Online Program Managers (OPMs) are companies that are usually hired for the connection they make between universities and clients seeking graduate degrees.
Over the years, OPMs have emerged to be for-profit middlemen who have been making proceeds to the tune of one billion dollars (US$1B) annually.
On the other hand, this may prove disadvantageous as they are skimming off nearly eighty percent (80%) of proceeds in the education sector.
As a result, OPMs are compromising college affordability and optimal capability of online education.
OPMs making courses expensive
The hiring of OPMs has proven to be more relaxed and quicker for both private and public nonprofit universities as compared to developing their own marketing strategies.
Nevertheless, this procedure has proven to be detrimental because these institutions of higher learning usually forfeit a vast portion of their budget.
Experts believe that OPMs are making courses expensive as universities are forced to charge students more for them to be hired.
According to Stephanie Hall, a member of a think tank called The Century Foundation, the profit incentive instigated by OPMs ought to be significantly scrutinized because the pricing may be manipulated.
OPMs are compromising graduate programs
OPMs have proven to be expensive. As a result, they have been taking a considerable cut of revenue generated by graduate programs.
This trend may be damaging because the cost associated with graduate programs does not tally with the benefits obtained.
Notably, the evolution of OPMs has propelled by the significant demand witnessed in this industry. However, the arrangement between OPMs and higher learning institutions has remained traditional.
For instance, OPMs are usually tasked with marketing degree programs, advising and recruiting students, and availing the software.
These efforts typically do not go unrewarded because OPMs make between thirty and eighty percent (30-80%) of the revenue generated by online degree programs.
The way OPMs manipulate these online programs has made them expensive. As a result, college affordability has been hindered.
This trend is being witnessed at a time when some online courses, such as blockchain education, are being considerably embraced by universities across the globe.