Fully Online Market Concentration
Signs that the market for online learning in the US has become less concentrated
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Following on from Phil’s post yesterday about trends in the National Center for Education Statistic’s IPEDS data on distance education (i.e., online education), I wanted to drill down into one of the data points he mentioned.
The data shows that the market for online learning in the US has become less concentrated since the pandemic.
In this post I want to dig a little deeper into that fact and explore some of the implications of this trend.
A couple of years ago I had become intrigued by the extent to which the market for online learning was concentrated among the biggest players. A McKinsey report laid out the degree to which the market was concentrated, as shown in this graphic.
McKinsey & Company
I was interested to see how that concentration had changed as online learning has continued to grow, especially after the pandemic turbo charged online learning.
2019-2022 data and decreasing market concentration
Looking at the data from the year after the data McKinsey analyzed we already see signs of a loosening up of the market. This and the following chart show the exclusive DE (i.e., fully online) enrollments per institution, with the bold numbers showing the cumulative percentage of all exclusive DE enrollments for institutions ranked from largest to smallest.
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