing access to technologies, such as smartphones, tablets and computers, new forms of consuming educational content have emerged.

Online courses are a trending form of distance learning. Even traditional institutions are creating and distributing short and long-term online courses, which can be accessed by students all around the world.

Not only has the number of online courses increased, but also has their variety and with innovative teaching methods. Renowned universities such as Harvard and Oxford offer free online courses.

This goes to show that the whole world recognizes online courses as a form of democratizing education, offering valuable content that is accessible to everyone.

Main market trends

As we can see, distance education and online courses have increased meteorically over the last decade in the US and around the world. This market is still expanding, with new trends always emerging.

Nowadays, it’s no longer about accumulating courses and taking examinations, but about truly learning something real, which will change students’ personal or professional lives.

This is one of the main reasons behind the growth of DE courses, especially the so-called informal courses. But this isn’t the only trend in the market. Check out the main ones:

1. Microlearning

A strong trend in online courses is microlearning, which offers the course material in smaller doses, such as modules. 

Thus, students learn and absorb the content in a less complicated manner. This strategy is also known as Knowledge Pills, and has been gaining more followers every day.

After all, it’s easier to learn from short video classes or activities and thus, manage the course according to the time available.

2. Gamification

Gamification techniques have become increasingly present in online courses over the last few years. This format involves achievements, points or scores that follow students’ progress.

It refers to videogames, which catch students’ attention while stimulating them to continue in order to win more points and prizes.

Gamification courses can also offer content according to the level of difficulty that students must complete, which is great for learning that is even more complete.

3. Mobile learning

The use of mobile devices is already a reality that can no longer be ignored by the online course market. For most users, it’s the main means of internet access. 

The difference between mobile learning and other formats is that the former is designed especially for the size of smartphone and other mobile device screens. It’s the ideal format for the application of gamification and promoting interactivity.

4. Blended Learning

Blended learning, also known as hybrid learning, is an online course trend that is very prominent in higher education institutions. 

This format combines onsite and online learning. This means that students learn both in the classroom and in the online environment.

5. Virtual assistants

Institutions and teachers are increasingly using Artificial Intelligence to help students improve their skills. AI tools can help analyze student performance and help them during the course.

Thus, besides collecting data to personalize the students’ experience, it also keeps them engaged and provides assistance when needed. 

Is investing in this market worthwhile?

Many people still wonder whether the DE market is worth it or not. This question is quite valid, since we’re dealing with a relatively recent trend. 

However, many already know that online courses are the best path for those who seek professional qualification or want to learn something new, even as a hobby. 

Online courses have a great advantage: convenience to watch the classes from anywhere. Students can take the course at home, during their free time from work or even during their daily commute.

For those who are teachers, the market also offers several benefits. In addition to sharing your knowledge with many more people, being the creator of an online course is a great way of undertaking and making money.

The most promising niches

If you wish to get started in the online course market, you should first check out in which niche you wish to invest. When it comes to DE courses, there’s a world of possibilities for those who wish to create and sell.

In order to get to know the market better, we’ve listed the niches that stand out in the digital market:

Personal and professional development

The job market is becoming increasingly more competitive and this has increased the number of people who search for courses to help them in their personal development. 

These people wish to improve their communication and speaking skills, as well as learn to have better self-esteem and improve their personal performance within their company.

Therefore, this niche has plenty of room courses in coaching, personal marketing, productivity, career management, career changes, time and task management, etc.

Digital marketing

Digital marketing is still a niche that represents many opportunities for those in this field. Within it, there are several sub-niches, as for example: SEO techniques, paid traffic, personal marketing on LinkedIn, social media marketing, email marketing and other countless techniques and tools.

Both professionals in the area as well as those who wish to change careers and invest in marketing search for courses in this niche. Plus, any business depends on marketing in order to sell, and digital marketing is the best strategy to do so. 

Health and well-being

Health and well-being are topics that have gained traction over the last few years. People are increasingly concerned about their lifestyle and diet. No wonder there are so many bloggers exploring this niche and have millions of followers on social media.

But health does not only involve diet and physical exercise. You can also explore and create courses in beauty, holistic therapy, body care, quick healthy recipes, etc.

In addition to the niches mentioned above, we have a full list with the 70 most profitable niches on the market. Be sure to check it out and start planning your digital course!

Are you ready to start your online course?

As we can see, this is a great moment to invest in the online course market, and if you wish to create your own, it’s time to get to work!

Being a digital producer is a great way of making money working with what you know and like.

Learn how to transform your knowledge into an online video course using our free guide.

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