Implications of OPM Growth in 2020 for the Future of EdTech

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Photo by Morning Brew on Unsplash

Schools and training institutes are now making the transition from traditional learning modalities to various online learning platforms. For the past six months, an exponential increase in partnership has been observed between Colleges and Universities, and Online Program Management (OPM) systems and Bootcamp providers. This rapid growth in the Educational Technology (EdTech) sector can affect how the future of training and education will look like for learners and potential employees alike.

Based on an article by HolonIQ, a 79% growth in OPM and university partnerships will be observed for the year 2020 with almost 300 new University-OPX partnerships. This is double the number from the year 2019 as the transition to online learning platforms continues to rapidly increase due to the increasing demand being brought about by economic and environmental changes.

The Role of OPM to Education and Employment

OPMs, which are generally made up of specialists and MOOCs, used to only be considered as an alternative platform that could supplement a school’s or company’s main existing instruction and training modality respectively. However, that is no longer the case at present as the pandemic has forced the majority (if not all) of the schools to shift to online learning.

Schools, and even companies, are adopting as fast as their existing resources and manpower could accommodate while doing their best not to sacrifice the content and quality of teaching and training. A partnership with a third-party company that knows its way around technology, is a game-changer that could offer schools and companies the chance to continue providing their products and services without compromising the content and quality of training and education.

How will the OPM Growth in 2020 Affect the Future of EdTech

The first half of the year 2020 has already shown a massive University-OPX partnership growth, which is still expected to increase by the end of 2020. The impact of COVID to education may have been forced and unexpected, but despite the emergency shift to remote teaching and learning, a steady increase in partnerships with OPM is still to be expected come 2021.

The online degree market is now considered to be one of the fastest-growing sectors of global higher education, which HolonIQ has predicted to reach $74B by 2025. As learners will now be acquiring their degrees online, the future of EdTech will rely heavily on how higher education can fully adapt and integrate technology to efficiently attain lifelong learning. As the demand for OPM, Bootcamps, and Pathway providers increases, the supply, and availability of these services will also increase. This means that universities will be more critical in their preferences while taking into consideration the needs of their learners before establishing a partnership with a provider. Consistent development and innovation are also being anticipated as competition will continue to arise with the increasing demand for online learning.

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As the market for online learning continues to grow and institutes also try to recover from the backlash of the pandemic, University-OPX partnerships should be able to bridge the gap between those two aspects so schools can focus on creating a more engaging and authentic experience for their learners. Schools also now have a chance to review their curricula and personalize it for their learners while still consistently aiming for lifelong learning and providing for the needs of their learners.

The pandemic became a rude awakening that has emphasized our school’s needs for flexible models that could give students differentiated instruction and personalized curricula. Higher education’s shift to online learning is proof that education will continue to evolve and new market paradigms could still emerge in the future. Colleges, universities, and training institutes will now have to be even more critical in terms of establishing their partnerships. Not only to ensure that their learners would still get the most out of what they are paying for but also to continuously provide for their needs as lifelong learners.

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