Welcome!

News Feed Item

Institutions Must Adapt to the Needs of Five Distinct Groups Within the Online Education Population

Schools That Reach Emerging Segments of Students and Parents Will Tap Into New Sources of Growth and Innovation, New BCG Research Finds

BOSTON, MA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/18/14 -- A survey of more than 3,000 U.S. students and parents conducted by The Boston Consulting Group's Center for Consumer and Customer Insight has identified five distinct segments of the online education population. The report, The Five Faces of Online Education: What Students and Parents Want, is being released today and is the latest in BCG's Consumer Sentiment series. The survey shows that schools must vary their approaches in order to best reach the following five segments:

  • True Believers. These students take the majority or all of their classes online. This population will be familiar as the original group that online education grew to serve.
  • Online Rejecters. These students have tried online courses, but they have decided not to take more in the future because they see problems with the quality, outcomes, and reputation of online programs.
  • Experience Seekers. These students uniquely emphasize the experiential, social, and emotional benefits of education. To them, it does not matter greatly which form their education takes, so long as they achieve their goal of a degree for personal and social advancement.
  • Money Mavens. Members of this segment are primarily motivated by the financial outcomes of an education. They view an online education much more as a transaction than as an experience.
  • Open Minds. This segment will become True Believers if the experience of online learning meets their high standards and offers benefits beyond that of traditional classrooms.

"The needs of the current mix of students are different from those of the past, driven by broader generational, digital, and marketing trends," said Christine Barton, a partner and coauthor of the report. Consider, for example, the overall finding that students rank academic advising ahead of faculty and teaching quality for the improved online education experience of the future. "What worked for online education in the past won't work in the future, and what will work in the future, won't work the same way for all institutions," says Barton.

Despite the differences among the segments, the survey also shows that universal attitudes exist. More than 60 percent of respondents who have taken an online or blended course believe the following: online offerings can improve the quality of education; online courses and degrees are gaining in importance as a part of the criteria for choosing an educational institution; and the traditional classroom experience benefits from online instruction.

Students are combining the best of online, blended (a mix of online and in-person instruction), and traditional academic settings into a new learning experience. In fact, BCG's survey suggests that the proportion of students currently taking at least one blended course is more than 25 percent.

At the same time, students are demanding much more from online education than in the past. All types of students surveyed wanted greater real-time interactivity and contact with faculty, advisors, and other students. And parents in particular are not sold on online-only degree programs: They were significantly more likely to withhold financial support for a child pursuing a fully online degree than for a traditional or a hybrid degree that mixes online and traditional classes.

Ultimately, BCG's survey found that online education has reached the mainstream: 67 percent of secondary and postsecondary students report experiencing online education to some degree. (The survey defines those with online education experience as students who have taken an online or blended course and parents whose children have taken an online course.) In addition, the survey confirmed other estimates that the proportion of students currently taking at least one online course stands at 30 percent of postsecondary students, and that 16 percent of postsecondary students are currently learning primarily through online courses.

"Growth in the future will come from altogether different sources than in the past," said Allison Bailey, a senior partner and coauthor of the report. "Successful institutions will understand how groups of students differ, which segments to target for growth and innovation, and how to prioritize investments, operations, and marketing messages to meet more needs with fewer resources."

A copy of the report can be downloaded at www.bcgperspectives.com. To arrange an interview with one of the authors or receive a copy of the report, please contact Patrick Riccards on +1 703 298 8283 or [email protected].

About The Boston Consulting Group
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 81 offices in 45 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com.

About BCG's Center for Consumer and Customer Insight
The Boston Consulting Group's Center for Consumer and Customer Insight (CCCI) applies a unique, integrated approach that combines quantitative, qualitative, and observational consumer research with a deep understanding of business strategy and competitive dynamics. The center works closely with BCG's various practices to translate its insights into actionable strategies that lead to tangible economic impact for our clients. In the course of its work, the center has amassed a rich set of proprietary data on consumers from around the world, in both emerging and developed markets. The CCCI is sponsored by BCG's Marketing and Sales and Global Advantage practices. For more information, please visit http://www.bcg.com/expertise_impact/capabilities/center_consumer_customer_insight.

About bcgperspectives.com
Bcgperspectives.com features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management's agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG's extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm's founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content -- including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports -- can be accessed by PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
Enterprise networks are complex. Moreover, they were designed and deployed to meet a specific set of business requirements at a specific point in time. But, the adoption of cloud services, new business applications and intensifying security policies, among other factors, require IT organizations to continuously deploy configuration changes. Therefore, enterprises are looking for better ways to automate the management of their networks while still leveraging existing capabilities, optimizing perf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
In the rush to compete in the digital age, a successful digital transformation is essential, but many organizations are setting themselves up for failure. There’s a common misconception that the process is just about technology, but it’s not. It’s about your business. It shouldn’t be treated as an isolated IT project; it should be driven by business needs with the committed involvement of a range of stakeholders.
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
The cloud era has reached the stage where it is no longer a question of whether a company should migrate, but when. Enterprises have embraced the outsourcing of where their various applications are stored and who manages them, saving significant investment along the way. Plus, the cloud has become a defining competitive edge. Companies that fail to successfully adapt risk failure. The media, of course, continues to extol the virtues of the cloud, including how easy it is to get there. Migrating...
As machines are increasingly connected to the internet, it’s becoming easier to discover the numerous ways Industrial IoT (IIoT) is helping to shape the business world. This is exactly why we have decided to take a closer look at this pervasive movement and to examine the desire to connect more things! Now if you need a refresher on IIoT and how it is changing the world, take a moment and listen to Greg Gorbach with ARC Advisory Group. Gorbach believes, "IIoT will significantly change the worl...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Docker Meets Kubernetes – Intro into the Kubernetes World, being held June 9, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Register for 'Docker Meets Kubernetes Workshop' Here! This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, introduces participants to Kubernetes (container orchestration). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, participants learn ...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...