From education to employment

E-learning resources to continue to boom post Covid-19: 63% of university leaders predict full university courses by 2030

Kevin Orr is Professor of Work and Learning at the University of Huddersfield

Industries predicted to boom post Covid-19

Coronavirus has had a huge effect on the economy, with many businesses struggling due to the financial impact that isolation and lockdown has had across the globe. However, there are some sectors that have seen a surge in profits and overall business because of the pandemic, with an increase in demand in certain industries from both a public and business perspective due to new regulations. Here, recruitment specialists Futures discuss the industries that are predicted to continue revelling in success after the pandemic.


Particularly within the manufacturing industry, automation has seen a huge spike in interest, with machinery taking the place of humans within development processes in factories and warehouses. Covid-19 has pushed businesses to transfer many job roles from workers to machinery to ensure that the tasks at hand can be carried out safely, while also being more efficient than manual labour. This shift has also made social distancing easier within many workplaces, ensuring that businesses can meet current government guidelines.

Whilst these changes have meant less people are needed for the manufacturing process itself,  it’s suggested that many individuals are being saved from doing repetitive and sometimes dangerous tasks, with 62% of chief executives, according to KPMG, saying that this change should in turn create more jobs for people than it eliminates.

Digital transformation

A recent survey of CEOs conducted by Fortune magazine and Deloitte showed that 77% of CEOs reported that the COVID-19 crisis accelerated their digital transformation plans, showing the demand for IT and digital specialists to aid businesses to transition and continue to grow.

Local authorities have been made to turn to technology to deliver their services remotely. The pandemic has brought about a shift in thinking from leaders and managers within the sector, pushing the digitalised way of working to the forefront. This has had brilliant benefits on the efficiency of services, as well as a much-needed simplification of processes, allowing them to become clearer and quicker to execute.

An example of digitising the planning process has recently been seen in local councils which have shown planned development in 3D to boost online engagement. Showing planned developments in a more realistic context, in this instance in the form of 3D imagery, engages residents by allowing them to look at proposals from multiple viewpoints. This increases trust and understanding between the local authority and its audiences, all whilst still hitting targets, which has been a key objective for many local councils as they have looked to adapt strategies due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

E-learning resources

With many schools having to close due to local lockdowns and students exposed to the virus having to isolate, online education resources have become a necessity for students of all ages. A survey carried out by Times Higher Education found that when asked about the future of technology in education, 63% of university leaders predicted that prestigious universities would have full university courses available for online study by 2030 to keep up with demand and transition to an online way of learning.

In addition, the increase of demand in the online education sector is supported by analysts, who predicted before Covid-19 that the online education market was predicted to be worth $250 billion by 2025. But now with the unpredicted surge in online resources, this is estimated to be higher.

Online food shopping

Throughout the pandemic, online food shopping has spiked massively, with the demand for home delivery becoming a necessary lifeline for vulnerable and shielding households, as well as those infected. Recent research has found one in four consumers now buy food and essentials at least once a week online, while more than three-quarters order at least some of their regular household goods from supermarket websites – up from 61% last year. Additionally, Ocado has suspended new orders to their online site until they have cleared a backlog of orders, due to a mammoth increase in custom this year, showing that the new way of doing the weekly shop has changed permanently.


“Throughout the first lockdown earlier this year, many of our key clients within the brewery world had to react quickly. At least three of our exclusive clients had to think on their feet and despite not having an online e-commerce presence before the pandemic hit, they certainly do now. They now have direct stores on their websites and saw volumes ROCKET in a matter of hours! This led to additional investment and gave them the foundations for future growth despite these challenging times.” Mark Johnson, Futures Food and Drink

Online communications

Working and socialising through online technology is part of everyday life in 2020, with the tech industry remaining to be the fastest growing sector in the UK. Figures show that video conferencing app Zoom has seen its shares grow by over 120%, with communications platform Slack also experiencing a rise in shares by 25%. The rise is online communications sites shows that many businesses are adapting to a new way of working that is shifting the traditional nine to five. Not only are online chat applications helping remote working become easier, but they are also helping people to remain connected while lockdown restrictions remain, making scheduling family video chats part of many people’s regular routines.

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