Digital Learning Platforms: The Future of Global Education?

The most significant benefit of digital learning platforms is that they break down barriers to education, including geographical and time constraints.

Delivering education online is growing in popularity around the world, and this growth is not set to slow down anytime soon. In fact, the global market for self-paced online learning is expected to reach U.S.$51.5 billion this year, a substantial growth from U.S.$35.6 billion in 2011, according to a 2014 report by Docebo. Clearly, the future of education is digital.

In particular, delivering education online at the user’s convenience offers significant benefits over traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms—enabling high-quality education to be distributed on a global scale. And when it comes to professional education, this is vital.

Breaking Down Barriers to Education

Certainly, the most significant benefit of digital learning platforms is that they break down barriers to education. Delivering courses online enables people in different geographic areas to take the same course at the same time, even collaborating on projects together.

Breaking down these barriers has not only improved convenience for students, it also grants the same high-quality education to anyone, anywhere in the world—creating a new era of truly global education. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Academy, for instance, develops its courses in one central location and distributes them globally—allowing high-quality education to be available all over the world.

This, in turn, is levelling the playing field between emerging and developed markets by allowing professionals all over the world to access education that previously was restricted to more developed regions. But it is also converging business practices—such as those referring to how trade is conducted, for instance—that previously may have been a barrier to both individual career development and a company’s expansion plans.

What is more, the use of technology removes time constraints imposed by traditional education—a key benefit for professionals who cannot afford to take time off work to pursue education.           

Networking Opportunities Need Not Be Neglected

In the past, networking opportunities typically were associated with traditional universities rather than online education initiatives. Professionals were faced with the choice of having the convenience of studying around their busy schedules or networking with others while being constrained to being in a set place at a set time.

Delivering education online now extends beyond coursework and is connecting students to individuals and experiences that can play a first-hand role in professional development. The ICC Academy, for one, not only gives access to its global online programs and specialized trainings but also opens the doors for users to take advantage of its extensive international network of like-minded professionals to turn to for guidance and support.

In addition, ICC and International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, Singapore’s trade development agency, partnered to launch the International Trade Associate Programme (ITAP) that will provide four leading Singaporean polytechnics with industry-accredited professional certification, as well as career development opportunities such as internships and apprenticeships. The ICC Academy is proving that online education initiatives are succeeding where they once failed in regard to networking opportunities and career development.

Evolving Education

Effective career development also is achieved through education that evolves alongside one’s career. Indeed, it is imperative that professional education is able to adapt and evolve to match industry changes. This is particularly true for business education: As global business swiftly changes, the best education must be delivered to effectively meet the challenges that lie ahead.

This is why the ICC Academy offers courses that are developed and moderated by a roster of seasoned trade experts and practitioners.

Meeting the needs of modern professionals is necessary—affording convenience but also providing the highest standard of education. Luckily, digital learning platforms have the ability to provide the highest quality education on a global scale—introducing a new era of global education with endless opportunities for professionals around the world.

Thierry Senechal is the senior director of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Academy, which utilizes digital learning platforms to provide global access to the highest quality education. For more information, visit


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