Sarath Shyam

Online learning is not the future of education. It is the present. The data shows that the number of learners reached by Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) increased from 300,000 to 220 million from 2011 to 2021. McKinsey & Company has reported that the number of hybrid and distance-only students at traditional universities increased 36 per cent between 2012 and 2019. The growth was rapidly accelerated by an additional 92 per cent in 2022 when educational institutions had to close down their campuses for an indefinite period due to the spread of COVID-19.

In 2021, the global online education market was valued at USD 315 Billion and projected to observe a 20 per cent CAGR from 2022 to 2028. Several educational institutions and EdTech companies are focusing on developing customised learning solutions to cater to the growing demand. Today, the emergence of online education as a steady stream of learning has blurred the lines between degree and non-degree programs. Many students now prefer short-term courses in high-demand areas such as user experience design and data analytics, which give prospective learners cost-effective, expeditious options beyond a degree program.

In the changing scenarios, traditional online education providers need to think beyond degree-focused programs and consider including such offerings in their strategies to compete and grow in the online education space. To help online learning aspirants worldwide make informed decisions on their study portals, we have developed a special issue featuring 10 Most Prominent Online Institutes in 2022. These have looked beyond education for ideas and expertise and to find new technologies from across the digital economy and provided quality education to the global student population.

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