SOURCE: EducationDynamics

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June 15, 2010 11:34 ET

EducationDynamics' eLearning Index Pinpoints Growth Opportunities in Online Education Market

Research Report Is Valuable to Schools Seeking to Enter the Online Education Market or Planning to Expand Online Degree Offerings

HOBOKEN, NJ--(Marketwire - June 15, 2010) -  EducationDynamics, higher education's leading marketing information and technology services company, today released its greatly anticipated 2010 eLearning Index, an annual proprietary report that provides fundamental decision-support data that colleges and universities rely upon to launch or grow online degree programs. The report's aggregate data offer both perspective and insight into demand for online education, information particularly valuable for colleges and universities that may be less familiar with online education demand patterns and strategic market opportunities.

Online programs have traditionally been associated with for-profit career colleges. However, in the past few years, online degree programs have become growth opportunities for not-for-profits, public and private colleges and universities, including the University of California system, University of Maryland and Boston University and many community colleges throughout the nation. A growing number of these institutions are developing robust online degree programs to meet the changing demographics of students and the demand for greater flexibility. As state university systems and community colleges continue to experience record enrollments, but limited space, they need to explore ways to serve more students, and online education is a popular option.

"The data from the eLearning Index provide a significant advantage to schools interested in tailoring or commencing online offerings that reflect student interest and demand, market saturation and gaps within online education," says Carol Aslanian, Senior Vice President, EducationDynamics' Market Research and Advisory Services. "This valuable resource presents the online degree programs, levels, fields of study and majors that show promise and are ripe with opportunity for growth."

The eLearning Index gauges student interest in over 3,800 online degree listings to determine the popularity of particular degree programs and forecasts opportunities for expansion. The report highlights gaps in the marketplace as well as student demand for a variety of degrees, putting critical data at the fingertips of colleges and universities that may be considering implementing or expanding online degree options.

For example, data pertaining to demand in degree programs at all levels reflect the continued growth of the healthcare industry. Findings indicate demand interest in degree programs within healthcare professions placed first or second in the ranking when broken down by degree level as shown in the following chart:

ELEARNING DEMAND INDEX SCORES FOR ALL DEGREES BY FIELD OF STUDY

    Field of Study
  Rank   Associate's   Bachelor's   Master's   Doctorate
  1   Health Professions   Business   Health Professions   Education
  2   Business   Health Professions   Education   Health Professions
  3   Criminal Justice
and Law
  Humanities
and Sciences
  Business   Business
  4   Education   Education   Humanities and Sciences   Criminal Justice
and Law
  5   Computer and Information Sciences   Criminal Justice and Law   Criminal Justice
and Law
  Humanities
and Sciences

Data for the 2010 eLearning Index were collected from eLearners.com, an EducationDynamics web resource that connects prospective students with online degree programs. EducationDynamics examined prospective student interest during each quarter of 2009 across 3,859 degrees listed on eLearners.com. The degrees are offered in hundreds of colleges and universities of all institutional types and categorized into one of four degree levels (i.e., associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctorate), across eight fields of study (e.g., visual and performing arts) and 92 majors (e.g., design and music).

"For prudent budgeters who want to maintain a sound financial plan while addressing the swelling demand for online education, the eLearning Index provides the data points that take the guesswork out of determining what will be successful. Therefore, schools have the opportunity to maximize their investment in new online degree programs while minimizing the risks," explains Aslanian. "The Index can also be useful for those schools that do not have the budget to dedicate to a full-scale analysis of the online degree landscape."

Colleges and universities interested in ordering a copy of the 2010 eLearning Index should contact Carol Aslanian at 201.377.3321 or caslanian@educationdynamics.com. The report is available for purchase and includes three case studies as well as comprehensive analyses of the data.

About EducationDynamics
EducationDynamics is higher education's leading marketing information and technology services company dedicated to helping institutions find, enroll and retain students. Its content-rich and highly visible education websites, including EarnMyDegree.com, eLearners.com, GradSchools.com, StudyAbroad.com, EducationConnection.com, TestDriveCollegeOnline.com and its more than 50 special interest microsites, make EducationDynamics the premier provider of qualified prospective students for colleges and universities. In addition, the company offers a full suite of Web-delivered services proven to drive enrollment growth and reduce student attrition. Through its Market Research and Advisory Services, the company brings a decade of proprietary research, unparalleled market and student intelligence, and best practice insights to its clients. For more information, visit http://www.educationdynamics.com

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