SOURCE: EducationDynamics

EducationDynamics

January 20, 2011 07:00 ET

EducationDynamics Reveals 5 Key Higher Education Trends From the Past Decade

The Online Education Explosion, Non-Traditional Students and @dmissions Moving Online Top List Compiled by Leading Marketing Information and Technology Services Company

HOBOKEN, NJ--(Marketwire - January 20, 2011) - EducationDynamics, higher education's leading marketing information and technology services company, today released its list of five key higher education trends from the past decade based on what it has observed serving more than 1,200 colleges and universities nationwide, as well as more than 7 million prospective students annually who visit its web portals, including EarnMyDegree.com, EducationConnection.com, eLearners.com, GradSchools.com, StudyAbroad.com and TestDriveCollegeOnline.com. EducationDynamics, which began with eLearners.com in 1999, helps connect prospective students with online classes, as well as provides recruitment, enrollment, retention and market research support to post-secondary institutions, ranging from four-year state and private non-profit schools to two-year community colleges and career education providers. 

"There have been significant changes impacting higher education over the last ten years, in large part due to advances in technology that helped increase access to education and information related to education," said Steve Isaac, CEO of EducationDynamics. "As a trusted resource to both colleges and universities and people interested in attaining higher education, EducationDynamics has a 360 degree understanding of the industry and is in a unique position to review the trends of the last decade."

After a careful review of proprietary data, demand analysis and industry research from the last ten years, EducationDynamics has identified the following five trends in post-secondary education in the United States over the past decade:

1) The Online Education Explosion: Interest in online education increased exponentially from 2000-2010. In 2010, more than 7 million prospective students visited EducationDynamics' web portals seeking information about online education, up from about 2 million in 2000. The most recent report on online education by the Sloan Consortium found that 5.6 million students were taking at least one online course in fall 2009, up from 1.6 million in the fall of 2002 and that online enrollments posted a 21 percent growth rate, while the growth rate for the overall higher education student population was less than two percent. Additionally, a 2010 Society for Human Resource Management study commissioned by EducationDynamics found that 87 percent of human resource professionals reported online degrees are viewed more favorably now compared to five years ago. With online degrees gaining acceptance by hiring managers, interest is expected to rise especially among adult students who are attracted to the flexibility online education provides, allowing them to better balance work and family with their studies.

2) Enrollment of Non-Traditional Students: EducationDynamics' Market Research and Advisory Services consistently found that over the past decade the adult student population was the demographic to watch and in its seminal report, "Hindsight, Insight, Foresight: Understanding Adult Learning Trends to Predict Future Opportunities," even explored the popular trigger events -- unemployment/job change, life events, career transitions -- that spark adults' interest in higher education. With the online education boom and a down economy, in the last decade more and more adults were inspired to start a degree program, return and complete a degree program or get a new degree to be competitive in the modern job market. This trend is expected to continue into the next decade, with the National Center for Education Statistics expecting enrollments of adults age 25 and above to outpace enrollments of people under 25 through 2017. 

3) @dmissions Moved Online: According to the 2010 EducationDynamics eCruit Survey, the .edu admissions website is now the most influential source of information for prospective students. In addition, the Noel-Levitz E-Expectations 2010 report found that 100 percent of students surveyed had viewed at least one college website. Over the last decade, colleges and universities sought new approaches such as portals that connect students to their peers before they enroll and virtual orientations to engage the digital generation to improve the admissions process in light of its transition online. Additionally, by tailoring online campaigns to defined audiences of prospective and accepted students, schools were able to more effectively evaluate ROI on their student recruitment marketing dollars, a measurement that gained critical concern.

4) Increased Emphasis on Student Success Resources: Colleges and universities have always kept a keen eye on graduation rates, but in the last decade the definition of student success has expanded. From tools designed to increase student engagement and early alert systems to flag at-risk students, to holistic ways to monitor student wellness, demand for resources that support student success both academically and personally skyrocketed.

5) Creation of Market Driven Degrees: Colleges and universities responded to the needs of emerging industries by creating new degrees to meet employers' demand for a highly skilled, technical workforce, most notably related to sustainability and green careers, as well as social media and interactive design fields. EducationDynamics' web portals, including eLearners.com and EarnMyDegree.com, saw a significant increase in online programs related to these fields and USA Today reported that more than 100 green energy and sustainability majors, minors and degree programs were added in 2009 alone.

For more information about EducationDynamics visit www.EducationDynamics.com.

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, EducationConnection.com, eLearners.com, GradSchools.com, StudyAbroad.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, as well as other innovative solutions including LeadWatchLive, its web-based inquiry management system. 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 www.educationdynamics.com

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