10 Unique Facts About Online Learners

10-factsOnline courses are becoming so popular today that they are almost expected in any formal education curriculum. Classrooms are often supplemented by an online portion, while some universities promote exclusively their distance learning programs.

As online learning has become more mainstream, we have been able to gather information about the online learner. It is interesting to see the demographic distributions, including the one fact regarding the annual income of the online learner.

Probably least surprising of all of these facts is that University of Phoenix has the largest proportion of online students. From what I can tell, online learning is their primary offering (and if I’m not mistaken, they were one of the first to the market with this value proposition).

Below are 10 unique facts about students who take a portion of their courses online – well, nine now that I have just mentioned the fact regarding the University of Phoenix đŸ™‚ .

10 Surprising Facts About Online Students

  • 46% of students say their biggest motivation for enrolling in an online course was to advance their current career.
  • 37% of online students were the first in their family to attend college.
  • 33% of people taking some online course are studying business.
  • University of Phoenix has the largest proportion of online students at 15%.
  • 39% of online students fall between the ages of 18 to 29.
  • 21% of online students pay for their education using personal funds only.
  • 70% of virtual learners are female.
  • 29% of online graduates earn $85-150k annual income.
  • 60% of students taking an online course are employed full-time.
  • 37% of online students indicate that they enrolled because of the accelerated courses, which fast-tracks students to a degree.



About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

  1. MacHerb

    Not surprised about the University of Phoenix. They are the largest private school in the nation (primarily online) so the fact that they have 15% of online students seems logical. they’ve been doing longer than anybody and they have a formula.

  2. Maria Rodrigues

    Interesting stastitics. eLearning is very important at least in life long learning domain, as emplyees should have the possibility of attaining knowledge wherever it is.

    In Portugal, eLearning is still doing the first steps. I hope it could develop a lot in the very next few years, as we are under a s great economic crisis and people need to work abroad and need to continue their academic qualifications.

  3. Sharon Minnoch

    The statistic that popped out for me was “70% of virtual learners are female”. Does that correspond to university enrollment stats? Something to do with women being more interested in opportunities to advance their careers? More comfortable with online learning? Lots of possibilities. Anyone have any theories, or studies to explain?

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