Online or Bust: An Educational Manifesto

Steve Isaac:

In this postrecession, digital era, colleges must reevaluate how accessible they are–or, often, how inaccessible they really are–to their potential customers, or, as you call them, “college students.” Schools must change their business models to attract more students if they have any hope of surviving in the current competitive economic environment.
Over the past 10 years, we have seen a definitive shift from brick-and-mortar to online offerings across most industries. If 20 years ago you were told that shopping malls would be cannibalized by online shopping sites like eBay (EBAY) and (AMZN), and that movies would be accessed online through Netflix (NFLX) instead of at the movie theater, many of us would have found that difficult to believe. Yet the companies that failed to adapt to the digital consumer’s demand for instant, online access struggled or failed. And for the companies actively marketing online to consumers with infinite options at their fingertips, competition has never been tougher. Online consumers today are looking for the best, most reliable bargain.