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The Future of Online Classes Post COVID-19

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Disclaimer: This article was written on April 16th, 2020, in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, and is meant to reflect the dynamically developing situation of that time.


It is no secret that if there are any industries that aren’t getting hit by the COVID-19 crisis, it is online services and toilet paper companies! People are staying indoors and wondering how to pass the time or substituting their regular plans with online alternatives. The E-Learning industry is definitely a beneficiary from an otherwise awful situation. In this article, we’ll explore data to back up this inference and try to look on the bright side, especially if you happen to be a business that provides online education services wink.

Google Trends

Google Trends data is always a good place to start. The best thing about it is that everyone has access to it and it is absolutely free. We can see that search volume for “online classes” has more than doubled since early March.

Future Plans

Over here at Grow Enrollments, we sometimes get an inside peek at industry data! We’d like to share some recent survey data that we found particularly interesting. Below, we see what potential students answered in response to the question: “What do you plan to do within the next year?”

The good news is that students seem to value their education very highly and little has changed about their general outlook on education, despite COVID-19.

But What About Online?

If that was good news, then here is the great news for the E-Learning Industry: According to this study, the percentage of prospective students who prefer online classes increased from 35% to 47% after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is not much of a surprise but we now concrete data on this behavioral shift towards online education.

More Google Trends

Let’s take a look at a few more google trends search queries to really cement the point.

And there you have it. We’re looking at a variety of search queries that people are using to explore online education options, and all of them show the same pattern: a dramatic increase in interest right after the beginning of March.


All of this data is a product of the COVID-19 pandemic but we believe it can also have long lasting effects and cause a cultural shift towards online activities even after we get through this tough period. People will become more accustomed to getting educated online and as a result, employers will have to become more accepting of online degrees. The E-Learning sector was already projecting massive growth prior to COVID-19. According to these projections, the industry was predicted to earn $325 billion in 2025 from the US alone, which is triple its revenue from 2015. However, those numbers may very well pale in comparison to what actually happens, thanks in no small part to COVID-19.

We recently compiled a comprehensive E-Learning industry report that you can find here.

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