The online learning market has exploded in recent years and is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, according to a report by Forbes, the e-learning industry is expected to reach $325 billion by 2025. This presents a massive opportunity for those who want to create or sell online courses.
However, with this growing demand, there is also a lot of competition. In reality, there are thousands of online courses out there, from Udemy to Skillshare. The question is, “what niches will make the most profit in the education market”?
In this article, I’ve put together a list of the 15 best online course ideas for 2024. As a longtime eLearning professional, I’ve done in-depth research on current trends in online education and including ideas that can generate a healthy return on investment.
Top 15 Profitable Online Course Ideas for 2024
1. Blockchain and Crypto-Assets
Since the launch of Bitcoin in 2009, the world of cryptocurrency has exploded. In the last few years, we’ve seen the rise of Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and a host of other altcoins.
Countries like the central African republic have adopted cryptocurrency as their national currency. We’ve also seen the recent peak of crypto investors in the US stock market.
With the rise of cryptocurrency, there’s also been a corresponding rise in interest in blockchain technology.
Blockchain is the underlying technology that powers Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It’s a distributed ledger system that allows for secure, transparent, and decentralized transactions.
If you’re interested in this space, now is the time to get involved. Consider creating a course that covers topics like the basics of cryptocurrency investing, how to buy and sell crypto-assets, or even how to develop your blockchain-based applications.
By creating a course on this subject, you can tap into a growing market and help people learn about this exciting new technology.
2. NFT – Non-Fungible Token
With the recent explosion in the popularity of NFTs, it’s no surprise that this is one of the top online course ideas for 2024.
NFTs are digital assets that are stored on a blockchain. They’re unique, immutable, and can’t be replicated: thus making them perfect for collectibles, art, and other digital content.
If you’re a creative interested in digital art or collectibles, consider creating an NFT course. In this course, you can teach people how to create their own NFTs, buy and sell them, and even use them creatively.
3. Data Science and Analytics
With the ever-growing importance of data in today’s business landscape, it’s no surprise that data science courses are becoming more popular.
Data science and analytics is one of the fastest-growing fields in the world. Companies are increasingly relying on data to make decisions about their businesses. Gone are the days of relying on opinions and gut instinct alone.
From social media analytics to customer data analysis, there are countless ways to use data to improve business outcomes.
If you’re looking to get ahead of the curve, consider creating a course on this topic.
This could cover everything from data mining and modeling to statistics and machine learning. Regardless of your focus, your course should aim to give students the skills and knowledge they need to make sense of data and put it to use in their businesses.
4. Online Marketing
The world is increasingly moving online, and so too does marketing. What do you see when scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed? More and more ads, right?
As more businesses are moving online; they need to adapt their marketing strategies to this new landscape.
This is where you come in.
If you have experience in digital marketing, consider creating a course that covers topics like:
- Affiliate Marketing.
- Content Marketing.
- Mobile Marketing
- Email Marketing.
- Social media marketing
- Digital marketing mistakes to avoid
By teaching others about online marketing, you can help them reach a wider audience and grow their businesses.
5. Business and Entrepreneurship
In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of entrepreneurship and the gig economy. More people prefer to start their own businesses or become freelancers.
Still, during the mid-quarters of the covid-19 pandemic, Better.com Ceo fired 900 employees over Zoom.
This highlights a significant trend: Start your own business or be at the mercy of someone else’s.
That said, the demand for business courses and entrepreneurship courses has been on the rise. In particular, courses that teach practical skills like time management, marketing, and financial planning are in high demand.
If you have experience in business or entrepreneurship, you can create online courses that can help people start and grow their businesses.
6. Dog Training
Dog training is a popular online course idea for a few reasons:
- It’s a skill set that people are always in need of.
- It’s a relatively easy course to create.
- It’s a great way to help people bond with their pets.
Many dog owners out there would love to have a well-trained pet. In your course, you could cover topics such as obedience training, potty training, and how to socialize a dog.
7. Language Learning
Every day, the global economy is becoming more interconnected. Countries are increasingly doing business with one another. As a result, there’s a rising need for people who can speak multiple languages.
If you’re bilingual or multilingual, consider creating a course that teaches others your language.
In particular, courses that teach English as a second language (ESL) are highly demanded.
If you’re bilingual or have experience teaching languages, creating an online course could be great to share your skills with others. You could focus on teaching a particular language or creating a course covering multiple languages.
At first glance, creating an online photography or videography course might seem like a daunting prospect. After all, crafting compelling images and developing your unique style requires time, practice, and plenty of trial and error.
Nonetheless, there are a few simple ways to become a successful photographer or videographer. One way is to carefully study the work of other photographers and videographers whose style you admire.
Consider adopting specific techniques or even trying out some of their ideas in your work.
Additionally, it’s important to practice often and always be willing to experiment with different approaches and techniques. By staying dedicated and committed to your craft, you will gradually hone your skills and begin developing a unique voice as a photographer.
9. Python Programming
At its core, Python is a versatile and powerful programming language that is easy to read and write. Additionally, Python can be used for various applications, ranging from web development to scientific computing.
And because it’s relatively easy to learn, Python is an ideal choice for beginners who want to explore programming without getting overwhelmed by complicated syntax or obscure terminology.
All of this makes creating an online Python course a great idea.
Your course outline should be designed to give students a strong foundation in Python programming basics. You can then expand futher by covering more advanced topics, such as object-oriented programming or working with databases.
10. Health and Wellness
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a renewed focus on health and wellness. People are getting more interested in learning about how to live a healthy lifestyle.
When it comes to living a healthy life, our mental health is just as important as our physical health. In your course, you could cover topics such as stress management, anxiety reduction, and how to deal with depression.
Additionally, you could teach people about exercise and proper nutrition. You could even provide tips on how to create a healthy home environment.
11. Personal Development
Personal development courses can cover many topics, from goal setting to time management. If you’re passionate about self-improvement, consider creating a course covering some of the most popular and effective personal development strategies.
In your course, you could teach people how to set and achieve their goals. You could also cover time management techniques to help people make the most of their day. Additionally, you could teach people about the importance of positive thinking and how to overcome negative thinking patterns.
Every year, there are new stories about data breaches and cyber-attacks. New and more sophisticated ransomware threats are constantly emerging. In 2017, the WannaCry ransomware attack affected over 200,000 people in 150 countries. And just last year, Colonial Pipeline was forced to pay a $5 million ransom after a cyber-attack.
Things even get messier when looking at the war between Ukraine and Russia, which has spilled over into cybersecurity.
All of this is to say that cybersecurity is more important than ever. And if you have experience in this field, you could create a course teaching people about the basics of cybersecurity.
In your course, you could cover password security, firewalls, and antivirus software. You could also teach people about the importance of online privacy and how to protect their personal information.
13. Professional Skills
In today’s competitive job market, it’s not enough to have a college degree. Employers are looking for candidates with a well-rounded skillset.
If you have a skill that you know is in high demand, consider creating a course that can help people develop that skill. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, you could create a course teaching people graphic design basics.
Or even out of the shores of computers, if you’re good at fashion, you could make a course on the basics of sewing. If you know how to play musical instruments, you could make a course teaching people the basics of that instrument. The list goes on and on.
14. Life Coaching
Don’t be surprised; many people search for guidance and inspiration, especially during tough times.
Coaching is a way that helps people achieve their personal or professional goals. This could be anything from relationship coaching to career coaching. As an online coach, you’ll provide support and guidance to help clients overcome challenges and make progress.
If you consider yourself a good listener with great advice, becoming a life coach might be the perfect side hustle for you. You can start by offering your services for free and then gradually start charging for your time.
15. Hobbies and Interests
People are always looking for new hobbies and interests to explore. If you have a hobby or interest that you’re passionate about, consider creating a course teaching others about it.
For example, if you enjoy cooking, you could create a course teaching people how to cook healthy meals. Or, if you’re interested in gardening, you could create a course teaching people how to start their garden.
You could also create a course teaching people how to pursue their hobbies and interests more efficiently. For example, you could teach people how to save money on their hobby expenses or find more time to pursue their hobbies.
Tips for Choosing the Right Online Course Idea
When choosing an online course idea, it’s important to consider the following factors:
1. The Demand for the Course
Is there a market for your course? Will people want to buy and learn from it?
There’s no point in creating a course that no one wants to buy.
Even if you’re the best teacher in the world, if there’s no demand for your class, it probably won’t sell no matter how much your market your online course.
Conduct market research and determine what courses are popular among your target audience at the beginning of the online course creation process.
2. Your Target Audience
Who is your target audience?
When creating an online course, it’s crucial to think about who you’re making the course for. Don’t just create a course for the sake of it. Instead, create a course that will appeal to a specific group of people.
This could be based on age, location, or even interests.
For example, if your target audience is stay-at-home moms, you’ll want to create a convenient course for them to take. That might mean creating a self-paced course that can be taken in short, digestible bites.
On the other hand, if your target audience is busy professionals, then you’ll want to create a course that is concise and to the point.
Your target audience will determine the type of course you create and how you market it.
3. The Needs and Wants of Your Target Audience
Once you’ve identified your target audience, it’s important to consider their needs and wants.
What are they seeking in an online course? What type of content do they want to see? What format would they prefer? How long should an online course be for them to stay engaged?
Your audience is the most critical factor when choosing an online course idea. It is helpful to get to know the beliefs, goals, and interests of your potential students.
All these factors will influence the design and structure of your course.
4. Your Expertise and Experience
What can you teach others that would be valuable to them? Are you an expert in a particular field or subject matter? Do you have any experience or unique skills that others would benefit from learning?
Your course should be based on your expertise and experience. This will make it easier for you to create engaging and informative content.
5. The Level of Competition
How many other courses are already out there on your chosen topic? If there are tons of popular online courses on the same subject, then it might be harder to make yours stand out.
In general, it’s easier to create a profitable online course if there are fewer courses in the same niche. There’s less competition, and it’s easier to get your course in front of potential students.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid creating a course on a popular topic.
You just need to be aware that you’ll have to put in more effort to make your course stand out from the rest.
To stand out, offer unique perspectives, insights, or strategies that other courses don’t provide.
Another way is to focus on a specific sub-topic not covered by other courses.
For example, if you’re creating a course on social media marketing, you could focus on Instagram marketing or Snapchat marketing.
This way, you can be the go-to expert on this specific sub-topic and attract students who are specifically interested in that.
6. The Delivery Method
How do you want to deliver your course? There are many different ways to deliver an online course, and the delivery method can significantly impact the overall success of your course.
Some popular delivery methods include:
- Video lectures: Video lectures are the most common delivery methods for online courses. They’re easy to produce and can be watched by students at their own pace.
- Audio lectures: Audio lectures are another popular delivery method. They’re easy to produce and can be listened to by students while doing other things, like commuting or working out.
- Live webinars: Live webinars are a great way to deliver live, interactive content to your students. They also allow you to answer questions and give feedback in real-time.
- Text-based courses: Text-based courses are a more traditional delivery method, but they can be just as effective as other methods. They’re often used for heavy courses on text-based content, such as e-books or reports.
Each format has its advantages and disadvantages. Text-based courses are usually the cheapest and easiest to produce, but they can be less engaging for students. Audio and video courses are more expensive and time-consuming to produce, but they can be more exciting and compelling.
Ultimately, your format should be based on your audience’s needs and preferences.
7. The Profitability
Can you make money from your online course?
This is a paramount consideration, especially if you’re planning on selling your course.
To make money from your online course, you’ll need to ensure that it is priced correctly and marketed effectively.
Do some research on comparable courses to get an idea of what others are charging, and factor in the cost of any production or delivery fees when setting your price.
By thinking carefully about these issues ahead of time, you can tailor your course idea to appeal most strongly to your intended learners. In so doing, you will find success with your online course and make a meaningful impact on the lives of others.
Selling an online course is a great way to make money. There are many different options to choose from while creating an online course business, so consider what would work best for you.
If you’re not sure where to start, check out some of the ideas in this article.
However, keep in mind that creating a successful online course takes time, effort, and planning. You need to identify your audience and figure out what they want to learn. After that, start putting together your course content.
In other words, it all starts with having the right online course idea.
Without the right idea for your class, nothing else matters for building your course business.
Need help coming up with better online course ideas? Leave a comment below and we’ll help you out.