Online learning – the future of education

Modern ways of getting an education differ in some aspects from the way it happened 50 or 100 years ago; nowadays alongside of the traditional system of education such types as online courses become an extremely popular. According to statistics, in 2015 the market of online education was worth $166.5 billion, and it is expected to grow to $255 billion by 2017. Such big numbers allow considering that new format as the far-reaching factor that can greatly affect the future of education. The phenomenon of online learning like many other things has positive and negative sides, but nevertheless it is spreading rapidly, and who knows, maybe in the near future we will forget about visiting classes in university?


How does it work? What is the secret of this popularity? What subjects are available? Let’s try to answer to all these questions step by step. Nowadays there are two major types. The first one is called for-credit courses; it covers university and college students who take online classes offered by their or other higher education institutions. For example, that type was experienced by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT OpenCourseWare) and the Harvard (Harvard Online learning). The second main type is courses which include professional training and certification preparation. It is oriented at those who are deeply interested in a particular field. Coursera, edX, and Udacity are usually known as the biggest course providers among MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) providers. In 2015 the top three positions by number of courses again took Couresra, edX, and Canvas Network.  Sharing of English language courses slowly reduces, when the rise of region-specific providers occurs. On the whole courses are offered in 16 languages.

The essential reason why people choose online courses is a great variety of offered programs. It’s an interesting fact that in 2015 the percentage of courses in the field of technology and business increased, but overall an approximate balance of technical and non-technical courses still persists. In general, the full list of subjects consists of the next elements: business and management, science, computer science and programming, social science, engineering and mathematics, humanities, education and teaching, health and medicine, art and design; the first five points are the most prominent and each of them takes more than 10%.  Very often people who have started their working career prefer online certification to full-time studying.


If we consider main benefits of choosing online educational programs, it’s worth mentioning that you shouldn’t pay thousands of dollars for and attend classes. Instead of physical class session, you can stay at home and access all necessary materials via online platforms. Besides, you may forget about getting up early, taking public transport and spending money on housing in the campus. All you need for successful studying is a computer, a reliable Internet connection and electricity. Another proof that online learning becomes increasingly popular is the fact more and more higher education institutions introduce or improve their online educational platforms (e.g. involve well-known university professors and experienced teams of professionals in various fields) in order to attract more students and remain competitive in the educational market.


To be honest, there are some weak sides of online learning; one of them is the lack of quality control, it touches both studying and teaching. Data given by the Global Shapers Survey shows the percentage of those who don’t find online learning as reliable as traditional learning in classrooms (47.68%). That stereotype may be caused by a low level of lecturer-student interaction, in certain cases, prejudices concerning actual value of such untraditional system may be found.

In spite of negative comments and opinions, online learning is an effective solution to achieve the aim “education for all”. Even today in our world, there are many regions, especially in developing countries, where access to education is limited or inaccessible at all for different reasons (living in remote area, poverty and so on). In that particular situations traditional education is unavailable, and online format of education is the most appropriate one to deliver quality education to people all around the world. Undoubtedly, it’s quite complicated to put into action as that format needs strict control and regulation.  But team of experienced Darwin writers can halp you to GO ON!