1 in 4 Aspiring Entrepreneurs Have Been Scammed by Online Courses, New Study by CourseCritics Finds

Staff Report

Thursday, June 8th, 2023

Findings of a survey (answered by 852 aspiring and established entrepreneurs) shed light on the good, the bad and the ugly about the entrepreneurial segment of the growing online courses industry.

27% of aspiring entrepreneurs report having been 'scammed' by online courses according to the survey. In case of established entrepreneurs (who already run a business for over a year), a smaller but significant nonetheless 18% reported the same. 

The survey polled 512 aspiring entrepreneurs and 340 established entrepreneurs globally on different dimensions from their experiences with online courses: effects of a coach's social media presence on their decision to enroll, kinds of courses they study, how often they request a refund, etc. The data collection for the survey was conducted from February 2023 until May 2023.

Complete survey results

Social media's influence on decisions to buy courses: The survey found 71% of aspiring entrepreneurs were likely to trust a course if its coach had an active social media presence, however this result was 1.5x higher than in case of established entrepreneurs. Facebook was the most popular platform overall, and Twitter was the 2nd most popular.

Split of categories of courses they've bought: Courses on "online marketing" were the most popular category for both groups of respondents. "IT and development" was the 2nd most popular category among aspiring entrepreneurs, while "personal development" was the 2nd most popular among established entrepreneurs.

Frequency of buying online courses: In the survey, individual aspiring entrepreneurs reported having bought an average of 4 online courses in the last twelve months while established entrepreneurs reported buying 2 in the same time frame.

Split of learning resources they use: Besides online courses, both aspiring and established entrepreneurs are comfortable with relying on YouTube for their learning (56% and 48% respectively). However, 62% of aspiring entrepreneurs turn to short-form content compared to just 21% of established entrepreneurs doing so.

Their actions when dissatisfied with a course: Established entrepreneurs are nearly 2x more likely to request a refund when dissatisfied. On the other hand, aspiring entrepreneurs are 3x more likely to end up moving on to another course than established entrepreneurs.

Success in actually getting a refund: Overall, only 7% of the respondents were able to receive a refund "always" when they were unsatisfied with an online course. 72% of them have been able to receive a refund "sometimes".

View the complete results: https://coursecritics.com/research-entrepreneurs-online-courses/