Companies need to think about where to put their resources. The future of the future of education is today.
Where Is The Online Learning Center On The Ipad
Enrollment is still growing as more schools look to push the learning out of the walls and into the greater communities, and to expand their ability to connect.
The outlook from the federal government is that one in eight jobs in the U.S. will be in fields that had not yet been served by education technology by 2025. These fields typically have the greatest difficulty finding qualified workers and, therefore, have the greatest need for offering the tools needed for success. With that, the trend of schools going online to teach students is undeniable.
As I do every year, I provide a prediction for what the investment landscape is going to look like for this school year. Although the range of schools represented this year is not too far off, it is what schools are doing to use technology to become more competitive and help save money that defines the go-forward trajectory of these numbers.
This year, I have highlighted the Ohio Virtual Academy as a school that is investing heavily in technology. I have followed several schools all over the country, and Ohio Virtual Academy is one of the few schools that shows the ability to succeed in the market place, while also reducing costs through some nice online learning strategies.
Now that we have seen that the enrollment numbers are still growing, we see that many schools are looking to expand. In many instances, we will see the spread of online learning into higher levels of education.
It is not just a trend in schools as some private companies are actively targeting other areas of education, in fields like healthcare, financial services, and more. The trend of using technology to educate people is becoming more prevalent. I believe that many of these companies will be able to join the ranks of the very fast growing members of the S&P 500.
A quick glance at the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) shows us that there are a number of things driving the trend such as the opportunity to save money, as well as gain a competitive edge against their peers. With that, we see that on the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSEARCA:TLT) there is a slight outlier in the $76 million trade last week.
The dollar is strong at present and that may be a good sign for industries like healthcare and financial services. With the election of a new company to the White House, we could be seeing more people focusing their energy on better healthcare costs for employers, thus starting a process of doing away with traditional healthcare plans.
At this point, the trend for online learning is still a niche that is being supported by the many schools that have done very well in the marketplace. When a larger number of schools take the time to make the move to make these investments, that will likely make it a much more mainstream enterprise. I believe that technology will enable this to happen sooner rather than later.
As we look forward, we could see several companies in the market place. The most focused investors could be looking at Insperity (NYSE:NSP), Fast Enterprises (NASDAQ:FAST), Suburban Propane Partners (NYSE:SPH), and WellFare Insurance Group (NASDAQ:WFAA). These companies are all tightly focused and each has a dedicated education vertical that could help them draw huge assets from institutions for their services. You can see a listing of tech companies at the bottom of the article for examples of where the stock prices have spent a substantial amount of time.
When you look at the trend for schools going online, it makes sense that a similar move would happen in other education related areas. It is my expectation that several technology companies will emerge for these types of clients that could help their companies achieve great success.
From an investment perspective, you need to keep an eye on a group of stocks that I have identified as providing investment opportunities. Look closely at such companies and decide if there is enough momentum behind them to initiate a position. If you are interested in getting a direct investment into these companies and their verticals, then follow me on Seeking Alpha. You can reach me on Twitter (@spencerosborne).
Disclosure: I am/we are long NFTA, NFTA Income Fund. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
Additional disclosure: There are many other portfolios that are active in the online learning space, including the many articles written by myself and by the partners of my firm.