Online education could become more popular

December 3, 2012

Because it costs substantially less money for college, online college courses may be becoming a more attractive option to people of so-called "Generation Y" born during the mid-1980s, according to a study newly released by Northeastern University.

A follow-up report from the Huffington Post states that almost all of the more than 1,000 study respondents felt getting a higher education was generally a good idea. Nonetheless, worries about paying for college - which becomes easier if students apply for several college scholarships - and the shaky condition of the job market gave many of the participants pause.

According to the news source, more than 50 percent of the students in the study reported taking a course over the internet. In addition, more than 60 said they felt online college was just as worthwhile as the standard in-person programs, and almost 70 percent said they expected online degrees to become as prestigious as normal degrees. However, 90 percent also felt that online education should be supplemental, not their only means of learning.

"I think what was very interesting in the survey is that fact the 18 to 30 year olds are embracing the hybrid model (online and human interaction) as the preferred model for education," Joseph Aoun, President of Northeastern University and an advocate of combining online and in-person classes, told The Huffington Post. "They are way ahead of the other segment above 30."

Boston Magazine Blogger Chris Vogel, commenting on the Northeastern study, wrote that colleges and universities need to do more to make sure their students can find jobs after graduation. He pointed to Northeastern's statistic that almost 70 percent of respondents felt instructing students in entrepreneurship had become crucial, while well over 90 percent through combining academic with real-world job experience will benefit students more than classes alone. Meanwhile MIT was recently honored by for its efforts to teach entrepreneurship.

However, his conclusions were not optimistic for the overall state of traditional higher education.

"What remains to be seen, however, is how traditional universities will reshape themselves to meet the needs of students and whether they can adapt before [online] programs...take over for good," he wrote.

Be Sociable, Share!

No comments yet

Leave a Reply