Education industry evolves with technological advances

The subscription business model is becoming the archetype for startups, as decision-makers recognize the fact that customers prefer the recurring payment method compared to upfront fees. The subscription commerce waters have already been tested by a number of industries, including music, beauty products and home fashion. Now it appears education will dip its feet into the strategy that has proven successful time and time again.

Education technology startup BenchPrep recently unveiled its deployment as a subscription-based service, according to a report by VentureBeat. The decision to launch this business model was driven by the success of other companies, like Spotify and Netflix.

The Chicago-based startup’s curriculum courses and test preps for the GRE, SAT and other assessments are supplied by licensed education publishers, including Pearson, O’Reilly Media and McGraw Hill, the news source said. For as little as $30 a month, subscribers can gain access to these resources to further pursue their education and advance their careers.

“This is more aligned to the education-as-a-service model,” co-founder Ashish Rangnekar said, according to VentureBeat.

How BenchPrep may change education forever
In the past, BenchPrep offered users unlimited lifetime access to a single course for a $100 subscription. While this option will still be available, the company also launched the $30-per-month model, which allows individuals to leverage hundreds of resources for a variety of classes that target high school, college and graduate students, VentureBeat noted. This caters to the unpredictable schedules that are normally associated with students, letting subscribers learn as and how they want.

Rangnekar said BenchPrep represents a significant transformation in the education industry, which may potentially disrupt the traditional ways in which individuals earn their degrees, VentureBeat noted. In the near term, however, the service is mainly meant to be a complementary tool that enhances the learning process by catering to specific demands.

The evolving education industry was also highlighted in another report by Campus Technology, which said dynamic and flexible learning experience engines will eventually replace traditional learning methods.

“I think 2012 will see an expansion of a variety of ways of getting access to the materials that students need for learning,” said Karen Cator, the U.S. Department of Education’s director of technology.

By leveraging a subscription management platform, companies like BenchPrep that are aiming to enhance the education process may be able to better understand the needs to today’s students, allowing them to make changes to appeal to a wider range of people.