It is always in an entrepreneur’s DNA to look for the next big opportunity. Thus, entrepreneurs should look at recent innovations in the education industry for inspiration in building a successful company. Learning a skill and taking courses in a focused field of study is becoming more important and necessary as the economic landscape requires more diversification. Entrepreneurs have always looked to where change is happening or needed in order to find new problems and challenges to address. The education industry right now is a rapidly changing landscape, and it is fertile ground for new ideas and approaches to traditional and higher learning. Here are five reasons why education is the way to go in tech and entrepreneurship:
1. Education is merging with tech.
Education is seeing increased focus from the tech industry with startups such as Skillshare, 2tor, Knewton and Udemy. These companies are creating ways to help schools and universities establish a better online presence and infrastructure. They are not only helping to build colleges’ online courses while bringing the content and platforms to the wider public, but also creating lucrative business models that are proving to work for the long-haul.
2. Online accessibility is in demand.
With classes being made available online, the demand for accessible education is growing quickly. Students are looking to save money wherever they can, due to the struggling economy and student loan debt. Online courses cut down on travel and course materials, as everything makes the jump to digital. Well-known schools such as the University of Southern California and Georgetown University have successfully integrated online master’s programs into their offerings with the help of startups like 2tor.
3. The definition of education varies.
Twenty or 30 years ago, getting a higher education meant getting a degree. If you earned a degree in one field, it was easier to change fields, because the degree was the indicator of an educated person. Today education is not so cut and dry. Many new career positions require specialized knowledge outside the umbrella of a degree curriculum, and those looking to learn this knowledge need to find it elsewhere. It may also become entirely possible for someone to piece together their education through online courses from various sources.
4. Education is in need of reform.
Over the past decade, education in the United States has been criticized for not keeping up with global standards. There has been a lot of press about failing public schools and kids not receiving the basic education that their parents received. Here is where entrepreneurs can step in, with new ideas and approaches to learning to help with education reform. They can also tackle the problems of student loan debt by helping make education cheaper and more easily accessible.
5. The market is huge.
The education market is massive and growing. With the state of the economy, large numbers of people are looking for new careers, and they are looking to do it cheaply and efficiently. There are thousands of colleges and universities with hundreds of millions students, not in this country alone but across the entire globe. With the new era of online access to education, the possibilities for an entrepreneur to find a market for their product are almost endless.
image credit: innpacked.blinkweb.com
Harrison Kratz is the Community Manager at MBA@UNC, the new online program which allows students to receive their aacsb online mba degree from the University of North Carolina. Harrison sticks to his entrepreneurial roots as the founder of the global social good campaign, Tweet Drive.