Market Trends

Virtual Schools to Grow 12.8% per Year Through 2021


The virtual schools market in North America is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.82 percent during the period 2017-2021, according to a recent report by market research firm Research and Markets.

The report, “Virtual Schools Market in North America 2017-2021,” has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with feedback from industry experts. The report covers the market landscape and its growth prospects at the present and over the next four years. To calculate the market size, the report considers the student enrollments at for-profit virtual schools in the K–12 segment. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in the market.

One trend in the market is the increased demand for distance learning, according to the report. Distance learning offers opportunities to people who have issues related to finance, geography and scheduling classes and find it difficult to attend universities. Most distance education content is delivered online or in a packaged form of books and CDs. However, virtual schools help in delivering content in a synchronous environment; hence, they are gradually taking over other traditional modes.

According to the report, one driver in the market is the increase in online content development and digitalization. E-learning course providers are creating and delivering content based on the availability of new and unique technological tools such as LMS and LCMS.

LMS is a software that is used to share study materials online. LCMS is used to create, manage and deliver e-learning content to users. They have become a critical part of any educational institution that has online education or training systems. With the centralized learning system provided by an LMS, institutions can offer learners with a wide variety of learning content.

Further, the report states that one challenge in the market is the rise in nonprofit institutions. Education management organizations (EMOs) that operate for-profit virtual schools are facing competition from nonprofit EMOs. Many students are being enrolled into schools managed by nonprofit EMOS as these institutions offer virtual education, free of cost. In 2013, more than 50 percent of the full-time virtual schools were operated by nonprofit EMOs and had enrolled an average of 350 students in an academic year.

Some of the key vendors mentioned in the report include:

Other prominent vendors include:

The report costs $3,500 for a single user (electronic PDF), which includes one hour of an analyst’s time. To learn more about the report or to order a copy, visit Research and Markets’ website.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].