In the last decade, the number of marketing gurus and self-proclaimed entrepreneurs that churn out “exclusive” online courses with bogus promises, delivering nothing are on the rise.
To put this in perspective, a lot of the poor quality courses only provide information that you could find for free after surfing the Internet for a few minutes.
With ‘gurus’ on the rise, you might be wondering, are there still mentors that are committed to helping people develop meaningful and workable skills?
Do we still have teachers with integrity that deliver quality content and guidance for the premium price they charge?
Are you interested in building a career or skills through e-Learning? You might be wondering if it’s worth it considering the rise in self-proclaimed “quality” online courses..
The problem with these courses is that their authenticity becomes doubtable as the “get rich quick” MLM schemes you come across are so frequent, ultimately saturating the industry as a whole.
You don’t have to worry anymore.
Let’s have a look at the major reason why there's a tsunami of charlatan experts flooding the online learning industry.
Also, as a successful industry insider, I will show you ways of sieving out the chaff from the wheat.
This is in addition to a SECRET TIP dodgy course providers never want you to know.
Online Learning Industry: Reasons Behind the Influx of 'Scammy' Courses
Right now, it’s sad to witness the constant release of premium courses that do nothing for learners trooping to buy their content.
At the end of these courses - especially the entrepreneurial-related ones - students feel more hyped about financial freedom than having sufficient knowledge on how to achieve it.
So, why do we have an influx of scam instructors in e-Learning?
The answer can be found in these interesting stats:
- Another study disclosed that a huge 72% of companies believe digital learning gives them a competitive advantage
- A recent Developer’s report released by tech company, HackerRank, shows the rate at which different age groups use online courses: 59.3% of Gen Z patronise online courses, 66.9% for Millennials, 65.6% for Gen X, and 63.9% for Baby boomers. This increase in using online courses is now not limited to professional technologists alone but every generation.
- Change in the way people like to learn - in a study done at the start of this year, found that 43% of college students in the United States found digital learning more helpful than being the classroom
- 60% of internet users prefer online courses because of how convenient it is for their schedules and lifestyle
- From 2000 to date, revenues in the online learning sector have experienced an impressive growth rate of over 900%
- Between 2012 and 2015, e-Learning raked in a whopping $107 Billion in revenue
- Presently, a forecast from research firm, Research and Markets, shows the sector is on its way to generating $325 Billion by 2025
CPD Certified Online Courses Vs. Fake Online Courses
Scam online courses, fake digital courses, low-quality online learning – whatever name you choose to call them – are internet-based training people, register for, but fail to adequately deliver the knowledge that was advertised.
This training can range from podcasts, webinars, one-to-one coaching to virtual classroom streaming.
In most cases, when you attend this kind of class, the content is filled with sales pitches, rather than impacting valuable knowledge.
Due to this, there has been a massive public outcry against scam online learning.
The primary aim of this group of course providers is to cash in on a booming industry. They spend more time creating sleek ads to capture undiscerning customers and less attention to offering up-to-date, and industry-standard curriculum.
Sometimes, the teaching method is sub-par and the materials given are filled with outdated or incorrect information.
Here are some of the outrageous titles these fishy companies use to lure people:
“I’ll teach you how to make 6 figures in 30 days or less,”
“Generate a 6-figure income from affiliate marketing within 30 days,” etc.
The damage these scammers are causing is disheartening.
Not only are they ripping people off, but they are also tarnishing the image of the digital marketing industry as a whole.
Their greed is giving bonafide experts a bad name making it harder for legitimate online educational institutions to be recognised in a positive light.
Criteria to Consider When Making Sure a Course Isn't a Scam
Seeing how widespread sub-par services have become in the online learning space, how can you avoid falling prey to questionable online experts offering scam courses?
Here are a few things to check to help you out:
- Is there a money-back guarantee? Choose course providers that back up their promises with a refund.
At Affluent Academy, for example, we offer a guarantee. You’ll see the ‘Get your first client in 30 days or your money back’ assurance when purchasing the course. So far, the refund rate is still less than 1%.
- Check the testimonials: It’s important for you to check how good an instructor is. You also need to check if the course content is informative and engaging. In addition, you also need to look beyond these and check for real-life testimonials of students that got positive results after purchasing the course - proof of concept essentially.
Now for the secret tip I talked about earlier on:
The thing is that people rarely use these criteria and funnily enough, it is the most effective and quickest way to weed out the poor quality courses.
- Certification: Ask if the course you want to enrol in is certified. If the answer is a yes, make sure you confirm from the awarding body.
In the online and digital learning world, a great place to start is the official body the CPD (i.e. the Continuing Professional Development) a pioneering global service that awards educational institutions, professional coaches, and training providers with formal training excellence verification.
The CPD also periodically regulates the activities of companies to ensure they keep abreast of relevant developments in the industry - essentially making sure the content the course is providing is up to date… Very important.
Do you know that as unbelievable as it may sound, among all the online training companies that specialise in teaching people to set up marketing agencies, only one company is CPD certified?
The company is none other than the Affluent Academy course.
What Does It Mean For A Training Or Course To Be CPD Accredited?
CPD is a globally recognised accreditation office that has been in existence since 1996.
The body has strict universal guidelines that are both impartial and objective, thus giving their accreditation a symbol of high credibility and quality.
When a course is CPD accredited, it implies that it has fulfilled the stated CPD benchmarks and standards. Accredited courses are also inspected to ensure quality and integrity.
Why Accreditation Is Important Now More Than Ever
Due to how easy it is to enter the space, opportunists have trooped into the online training market. Now, everyone is claiming to be an expert at any field they choose.
The question is, how can you separate the bad eggs from the good eggs?
The only very easy way is through checking for certification.
An international certification demonstrates that a course provider is serious and committed to providing an exceptional service full of valuable information.
Seeking accreditation also shows the instructor or company is 100% confident that their learning experience is superior enough to meet world-class educational standards - companies aren’t just awarded with certification, they have to seek to have it and go through a very extensive review process in order to obtain it.
That being said, I’ll leave you with this warning from the chief executive of The CPD Standards Office, Amanda Rosewarne to the unsuspecting public:
“...Yet with so many new providers entering the online learning market, it has become the new wild-west, where learners can easily be hooked by cowboys.
Over the past few weeks, all sorts of new online learning have been created, the need for external validation of this market has never been greater.
It is critical that genuine providers seek accreditation to ensure that their products stand head and shoulders above the rest, and that learners are not hook-winked by cowboys.”
As a huge advocate for continued learning and development at all stages throughout life, I would never want this information to deter you from investing in both your future and careers whatever they may be, but hopefully this information will allow you to be mindful and educated when purchasing an e-learning product.
If starting a digital marketing agency is something you have considered, dreamt about, or maybe you already have an agency and want to scale up.
Follow this link and schedule a call with our senior consultant now - https://resources.affluent.co/free-training