New DMS Data-Based Report Shows Sustained Momentum For Online Higher Education

Clearwater, FL – April 1, 2020 — Digital Media Solutions (DMS) has once again delivered high-quality industry insight into the higher education space through the release of its 2020 Report On The State Of Online Vs. Campus-Based Higher Education Demand

The detailed report revealed student interest in online higher education programs has seen an impressive increase over the past three years, accounting for 64.2% of all higher education inquiries during the second quarter of 2019. Additionally, throughout the first three quarters of 2019, nearly 60% of higher education applications, enrollments or starts were for online programs.

According to the Harvard Business Review, more than 3 million students study fully online in the U.S., and 61% of hiring leaders now view credentials earned online as equal to or better than those completed in person. The publication recently shared that “the market for online degrees continues to be one of the only growth segments in American higher education.” As more students, schools and employers embrace online education, the acceptance and positive perception surrounding the online forum will likely continue to experience substantial growth.

Growth in Online Higher Education Inquiry Volume By Quarter, 2017-2019. Graph from Digital Media Solutions 2020 Higher Education Report.

The 2020 Report On The State Of Online Vs. Campus-Based Higher Education Demand revealed the top five online program categories of 2019. Health professions proved to be dominant, accounting for more than a third of all online higher education program inquiries. Business professions ranked second-highest, followed by education, then psychology and lastly, public administration and social service professions.

In the wake of COVID-19, prospective students are looking at professional roles in the job market differently than they did before. Professionals in all fields represented by the top five program categories have in some way needed to alter their approaches or make some sort of shifts in their day-to-day work lives. Many businesses are striving to be flexible enough to transition to virtual environments, when possible. For the first time, prospective students may also be analyzing the “essential” nature of jobs in their fields of interest to determine whether or not a future crisis could result in unemployment.

Top 5 Online Program Categories Excel Chart Ranked by 2019 SOV. Graph from Digital Media Solutions 2020 Higher Education Report.

Spotlighting higher education inquiry volume trends and demand by program format, the report provides marketers the opportunity to better understand and adapt to the continually changing higher education landscape. The data used for this report is derived from aggregated higher education industry inquiries processed through and stored within Sparkroom® performance marketing technology. Sparkroom is owned by Digital Media Solutions.

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Digital Media Solutions

Digital Media Solutions, Inc. (DMS) drives better business results by connecting high-intent consumers with advertisers across our core verticals; Insurance (auto, home, health), Education and Consumer/Ecommerce. Our innovative solutions help consumers shop and save, while helping our advertisers achieve above average return on ad spend. Learn more at