The expected 10-year compound annual growth rate for the sector is 11.2% globally. It is expected to reach almost $110 billion by 2031, which will attract new investors and new players. New business models, delivery methods and offerings are emerging and evolving rapidly. What is a sector? It is CEO training that, despite growing demand and creativity, has become an unrecorded growth phenomenon around the world.
Higher education and other forms of non-formal education are becoming an important and growing part of the content economy. The disruption of the coronavirus accelerated this growth, but it is due to factors unrelated to the pandemic and will continue after it.
The growth of executive education and related educational technologies is attracting increasing interest from investors. Sequoia Capital India has invested in Emeritus and, together with Owl Ventures, has raised a $5 million seed round for Growth School, a real-time learning platform. Blackstone was part of a deal to acquire Ellucian, a higher education solutions provider with a customer base spanning over 50 countries. Other players also received capital investments.
New players have emerged including 2U, Emeritus, Volute, Section4 and a growing number of other players with new and different business models. At the same time, universities and business schools that are recognized as world leaders in leadership education, including Kellogg, Wharton, London Business School and other leading institutions, are rapidly developing their own strategies, proposals and initiatives both within and outside the company. outside. . In cooperation with partner brokers.
The growing demand comes from both organizations and individuals. In other words, it is both BB and BC. The same underlying dynamic is the main driver behind both: 1) the accelerating pace of change, innovation, and new requirements in today’s business environment, and 2) the vastly expanded access to high-quality content.
Rapid Change Requires Constant Learning
The pace of change is facing challenges for the most progressive organizations and individuals. Entirely new themes have emerged that leaders need to understand and integrate into their business strategies, organizations, and operations. A prime example of this is artificial intelligence and machine learning, the implementation of which is now a business necessity across a wide and growing range of industries and professions. Not all business leaders need to have technical knowledge of artificial intelligence and machine learning, but they do need to understand the key principles and implications of these technologies in order to determine how to integrate them into their business strategies, integrate them into their operations, and implement them. for use in business results. The same goes for data science, digital transformation, network science, and a host of related topics.
A very different but very important example is how Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) demands are now requiring organizations to take unprecedented proactive action. Again, leadership must understand the fundamentals, issues, and methods as a basis for determining how to create the necessary commitment and take effective action during times of rapid and desirable change. The same goes for broader ESG practices.
There are many examples of new developments and challenges facing businesses today, such as logistics and supply chains, cybersecurity, healthcare models, climate change, and organizing workers at a distance. These challenges range from the board level to business unit leaders, functional leaders and managers. Leaders in leadership and function roles at all levels are now more actively than ever participating in executive education programs to gain momentum and understand the value and opportunities for business in today’s environment.
It is not limited to certain countries or regions. Business leaders around the world are struggling with many of the same rapid changes. This is not limited to business. Government agencies, services, nonprofits and other organizations are facing similar developments. This is true not only for young or old organizations. Companies of all sizes and ages need to understand and integrate many of the same developments. So they all invest in executive training.
The same changes affect people and their professions all over the world. Imagine a marketing manager in her 40s with an MBA from a top business school. She has an outstanding education, experience and profession to date. However, she is now responsible for guiding her organization’s strategy in areas that did not originally exist, or at best were born when she was in school. After many years of a career, often with the support and lobbying of her company, she now invests her time in executive education programs. This is especially true given the growing popularity of degrees in fields such as data science.
Lifelong learning becomes more accessible
Another largely unspoken factor behind the growing popularity of executive training is the massive expansion of access created by new training methods. As leadership training has moved beyond the classroom and into virtual, online and increasingly mixed (combining multiple modalities) programs, it has become more accessible and flexible for organizations and individuals. This geographically expanded educational opportunities for women, underrepresented minorities and others who may not be able to travel, pay and/or participate in traditional school programs.
For example, out of curiosity, I recently asked a woman attending a virtual executive education program whether she would sign up for the program if she were taking it in person in Chicago. She told me, “I work for a small company in Amsterdam. My company does not have the ability to pay for the trip and the program if it is in Chicago. But since we can do it virtually, my boss said that me and four of my colleagues could participate from Amsterdam. »
Now people from almost anywhere in the world can participate in the same high-quality programs. A young female entrepreneur with a financial services startup in Nigeria can be in the same cycle and interact with people in Poland, Colombia, Japan, Ghana, Malaysia, India, Argentina, USA and other places, small towns and rural areas. as well as large urban facilities. It is also increasing the global demand for executive education programs in a wide and expanded range of levels, prices, durations, modalities and subjects. In addition, participants benefit from interaction with an international group, learning from the best professors from the best universities in the world. So if the executives of a small hotel company in the Czech Republic, a bike manufacturer in Oregon, or a telecommunications company in Mexico want their teams to learn marketing analytics, they have more options than ever to do so.
These two phenomena—accelerating new developments and expanding access—are fueling the explosion of leadership education around the world today and will continue to do so in the coming years. Classroom, live, and online methods will soon become obsolete as professors, universities, and other organizations become more efficient and creative with new software developments and method teams.
It remains to be seen which business models will be sustainable and successful. Currently, although the demand for continuing education is growing rapidly, it is clear that the supply of software is growing at a faster pace, especially in some popular subjects. The cost of customer acquisition in British Columbia is on the rise due to online education players. Some have had to adopt new approaches, refocus and/or downsize their activities. The importance of developing BB programs is growing. Demand varies depending on the duration and type of program. New types of proposals are presented.
All in all, this is a great time in a dynamic space where more organizations and individuals are participating in lifelong learning in more expansive ways than ever before. I look forward to discussing the creative evolution of executive education and lifelong learning for organizations and individuals in the following columns.