Academia: a state of employment or a state of mind?
It is however one of the first macro-trends that will shape the post pandemic world. Having been forced through an unprecedented experience, people have reviewed their lives, re-assessed their values and demand better. Higher Education is no exception, although as an inherently “slow” industry, trends have only now started to become visible and will continue forming long after the dust of the pandemic settles.
A highly disruptive ecosystem of “extramural” academia is rapidly growing to fill in voids also in professional education and it’s expansion could “suck-in” academic teachers like a black hole. The growing e-learning industry is expected to reach $319 billion by 2029, $49 billion of which is forecasted to be the market share for online courses directed at professional growth and education. Individual academics, professional societies and private enterprise powered by edTech are moving to partnerships with industry targeting a large share of post-graduation education and continuous professional development. Extramural academia is a trend that could challenge many established norms in the near future and competition for academic talent will be fierce – not any longer only among universities.
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I’m grateful to my good friends and elite academics, Heiko Spallek, Helen Lockey, Nadeem Karimbux, Marc Tennant, Leonie Short, Will Giannobile, Paul Weigl for their insights and constructive feedback while writing this article.
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