IN 2017, the global market for online learning was valued at US$255
billion, according to corporate finance advisory group IBIS Capital. But
higher ed captured only $17 billion of that amount-less than 7 percent
of the market. Why such a small fraction? One reason could be that
organizations want access to training that's delivered in shorter, more
flexible formats than many business schools offer. That's according
to a new report about the state of global executive education from
CarringtonCrisp, a U.K.-based education marketing firm.
In fact, just 28 percent of the individuals surveyed say that their
firms turn to business schools for training and professional development.
Twenty-one percent note that exec ed training that their organizations
had purchased from business schools in the past had had no
impact on their organizations. And 29 percent say that other providers
simply offer programs better suited to their development needs.
"Learning design needs to change massively," says one respondent.
"It needs to help people do their jobs more effectively in the moment.
Shorter periods of learning are just as impactful as three-day training
courses." Another notes, "Programs used to be one week. Now they are
one-hour lunches over several weeks. Programs need to be stickier to take hold in these shorter time periods."
Digital providers such as Coursera
and Udacity have stepped in to deliver
very short-format educational experiences.
Among respondents, 36 percent
report having taken courses on Coursera
and 35 percent on Udacity.
The report also singles out a newcomer,
the Emeritus Institute of Management
in India, whose revenues were expected
to reach $40 million in 2018. Emeritus
has invested heavily in using artificial
intelligence and predictive analytics to
offer adaptive learning options that are
more responsive to student needs.
The report highlights the most popular
topics of study for exec ed students,
such as strategic marketing, communication,
leadership, risk management,
and productivity. However, gaining in
popularity are topics such as growth and
scalability, resilience and mindfulness,
digital transformation, and social impact.
The good news for business schools is
that the exec ed market will only continue
to grow, with 51 percent of employers
surveyed indicating plans to increase
spending on training. While many respondents
turn to alternative providers,
56 percent agree that "business school
faculty have a wealth of experience not
often found in consultants."
B-schools can tap their faculty's
experience and pedagogical strengths to
tailor options to market demand, says
Andrew Crisp, founder of CarringtonCrisp.
"If people come out of these
programs with the qualities employers
want, that will drive the market forward,"
he says. "Outcomes will be key."
Schools that don't deliver desired results,
the report warns, "could miss out
on many of these opportunities in the
new executive education marketplace."
Read the full report: "Executive Education Futures: What Next for Business Schools, Learners and Employers?"