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Online business education in the twenty‐first century: an analysis of potential target markets

Joel R. Evans (Joel R. Evans is RMI Distinguished Professor of Business at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, USA)
Ilene M. Haase (Ilene M. Haase is Director of Interactive Entertainment, The NPD Group, Port Washington, New York, USA.)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 1 August 2001


The future of online business education seems quite bright. Three‐fifths of the 1,700 US institutions of higher learning that are engaged in distance education – 55 percent of which offer credit‐bearing business courses – already use some form of Internet‐based technology. Nonetheless, there have been no large‐scale studies of potential online business students in terms of their traits and desires. In this article, the background of distance education is presented. Then, the results of a major survey, involving NPD’s Online Research Panel, are discussed. In all, 2,651 adults participated in the survey, 1,945 of whom indicated some interest in online business education. Eight propositions are tested, relating to demographics, courses versus programs, reasons for enrolling or not enrolling, desired features, customer service expectations, tuition, prestige and value, and institutional attributes.



Evans, J.R. and Haase, I.M. (2001), "Online business education in the twenty‐first century: an analysis of potential target markets", Internet Research, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 246-260.




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