A Tipping Point for Online Education

Online education suffers from a stigma. 

Sure, it's fine for picking up a few technical skills. But an online degree? Just not the same as earning a degree from a "real college."

All of that's changing—and rapidly—as schools like MIT, Stanford and Columbia (where I teach strategic communications) move content, courses and degree programs from physical classrooms to virtual ones. 

It's not an easy transition to get right. But the move is inevitable as both universities and students struggle with managing the high cost of higher education. 

The stigma of online education? That will fade, too, especially as more universities tailor their marketing to the new medium.

This new star-studded ad (video above) for the UCLA Extension program is a terrific example of how to market professional education in an online world. Though a certificate program, I expect undergrad and grad programs will follow suit.

As technology improves, "distance learning" won't feel so distant any more. And the world will genuinely become our classroom.