Online Higher Education Market in the US 2017-2021

  • Published: Aug 2017
  • Pages: 70
  • SKU: IRTNTR14941

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This industry research report identifies American Public Education, Apollo Education Group, Capella Education Company, and Grand Canyon Education as the key vendors in the online higher education market in the US. This industry research report also presents a competitive understanding of the market by courses (degree and non-degree courses) and by subjects (commerce and management, STEM, and arts).

Online higher education market forecast

This market research study identifies the rising penetration of mobile devices as one of the primary growth factors for the online higher education market in the US. Consumers in the US are increasingly demanding mobile devices including smartphones, tablets, PCs, iPads, chrome books, and other devices. The demand for online courses has increased as most of the students interested in higher education have easy access to smartphones. With the high penetration of the Internet, students use these devices to access assignments, lesson plans, and complete coursework. Additionally, colleges and universities are also offering blended models of learning due to the increasing adoption of BYOD policy. Technavio’s market research analysts estimate that this market will grow steadily at a CAGR of around 20% by 2021.

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The preference towards visual technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), 3D printing, and visual data analytics is steadily increasing in the US education sector. Students are increasingly implementing visual technologies in master's or bachelor's courses in their projects, assignments, and assessments, to improve the quality of their education and enhance learning outcomes. The increase in experiential learning encourages the use of visual technologies for learning subjects, such as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), archaeology, and humanities. According to this market research and analysis, the increasing popularity of visual technologies will be one of the key trends gaining traction in the online higher education market in the US during the next four years.

Online higher education market size: Competitive landscape and key vendors

The online higher education market in the US is highly fragmented due to the presence of several key players offering varied and customizable products. Though the market is witnessing the entry of new players, they have the need to offer innovative products to compete with the established players. With the high buying power of the consumers, the online higher education providers have the need to innovate their offerings to cater to the customer demand.

The leading vendors in the market are

  • American Public Education
  • Apollo Education Group
  • Capella Education Company
  • Grand Canyon Education

The other prominent vendors in the market are Bridgepoint Education, Career Education Corporation, Adtalem Global Education, Graham Holdings Company, ITT Educational Services, Lincoln Educational Services, Strayer Education, Universal Technical Institute, Education Management Corporation, and National American Universities Holdings.

Online higher education market in the US: Segmentation and analysis by courses

  • Degree courses
  • Non-degree courses

There is an increase in the number of working adults and students opting for short-term and cost-effective non-degree courses since these courses offer job-ready skills, training solutions, and services to individuals, students, and corporate partners. These courses are integrated with evolving technologies and innovative fields of learning that encourage students and working professionals to expand their skill sets by learning specific subjects.

Online higher education market in the US: Segmentation and analysis by subjects

  • Commerce and management
  • STEM
  • Arts

The increasing number of opportunities from the banking, financial, marketing, and people management roles, the preference among the working professionals for management courses, and higher employment opportunities in management contribute to the growth of the online higher education market in the US in the commerce and management segment. Additionally, the growing preference for the combination of degrees with sound technical and managerial skills will also influence the growth of this market segment.

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Key questions answered in the report include

  • What will the online higher education market size and the growth rate be in 2021?
  • What are the key factors driving the online higher education market in the US?
  • What are the key market trends impacting the growth of the online higher education market in the US?
  • What are the challenges to online higher education market growth?
  • Who are the key vendors in the online higher education market in the US?
  • What are the market opportunities and threats faced by the vendors in the online higher education market in the US?
  • Trending factors influencing the market shares of the US.
  • What are the key outcomes of the five forces analysis of the online higher education market in the US?

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Research Framework

Technavio presents a detailed picture of the market by way of study, synthesis, and summation of data from multiple sources. The analysts have presented the various facets of the market with a particular focus on identifying the key industry influencers. The data thus presented is comprehensive, reliable, and the result of extensive research, both primary and secondary.


Primary sources

  • Manufacturers and suppliers
  • Channel partners
  • Industry experts
  • Strategic decision makers

Secondary sources

  • Industry journals and periodicals
  • Government data
  • Financial reports of key industry players
  • Historical data
  • Press releases


Data Synthesis

  • Collation of data
  • Estimation of key figures
  • Analysis of derived insights

Data Validation

  • Triangulation with data models
  • Reference against proprietary databases
  • Corroboration with industry experts



  • Market drivers
  • Market challenges
  • Market trends
  • Five forces analysis


  • Market size and forecast
  • Market segmentation
  • Geographical insights
  • Competitive landscape
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