Online Education in Australia Industry Market Research Report Now Updated by IBISWorld

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While the rollout of the National Broadband Network will increase access to industry services, the move towards a market-driven demand system for universities will constrain industry growth. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated its report on the Online Education industry in Australia.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

The rollout of the National Broadband Network will enable more people to access industry services.

The Online Education industry has grown at a rapid pace. Technological advancements and faster internet speeds have allowed the online model to become a more viable method of learning. With more individuals and businesses recognising the benefits of online education, the take-up of online learning has soared over the past five years. The appeal of higher education has further fuelled growth. A trend towards upskilling became particularly apparent during the global financial crisis. While Australia survived the economic downturn relatively unscathed, upskilling has established a permanent place in society. IBISWorld industry analyst Lauren Magner states “with more Australians working longer hours, the flexibility offered by online education has enabled more full-time workers to engage in further learning.” Besides demand-side factors, higher education and further education providers have recognised the growing need for flexibility and have increased the breadth of courses offered through online platforms. For these reasons, in the five years through 2013-14, the industry is projected to grow at an annualised 14.4%. During 2013-14, the industry is estimated to grow 9.3% to $5.9 billion.

After its initial growth spurt, industry revenue is projected to grow at a slower rate. While the demand for paid online courses will continue to grow, student enrolments will grow at a slower pace. According to Magner, “the market-driven demand system in higher education is expected to strip some growth from the industry, as more universities offer additional undergraduate places.” However, the arrival of the National Broadband Network will enable providers to reach more communities in regional areas. There are numerous opportunities for providers to tap into a receptive South-East Asian market that already has large exposure to Australian education. While the proliferation of free online courses has been a growing concern for many education providers, the industry still has time to expand its offerings to stave off this threat. For now, as world-class universities are reluctant to offer formal accreditation for their online courses, Australia's existing education providers can maintain their dominance over the fee-paying market.

The Online Education industry is characterised by a low level of market share concentration. Some larger players, such as Open Universities Australia (OUA), SEEK Learning, and Kaplan Professional, have invested in technology and have set themselves up as market leaders. Although these players have a low combined market share, they appear to be working quickly to expand their presence in the industry. While SEEK and OUA are effectively umbrella organisations, which bring a large variety of providers under one banner, SEEK has recently entered into a joint venture with Swinburne to establish Swinburne Online. SEEK appears to be leveraging its brand presence and its technological capabilities to further deliver online education.

For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Online Education report in Australia industry page.

Follow IBISWorld on Twitter:!/ibisworldau.

IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

The industry includes education institutions that deliver online education to students. To be considered as being online, over 80% of the course or unit content has to be delivered online. For example, students could be located off-campus for the duration of their enrolment and successfully complete a unit of study. Online education includes study at all levels of education.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
International Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Basis of Competition
Barriers to Entry
Industry Globalisation
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Technology & Systems
Revenue Volatility
Regulation & Policy
Industry Assistance
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognised as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every Australian industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Melbourne, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organisations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call (03) 9655 3886.

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Gavin Smith
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