Founder of Keir Weimer Multimedia, real estate & lifestyle entrepreneur, No. 1 bestselling author, keynote speaker & high-performance coach.
We currently live in a world that is rapidly changing on a near-daily basis right in front of our eyes, forcing us to adapt and pivot in ways that we haven’t had to before. The key to surviving and thriving in this time of extreme change, uncertainty and disruption is being able to be flexible and proactive.
One area that is changing very rapidly is the self-education industry.
One of my companies is a multimedia business in this space that educates, trains and equips people in various ways and areas through coaching programs, digital courses and events. What we have seen in the past few months since the pandemic hit is increased demand for our programs and more and more people searching for ways to retrain and reposition themselves professionally and personally for this next chapter. Most industries are undergoing an unprecedented and forced transformation, and companies are having to adapt their business models to survive.
The following are my top three predictions for change in the self-education industry in the coming years from what we are seeing on the ground right now.
Demand for specialized programs, coaching and training will grow rapidly in the new economy.
If you look at the trendline for new enrollments in traditional education in the U.S. since the Great Recession — mostly at the graduate level, but also at the undergraduate level — you will see it declining in many program areas. The traditional proposition of graduate education, in terms of increasing your earning power and potential and helping you advance your career, does not hold the same value as it once did. This is due to many factors, including the rising cost of tuition and living expenses, the increasing opportunity cost of leaving behind one’s salary and benefits while in school, and an increasingly uncertain job market upon return with data showing a declining return on investment.
What we are seeing is people are looking for new ways to learn the practical, real-world skills that they will need to get ahead in their respective fields. We are also seeing people wanting to learn from experienced practitioners and gurus in many cases, experientially and through forms of digital mentorship, rather than just from theory-based teachers, who may or may not have ever accomplished the results that they look to achieve in their career and life.
The self-education market and industry has grown significantly over the past few years and is predicted to continue to grow as this trend amplifies further, given the need to find practical skills, experience and opportunities to sustain and/or grow one’s income and marketability in novel ways to get ahead.
Virtual service delivery will be the new norm.
The trend we see is that the service delivery model will increasingly go virtual, leveraging the borderless distribution of knowledge through the internet, by using video and learning management platform technologies to deliver the training and education that consumers demand. Especially given the current pandemic and safety concerns, and with many traditional education programs at universities closing or limiting their in-person training, we see this becoming the standard for how people will self-educate, level up their skills and retrain for new work in this new economy.
Personal and professional coaching programs, digital courses in various subject matter areas, and other self-education modes of service delivery will continue to offer a wide array of independently driven, asynchronous learning opportunities for people no matter where they are located in the world.
Specialization and pricing will rise.
As innovation continues to ramp up and increase at new and exciting rates, so too will the emergence of various micro-niches and other verticals. This will prompt self-education service providers in the space to meet the demand and create new content, programs, products and services for this new level of specialization.
We predict more and more experts and personal brands will emerge to meet this need, and specialization will rise. Because of this and the rising demand, pricing will also likely rise for these programs and services. However, comparatively speaking, because of the lack of physical facilities and the attendant costs, heavy top-down faculty and academic bureaucracies and other high fixed-overhead costs, these prices will likely still be at a discount to many traditional options and alternatives.
These are just a few of the trends that we predict will unfold in the coming years in the self-education industry as the new economy and the new world unfold and present new challenges. But these are also new opportunities for those ready to seize them.