Trend Alert: New Year, New Interest in Education

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The New Year and current economy could be responsible for a significant peak of interest in education programs. Traffic to Online-Education.net, a directory of online and on-campus schools and colleges, more than doubled during the first week of January.

We suspect the reason for the increase in education is the New Year and the current economy.

It seems that going back to school is on the New Year’s resolution list for many people this year—at least that’s the trend Online-Education.net, a directory of online and on-campus schools and colleges, is finding.

On the first Monday of January alone the site saw more than a 60 percent increase in visits than the previous four Mondays—a trend that continued through the week with over 70 percent more visits on Tuesday versus the previous month.

“We suspect that the increased interest in going back to school in January is due to a couple of factors,” said Seth Restaino, general manager of Online-Education.net. “First, the busy holiday season is over, so people may now have more time on their hands. Secondly, people seem to be interested in ‘self-improvement’ at this time of year. Just as gym memberships go up in January, so does interest in going back to school and furthering one’s education.”

Another potential reason for the increase in education is the economy. Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that while still at elevated levels, the unemployment rates for major working groups showed little change in December. Furthermore, job losses seem to be declining with job loss averaging around 691,000 per month in the first four months of 2009, but only 69,000 per month in the last four months of the year.

“With the economy starting to show signs of recovery people may be realizing that new job openings might be around the corner,” Restaino said. “Going back to school now will help people be prepared to jump on new job opportunities as they become available. Online-Education.net helps people research programs and gives them tools to find new careers.”

One such tool, called “What To Do Now?” matches the current skills of an individual with careers that are expected to have steady or significant growth in the near future. For example, a Certified Nursing Assistant with communication skills, empathy, and an understanding of bodily systems would be matched with Nursing, Paramedic/EMS and the Physician’s Assistant fields—all of which are expected to see more growth than the Certified Nursing Assistant field according to the BLS.

Early Degree Popularity Trends:

So far, Online-Education.net has found that individuals seem to be most interested in education in these fields, ranked in order:
1)    Business: Management and Marketing
2)    Health and Clinical Science
3)    Security and Protective Services
4)    Computer and Information Sciences
5)    High School Completion and Secondary Diplomas & Certificates

About Online-Education.net: A directory of thousands of online and on-campus degree and diploma programs, Online-Education.net is a resource for people looking to further their careers by returning to school or earning advanced degrees. Visit us at http://www.online-education.net for more information.

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Seth Restaino
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