Must Read Blog February 9, 2016

The Tip of the Iceberg in Adult Education

The Bottom Line

Companies and investors are always searching for a blue ocean in the education sector. Why aren’t any of them diving in here?

Adult Education New Market Opportunity.Iceberg

Beneath the Surface of the Adult Education Opportunity

Tyton Partners’ analysis of the adult education ecosystem, informed by a national survey of more than 1,000 program administrators and instructors, reveals there is a dearth of innovative, technology-based teaching and learning solutions for low-skilled adults, and enormous pent up demand.

While today’s addressable market for adult education is $800 milllion, the nearly 32 million low-skilled adults in the U.S. represent another $3-$6 billion in potential spend that few organizations are targeting. In addition, recent reauthorization of the Federal program – Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)  – influencing most states’ and communities’ adult education efforts is shifting their programmatic focus to measuring and delivering outcomes for this population. For us, the scale, interest and lack of compelling solutions for the low-skilled adult education market is a deafening echo of the K-12 and postsecondary markets 15 years ago, which subsequently saw an influx of entrepreneurs, innovative business and solution models, and a new wave of investors.

So how might you start swimming toward this blue ocean? Think mobile. Tyton Partners’ research suggests as many as 75% of low-skilled adults own a smartphone. Yet, go to an app store and search for a solution for adults with low literacy or numeracy and you will come up empty. You’ll find plenty of options for a three-year-old, but not so many for a 33-year-old in the same boat.

Low-skilled adult learners are a unique and untapped market, whether you’re an investor or a supplier. We believe this is a market that demands a deeper dive.

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