Hot Stuff

Hot Business: E-Learning

Teaching isn't just for the classroom anymore. These days, classes are being held virtually anywhere, any time, online-and creating an exciting business opportunity in the process. Internet- and intranet-based computer training, for instance, makes up much of the growth in the computer training industry.

Students enjoy learning online because it allows them to work at their own pace, without ever having to leave home or the office. That's just fine with online training companies, including DigitalThink and Ziff Davis University, which relish the possibility of having an entire world of eager students in fields like business management, sales and design just a mouse click away.

One potential barrier to the growth of the industry is the medium itself. Internet training companies may find the current lack of bandwidth a real barrier to effectively delivering their online courses and materials.

For a whole new generation of Internet learners and training companies, though, school's in.

Hot Sellers

What are shoppers plunking down the most money for online? According to Forrester Research, low-risk, low-cost discretionary purchases like books, general apparel and flowers lead today's market, generating $2.8 billion in 1998. Other hot-selling categories include videos, music, toys, tools and garden accessories, hardware, software, electronics and home appliances.

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This article was originally published in the December 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Hot Stuff.

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