COVID19 Update | How Your University Can Capture Alumni Learning Markets
January 20, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on higher education. The entire future of education just changed. The sudden shift to remote learning, stemming from entire campus shutdowns, exposed the inadequacies of the established digital backbones. Now universities need to adapt. How can you meet the needs of your learners, quickly and efficiently, without reshaping your entire university? The answer is simple – through a smart partnership. 

Even before COVID-19, the higher education sector lagged behind other major industries in its efforts to integrate a digitally driven business model. According to a study done by EDUCAUSE, colleges only allocate 4.2% of their yearly budget to IT spending [1]. This is important because “education is one of the least digitized and most people-intensive economic sectors— suggesting that the opportunity for and risk of technology-driven disruption is strong [2].” The institutions that come out on top will recognize and take advantage of this void in the market. 

The pandemic has forcefully kicked higher education into the 21st century, opening its eyes to the necessity of embracing digital transformation. To recover after the loss of revenue resulting from the fallout of COVID-19, it is important for universities to not only establish a functional solution to educate and attract current students, but also capture the alumni learning markets.  

Alumni are a large, loyal group of learners who are increasingly looking for ways to improve their knowledge and skills. The pandemic spurred a huge wave of personal growth through online courses and certifications designed to upskill. Combating increasing competitiveness for jobs and the changing landscape of business, learning new skills has been a necessity for job seekers and those looking to make themselves indispensable to employers.  

To capitalize on this lucrative market, it is important to have a digital platform that can meet alumni leaning needs now. This is where a partnership can be the solution. Partnering with a company specializing in providing an online learning environment is the key to meeting these needs quickly and efficiently without reshaping your university. Choosing the right partnership for your university is a crucial first step in capturing the alumni learning market.  

The key to selecting a smart partner comes down to aligning over content and technology.  

Selecting the right technology partner is a vital consideration when serving your alumni. A huge obstacle between universities and potential revenue is simply getting the courses online and available to the public. A partnership can help with this by having established scalable infrastructure that makes putting entire curriculums online a simple process.  

An ideal partner will incorporate analytics and AI technologies into their platforms. Taking advantage of the ability to collect data on learners can provide incredible insights for the university, the educators and the learners. It is also a great way to learn more about your alumni, their needs, and how well you are meeting them. Tracking what drives student retention is a huge advantage to universities who can then apply that data to predict successful enrollment. Recent trends show incorporating AI and analytics are the main technological shifts that institutions are making [3]. 

Traditional degree tracks are quickly becoming archaic. Numerous universities are now offering alternative options for accreditation including, certification, digital badges or micro-credentials. This aligns with the desires of the alumni learning market in seeking hyper-focused training that is required to fill resume gaps and satisfy the skills and competencies employers are searching for [4]. A partnership which supports this micro content as well as traditional content is important because it is the future of online learning, especially for the alumni learning market.  

The nature of these micro courses often relates to information that is changing regularly and advancing, hence the need for continuing education on the subject. Having a partnership with an AI enabled platform that creates custom curated content and pulls relevant and high quality information into the course, minute-to-minute, is a huge advantage to learners, teachers and the university. Keeping courses relevant to its users will drive student retention and engagement.  

Personalization through AI is a necessity for online learning. Competency-based learning is a flexible learning schedule that is based on personal mastery of a subject rather than the static timely progression through a course [5]. A platform whose technology and content can support this personalization by assessing and delivering the course work a student needs, at the right time, will provide a great user experience and keep engagement high. The alumni learning market will appreciate this facet of the learning platform because they do not want to waste time on subjects they have mastered. 

The learners experience, when using the online course environment is of the utmost importance. Great user experiences drive retention and revenue. Users want a  platform which requires little to no learning curve. Alumni learners must be able to intuitively interact with your courses to stay engaged.  

The global e-learning market is expected to reach $398.15 B by 2026 [6]. With the proper partnership your university can strengthen its digital backbone and capture a larger share of the alumni learning market.  

An Amesite partnership is a smart partnership. 

Amesite is a high-tech AI powered online learning environment. Amesite offers a single, easy to use, scalable solution for transferring your entire curriculum online. Ann Marie Sastry, CEO of Amesite, said, “We developed this platform to be able to be used by everyone from teachers to administrators so that they can get learning online in less than a day. The drag and drop feature actually lets you see the course develop as you build it”. This platform is easy to use for educators and learners even if they have no technical experience.  

Amesite provides the power and flexibility crucial to capturing the alumni learning markets. It is built on AI technology, advanced data analytical tools and machine learning algorithms, a fundamental difference from its competitors. This allows courses to be flexible and customizable to each learner and stay factually up to date and relevant along the students’ learning journey, which will satisfy their needs and keep them returning for future courses.  


[1] EduCause Review. 2015 CDS Benchmarking Report. Mar. 11, 2016. ACCESSED 12 JANUARY 2021. 

[2] Harvard Business Review. The Pandemic Pushed Universities Online. The Change Was Long Overdue. Sept. 29, 2020. ACCESSED 12 JANUARY 2021. 

[3] EduCause Review. How Colleges and Universities are Driving to Digital Transformation Today. Jan. 27, 2020. ACCESSED 13 JANUARY 2021. 

[4] College is Education.What Is Upskilling? How Colleges Can Help Level Up the Workforce. Oct. 14. 2020. ACCESSED 12 JANUARY 2021. 

[5] US Department of Education. Competency-Based Learning or Personalized Learning. ACCESSED 12 JANUARY 2021. 

[6] Market Watch. Global E-learning Market Size & Trends Will Reach USD 374.3 Billion by 2026: Facts & Factors. Dec. 17, 2020. ACCESSED 12 JANUARY 2021.