Twenty-five years from now, Lady Gaga will have learned to sing folk songs and the Kardasians (all of them) will have finally burst out of their skimpy skivvies. The world will certainly be different from what it is today. The beauty industry, quite a changeable thing to begin with, will be far different too. How will cosmetologists and all the professionals who wield scissors, nail polishers, and makeup be trained in the future?
The future, as far as education is concerned, is in fact here now in the form of online training. Although the figures vary, most estimates agree that three quarters of all American colleges and universities today offer courses online, including those taught by their most popular and top-tier lecturers. The popularity of online education has taken most of the higher-education institutions by surprise, but technology-enabled distance education has been available to the general public for half a decade now, thanks to course providers like Cosmetologycampus.com. Professionals such as engineers, builders, insurance and real estate agents, cosmetologists, pharmacy assistants, and medical transcriptionists are some of the most enthusiastic adopters of online education.
A survey from Pew Research Center found that 60% of respondents believe that higher education would be different with the large-scale use of technology for teleconferencing and distance learning by 2020. Although the study did not canvass those taking short courses (e.g. continuing education), their early adoption of online education and online education’s 30-percent-per-year growth rate vouchsafe for their favoring it over traditional classroom education in years to come.
According to a 2011 Pew Research Center survey, three quarters of respondents stated that college education has become too pricey for most Americans to afford. Worryingly, some 57 percent said the higher education system would not give students a satisfactory return on investment. Backed by such figures, educators have come to think that technology should become a big piece of the solution to acquiring education now and, especially, in the future. Ben Wildavsky, a senior scholar at the Kauffman Foundation, pointed out that technology would now assume a crucial role in the affordability of and access to education. “The key is to do it in a smart way,” he said.
It looks like online education is here to stay.