Online business education: An economic perspective

Brian Stewart, Anshuman Khare

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The future of online business education will be determined, as with all market growth, by the simultaneous and interdependent developments in both its supply and demand. The demand side consists of the demonstrated needs of organizations desiring the skills and knowledge of business graduates whether for a degree, diploma, or upgrading. The efficiency and effectiveness of online provision will likely prove to be central tenets of the value proposition considered by potential consumers. Such consumers will consist of individuals and firms directly in terms of consumption and indirectly in terms of perceived value and income enhancement. The key drivers to demand will include employer perception of online programs and graduates and the fit with their needs, coincidentally with student access, experience, development, and return on invested time and capital. On the supply side are the current distributors of educational services, publicly funded universities and colleges, and their for-profit counterparts. In addition, there is already a growing online presence through MOOCs extending business school brands. The drivers of the supply side will consist of a range of forces including current organizational mission and funding, professoriate preferences, skills set and research agendas, brand protection and extension, software platform design, and institutional business acumen. This chapter will attempt to ascertain indicators of practice development and growth that will provide insights to organizations considering entering the field or consuming its output to sustain their ongoing businesses. It will therefore focus on identifying trends in both supply and demand of online business education consisting of comparative growth within disciplines, economic sectoral differences, employer perceptions, educational technological developments, and related investment patterns and student consumption preferences.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOn the Line
Subtitle of host publicationBusiness Education in the Digital Age
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783319627762
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep. 2017


  • Perception of online programs
  • Students and graduates
  • Trends in both supply and demand of online business education


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