The State of Online Education in the UK Over the Last 5 Years

Over the last five years, the world of online education has changed rapidly. Completing courses using just a laptop and an Internet connection has become the new ideal way to study. This is because online study makes it easier for students to still earn an income while they’re studying, and gives them the ability to complete courses in their own time and in the comfort of their own homes.

Whether you want to study zoology, nursing, counselling, import and export, hospitality management or hairdressing, it can all be done online, giving you access to career options that may otherwise not have been available before.

As the International Career Institute is at the forefront of online education in the United Kingdom, we’ve collected data exploring the changes in online education that have occurred in terms of enrolments and the most popular courses over the last five years.

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Counselling & psychology

Pursuing a career in counselling and psychology is a fantastic way to help people on their personal paths to social, emotional and mental wellbeing. A Counselling and Psychology course will equip you with the skills to listen, bond and reflect with your clients, as well as give you the expertise and problem-solving techniques you need to help them effectively. It can lead to a job in counselling, welfare and social work, education, life coaching, sports coaching, mental illness, or rehabilitation and healthcare.

The graphic below shows the increase in popularity of the Counselling and Psychology course over the last five years, where 734 people applied in 2018 to start their rewarding career path helping people be the best they can be.

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Pet care – vet assistant

Vet assistants play a crucial role in supporting veterinary doctors, performing tasks like examining animals for injuries, maintaining records, keeping animals comfortable, and dealing with clients. And a Pet Care/Vet Assistant course is essential for getting equipped with the skills needed to carry out these tasks.

Animal care is becoming a massive priority for pet owners, so naturally the demand for veterinary assistants is growing. Employment opportunities are forecasted to grow by 18% over the next ten years, and this is reflected in the rise of people both applying for and completing a Pet Care/Vet Assistant course.

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Pharmacy assistant

Pharmacy Assistant courses are designed for those who are interested in working in a retail pharmacy, or for those who are already working as a pharmacy technician or dispenser and are looking for some professional development and further training.

With an increasing number of middle-aged and elderly people in the United Kingdom who rely on prescription drugs, as well as people generally becoming more conscious of their health and wellbeing, the pharmacy industry is steadily growing. This is reflected in enrolments for this course, as the number of applicants grew by almost 100 from 2013 to 2018, with an average of 73% completing the course.

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Zoology

Being a zoo keeper and getting to work with animals everyday is a common childhood dream. However, the reality is that vacant positions in this industry can be competitive, and that’s where training and qualifications come in to act as a major advantage. Individuals with qualifications in Zoology don’t just have to work at zoos, they can also work at animal impound centres, animal protection agencies, animal hospitals and at animal daycare businesses.

Zoo keepers are required to care for animals by feeding them, cleaning their enclosures and keeping detailed records of medications, and also must educate guests, visitors and clients about caring for animals. The number of people enrolling in this course has grown significantly, with 182 people applying in 2013 compared to 251 applying in 2018.

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Import/export

International trade is an exciting industry and often involves lots of travel, so it’s perfect for those who are passionate about both business and seeing the world. Individuals that are wanting to start a business, expand an existing business internationally, or work for an international trade company will often complete an Import Export (International Trade) course. It teaches key skills such as how to source products and suppliers, find buyers and sellers, and mitigate risk when it comes to making deals.

Our Import Export (International Trade) course received an increase in applications between 2013 and 2018, with 250 enrolments in 2013 growing to 303 in 2018. This reflects the appreciation of Import/Export knowledge as a key factor in business success.

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Nursing & patient care assisting

Pursuing a career as a nursing assistant is perfect for those who care about others and are passionate about making a positive difference in peoples’ lives by improving their health. Nursing assistants provide emotional and physical care to those suffering from illnesses and injuries, so it’s ideal if they’re patient, caring, empathetic, intelligent and in good physical condition.

Completing a Nursing and Patient Care Assisting course can lead to a career involving jobs at residential care facilities, hospitals, group homes, home health care services or nursing homes. Our Nursing and Patient Care Assisting course had an increase in completions of two per cent between 2013 and 2018, and an increase in application numbers from 133 to 210, so its popularity is growing by the year.

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Beauty therapy & make up

A career in beauty therapy and the makeup industry is great for individuals that love making people look and feel their best with the power of powder and brushes, and want to pursue their creativity and flex their skills.

The concept of ‘self care’ and ‘treating yourself’ has become increasingly popular in recent years, so spas, beauty salons and freelance makeup professionals are more in-demand than ever. This is reflected by the fact that enrolments in our Beauty Therapy and Make Up course grew by 39 between 2013 and 2018, and the percentage of people completing the course increased from 78% to 83%.

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Hospitality management

Hospitality is a huge industry, and those who choose to pursue careers in hospitality often find themselves in roles like bar and catering managers, hotel management staff, tourism consultants, marketing consultants, night auditors and leisure department managers. Individuals who love customer service and making sure people have a great time fit well into careers in hospitality.

Based on 2014 job figures, employees within the hotel and hospitality management industry can expect to earn an average minimum wage of £19,500, to an average maximum of £61,000. However, there was a decline in Hospitality Management course enrolments from 2013 to 2018, dropping from 65 to 45.

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Hairdressing

Becoming a hairdresser involves striking a balance between having the right qualifications and a good amount of practical experience. Although in the UK anyone is free to practise hairdressing without registration, having a qualification will give you an advantage when it comes to getting hired in this competitive industry.

Our Hairdressing course covers topics including coordinating salon services, perming and colouring, cutting hair, workplace communication, and maintaining a clean and organised salon. The number of people enrolling in our Hairdressing course grew from 129 to 171 between 2013 and 2018, reflecting the popularity of a career that lets people indulge their creativity and show off their flair for style.

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<a href=”https://www.icieducation.co.uk/blog/the-state-of-online-education-in-the-uk-over-the-last-5-years/” target=”_blank”><img src=”https://www.icieducation.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/State-of-Online-Education-9.png” width=”540″ alt=”The State of Online Education in the UK Over the Last 5 Years”></a><br/> – An infographic by the team at <a href=”https://www.icieducation.co.uk”>International Career Institute</a>

Paralegal secretarial

Paralegal Secretarial courses are often designed for those who are entirely new to the profession and are wanting to gain their first qualification, as well as those who are already experienced paralegals and are wanting to improve their skills. Our course has been designed in conjunction with government and industry representatives to give you a firm overview of topics like legal terminology, legal systems, contract and business law, property law and criminal law.

The Paralegal Secretarial course is a highly academic course that can be challenging. With this being said, it experienced a decrease in applications between 2013 and 2018, dropping from 314 to 283. However, the percentage of people completing the course grew from 88% to 90% over these years.

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Natural health nutrition & diet

Natural Health, Nutrition and Diet courses allow individuals to enter the fast-growing industry of nutrition, learning about weight loss, obesity, medical conditions, detoxification, creating diet plans and counselling clients.

People are paying more attention to their health than ever before, with a focus on natural health and nutrition being at the forefront. The popularity of this course is evident as enrolments more than doubled between 2013 and 2018, rising from 30 to 62.

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Private investigation

Being an excellent private investigator usually comes through years of on-the-job experience, and a Private Investigator course puts individuals in good stead to enter the industry. This fascinating course covers criminal psychology, factual inquiries, tracing missing persons, counter-espionage, surveillance and cases of fraud.

Private investigators are generally equipped with the skills to handle matters involving family law, cheating spouses, insurance matters, asset tracing, intellectual property, harassment and stalking, and personnel screening. Enrolments in this course spiked in 2018, rising to 102 from 78 in 2013. The percentage of people who complete the course has also risen, from 70% to 73% in this period.

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Massage

A Massage course covers topics like equipment and products, massage in medicine, human anatomy and physiology, superficial lymph drainage, reflexology, and a variety of massage movements and styles. Completing a massage course allows individuals to gain the professional expertise and skills needed to practise the art of massage

Enrolments in our Massage course grew majorly between 2013 and 2018, increasing from 121 to 188. This reflects the popularity of massage both as a career choice and a hobby.

To embed ‘The State of Online Education in the UK Over the Last 5 Years’ on your site, copy and paste the code below:
<a href=”https://www.icieducation.co.uk/blog/the-state-of-online-education-in-the-uk-over-the-last-5-years/” target=”_blank”><img src=”https://www.icieducation.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/State-of-Online-Education-15.png” width=”540″ alt=”The State of Online Education in the UK Over the Last 5 Years”></a><br/> – An infographic by the team at <a href=”https://www.icieducation.co.uk”>International Career Institute</a>

Criminal psychology

Completing a Criminal Psychology course could lead to a career in probation and rehabilitation, forensics, welfare, youth protection, counselling, psychology or support work. A great option for those who are interested in the correctional system and why criminals do what they do, these courses cover topics like crime and mental disability, aggression and severe crimes, age and gender studies in relation to crimes, and how the police use psychology in their work.

Our Criminal Psychology course received an increase in enrolments from 2013 to 2018, growing from 37 to 53. Criminal psychology is an ideal course to study from home, as it allows students to absorb the material in their own time, which is especially useful when learning about sensitive subjects.

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Life coaching

Obtaining a qualification in Life Coaching equips individuals with the knowledge and skills to help others improve their mindset and outlook on life. Whether clients are looking for career development, improvements in their relationships, or are on a quest for general fulfillment and happiness, life coaches are able to use their expertise to help them get there.

This course covers topics like individual perception, lifestyle organisation, coaching skills, psychology, and meeting coaching objectives. Enrolments in the Life Coaching course more than doubled between 2013 and 2018, from 39 to 80, reflecting the rising popularity of the self-care and self-development industry.

To embed ‘The State of Online Education in the UK Over the Last 5 Years’ on your site, copy and paste the code below:
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General trends

As you can see, the world of online education is changing dramatically, and we’re seeing more enrolments in our courses than ever before. The convenience of studying from home is allowing people to pursue dream careers that they never thought would have been possible previously. 

Some of our most popular courses, such as the Veterinary Assistant, Paralegal, Pharmacy Assistant and Import/Export courses, have all experienced significant increases in enrolments. In fact, our online education enrolments have increased by 88% over the last five years, with our most popular course being Counselling and Psychology with a total of 734 enrolments in 2018.

Online education really is the future, where people are opting to study in their own time, from the comfort of their own homes, and with the option to also work to support themselves if needed.

Courses related to the animal care and personal development industries are becoming increasingly popular, with people choosing to study these courses to pursue specific career paths or just to indulge in their personal interests.

Online, career focused education that suits your lifestyle.

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Gladys Mae

Gladys is the Associate Director of Admissions & Student Services with over 10 years of experience at the International Career Institute.