Marketing 6 MIN READ

Top Course Ideas and Trends of 2018

Keeping an eye on trends is a vital part of the e-learning development. Reports on ‘what’s popular’ helps wanna-be instructors and entrepreneurs find their own subject niche and explore their potential reach before they launch their online project. Recent reports carried out by the MIT’s own Technology Review, explore various trends on courses that reveal what people are most interested in as well as what skills are most in-demand.

If you are new to this and want to set up your own online school – or why not, your second or third one, take a closer look at the top e-learning categories that are predicted to be prevalent in the upcoming year!

Becoming more familiar with the latest trends can help you stay ahead of the curve in 2018…

Finance and bitcoin

One of the most talked-about topics of the year that passed was bitcoin and blockchain technology and as research finds, Princeton University’s Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies class was its fifth most popular in 2017. This comes from a number of popular e-learning providers like Coursera, Lynda, Udemy, which have already started offering courses teaching how bitcoin works as a globally-based cryptocurrency, becoming familiar with bitcoin mining and undertaking bitcoin transactions.

Forex, stock trading and financial investments are also high in the list of the most popular courses in the e-learning industry. The never-dying interest in the finance sector proves that these financial-related courses are here to stay and most likely increase in the years to come.

The rise of the bitcoin is amongst the most talked-about trends in the finance sector
The rise of the bitcoin is amongst the most talked-about trends in the finance sector

Professional Skills/Development

Professional development is always relevant and comes up quite often in the e-learning menu. This includes generic skills and abilities that you can use at work such as leadership and management, communication and negotiation skills, teamwork/collaboration, public speaking, analytical thinking, problem-solving etc. These are also called ‘transferable’ skills and aim to develop a person’s capabilities in an attempt to increase workplace performance or achieve higher in their career e.g. getting a raise, or moving up the career ladder.

In this category there seems to be an increase interest on behalf of certain organizations that are willing to train their staff and invest in them with the hope to retain them longer and achieve future success. Employers may want to train them in specific skills such as how to improve their ability to adapt and build on workplace flexibility as well as the ability to self-learn.

As long as there is interest in career success, people will continue to learn new skills
As long as there is interest in career success, people will continue to learn new skills


For some years now entrepreneurship has been on the rise. Changing mindsets, the need for people to gain more independence and achieve career fulfilment has encouraged them to look for alternative career paths. With the help of the latest technological advances and e-learning applications, setting up a business has become easier than ever. As such, people has started becoming interested in how businesses work, and are looking for ways to invest in start-ups and SMEs.


Marketing courses usually come hand-in-hand with business courses and this makes much sense. When you are interested in learning how to set up your business, then you need to find out how to advertise your company, promote and sell your services and products. Digital marketing and social media, business branding, customer engagement, and marketing analytics constitute the central of all marketing activities and those interested in entrepreneurship have to become familiar at least with the basics in order to be successful entrepreneurs.

Marketing continues to be a key element within the operation of a business
Marketing continues to be a key element within the operation of a business

Lifestyle & Beauty

The lifestyle and beauty industries are two of the largest in the US and are expected to grow in the nearer future. Key findings from the ‘The New Face of Luxury’ report produced by the Fashion and Beauty Monitor, shows that 66 percent of luxury brands expect their influencer marketing budgets to increase, to meet market demands. The Global beauty market is divided in five main segments including skincare, haircare, color (makeup), fragrances and toiletries.

Young women who are interested in the art of beauty want to enhance the way people look through various applications and methods, including a focus on the skin, hair, nails and other spa-treatments. Courses in this sector range from DIY clothing to theatrical make-up and face painting or the promotion of cosmetic products. Currently there are many celebrities or sales representatives who promote their own or major makeup brands on social media, YouTube or a separate site, so why not create their own course?

Promoting cosmetic products and brands is in fashion these days
Promoting cosmetic products and brands is in fashion these days

Personal Development

In e-learning, personal development takes the form of coaching and mentoring and can cover all facets of skills development in life and career. Classes on personal development includes spirituality, self-development and individual courses on building more confidence, dealing with anxiety, mastering time management, decision-making, mindfulness/wellness and dealing with mental health issues, which are central to many. A ‘life coach’, a term that has started becoming used widely nowadays, describes the person helps people make significant changes in their life and resolve issues that are preventing them from realizing their full potential and progressing in life.


As one of the most important industries, the healthcare sector isn’t going anywhere. That’s because receiving medical health and guidance is a service that every household needs and takes up a huge part in a person’s life. As such, courses on medicine, health care management, medical assistance and nursing are more likely to keep on coming. Also, with the need of medical professionals and doctors to teach, offer their knowledge or increase their reach of customers online, there are more likely to increase and become available as online courses offering industry-specific diplomas and qualifications to those interested.

Elderly people are in constant need of healthcare providers
Elderly people are in constant need of healthcare providers


A major pool of e-learning courses offer classes on technology and everything that comes with it including IT, artificial intelligence – AI, programming, computer science, nanotechnology and cybersecurity. These classes are offered in conjunction with big companies like Amazon and Google, to increase the likelihood of students securing a job. What’s rather surprising is that students are becoming more interested in data science and analytics apart from the traditional forms of web development. Amongst the most popular ranking by enrollment are HTML, CSS, Python, JavaScript and Java.

What about robots?
What about robots?


Finally, there is an increase of interest in industries or subjects that aren’t easily fit into specific categories and are quite surprising for the e-learning world. These include athletic training, fire science, fine arts, culinary management, veterinary technology, construction management and agriculture. Even though these classes are more outdoorsy and suited in the 5D world we live in, there is no reason why they can’t be incorporated in an online classroom.

Non-profit Online Programs

Apart from the obvious ones, there seems to be an increasing growth of non-profit online programs. Unlike others, these non-profit schools serve an education mission without generating profit or distributing earnings to owners. This means that they receive public funding or charity endorsements and re-invest money back into their school. These can offer lower tuition fees and are more accessible for students since they provide them with more types of financial aids.

Personal interests/goals can influence common and societal goals. Personal change and self-investment has the power to bring collective change towards an improved e-learning environment, where education is more freely available and easily accessible.

Once you decide to take the opportunity to nurture your ideas and develop them into a nice working plan, these can become trends and shape the society for the better, inspiring innovation and change.

The question is… are you up for it? We definitely are, and we are always here to help you!

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Kyriaki is a Content Creator for the LearnWorlds team with more than three years of experience in digital marketing. Graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a Guidance degree, she has equipped herself with hands-on experience in education management and career guidance.