Trends in Online Education: From the 90s to Now

When the concept of online education first became a reality, it was primarily in the form of small accreditation programs used by companies to further educate their employees in very specific areas. When it was expanded to entire degree programs, many people viewed them as a farce as there was no form of regulation and differentiating between illegally sold diplomas via the Internet and real institutions of learning was almost impossible. Internet education today is something entirely different. Thanks to intense accreditation procedures to weed out inferior institutions, millions of people throughout the world are looking to online education to earn a valid, invaluable college degree.

In fact, as more students turn to Internet educations, traditional institutions are rapidly re-evaluating their practices and many are now offering online courses or entire online degrees in addition to the programs they have always offered. Employers are also taking note, and an online degree is no longer a disadvantage compared to a traditional degree. With so many people completing online degrees, you will likely run into a number of people at your work place with an Internet education.


There are many trends that can be noted as online education changes, but a few are more obvious and have a greater effect on the face of education in general. Some of these include:

  • A changing face in the types of e-learners. They now tend to be slightly older than other students entering traditional colleges; they have already completed more credit hours and tend to have higher GPAs than traditional students.
  • The percentage of adults, females and minority learners in on the rise.
  • Lifelong learning is becoming a requirement. As access to career advancement programs become more readily available, more and more employers are expecting a continued amount of Internet education among employees.
  • Technological advancement. As advancements are made in communication, computers and the Internet, trends in online education show greater growth in enrollment. Technological advancement makes learning easier and more efficient for potential students.

The number of students choosing online education as a first choice doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. This growing number of Internet education students will result in a higher and higher quality of education.