Current Trends in Online Education That Will Shape Up Your Career

online training

Over the past few decades, the field of education has seen drastic changes. Not only has online education become a thing, but Research and Markets estimate that the e-learning industry reached a value of $187.877 billion last year.

Technology and the developments in the business landscape have had the biggest impact on online education. If you want to leverage online education for career advancement, you need to make a note of the following trends: 

Career-Readiness Has Become the Biggest Priority

Career advancement is the biggest reason people opt to further their education. About 77% of online students are career-minded, according to Best Colleges 2020 Online Trends Report. In fact, the majority of online learners are interested in earning a degree in a field where they have practical experience or where they already work.

To meet the needs of students who are focused on continuing professional development, more and more online universities are incorporating career-ready coursework and certifications.

Compared to traditional four-year universities, online universities are more flexible when it comes to incorporating new skills in their study programs. They prioritise those skills that leading companies are most often searching for.

Since the goal of many e-learning platforms is to offer targeted career support to their students, we can expect to see more direct partnerships between online education platforms and employers. 

Tech Companies Are Increasingly Hiring Educators

While some academic institutions are looking to develop mutually beneficial relationships with employers, others are starting to see them as competition—and for good reason.

When it comes to educating people about the biggest and most recent advances in technology, business, or marketing, some tech giants are better positioned than universities. So, instead of waiting on traditional educational institutions to educate professionals in certain fields, the world’s largest internet companies are taking matters into their own hands.

For instance, Google is offering IT support, data analyst, and digital marketing certification programs to everyone, and not just their employees. Google even has certification programs for educators. And, naturally, educators are the ones who are responsible for creating these programs. Because of this, many talented educators are switching careers from academia to the tech sector.

But companies aren’t relying just on educators to train their employees. Instead of sending their employees to seminars and workshops, many businesses use conversational AI chatbots for employee skill development. These digital assistants are forcing traditional corporate training software, in-house education, and training models to evolve at a rapid pace.

Digital Apprenticeship Opportunities Are Rising

Traditionally, an apprenticeship requires two components: on-the-job training with a mentor and classroom learning. But, when the novel coronavirus hit, many apprenticeship programs started moving both of these components online. This only goes to show that virtual apprenticeships can become the way of the future.

One of the biggest benefits of virtual apprenticeships is the fact that they can open up more opportunities for people with disabilities that are unable to work in a traditional office environment. Thanks to VR devices, even virtual apprenticeships in the manufacturing sector are now possible. Virtual reality tools and platforms such as TRANSFR and Interplay Learning are perfect examples of this.

Still, at the moment, remote learning tools are mostly changing the digital footprint of apprenticeships in fields such as digital marketing and IT.

Digital literacy will play an even greater role in apprenticeship programs. Those who have the skills to access e-learning platforms are already at an advantage.

Gamification Is Transforming the Way We Learn Soft Skills

Employers often have a hard time teaching employees skills such as delegation, critical thinking, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and leadership. Without hands-on applications, these soft skills are difficult to learn.

Not only do gamification and video-based learning make it easier for people to acquire these skills, but they make the whole process much more fun and relaxed. For example, learning how to resolve conflicts comes much easier when there is no real stress involved.

Game-based learning is very effective because it engages the learner. Students who are more engaged usually retain more knowledge.

Because of this, creators of online courses are increasingly using gamification elements, such as point and level-up systems, social sharing, gradual challenge increase, progress tracking, and action-based content unlocking.

Big Data is Customising Online Learning

These days, the term big data comes with ominous connotations. But, in the realm of online education, big data is simply the data created by students while undertaking a training module or e-learning course.

Big data allows online educators to customize their learning experience. This big data trend has had a positive impact on corporate learning because it has led to the creation of more informative, engaging, and effective modules and courses. It helps businesses develop better learning programs by giving them excellent learner feedback.


Online education is changing the way people approach learning. Trends like big data, gamification, and digital apprenticeships have the potential to significantly accelerate a learner’s career. E-learning tools and programs have become the new normal for many companies and professionals.

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