Technology’s Impact on the Future of Higher Education Post-Pandemic

Higher education has faced a huge shift in how people are able to complete classes, certificates, or degrees. The 2022 National Technology Readiness Survey (NTRS), conducted by Rockbridge Associates measured current interests and expectations of those enrolled, or those likely to enroll in the next 5 years, in university.  The school’s use of technology has become very important in the decision-making process with 85% of people currently enrolled in higher education with a bachelor’s degree or higher citing the school’s use of technology as very important in their decision to attend.   

Due to the pandemic, learning methods over the past couple years have been altered, which has inadvertently caused challenges for those who preferred, and were comfortable with, a specific or traditional format.  When asked if there was no pandemic what their preferred format of learning would be, 39% of 18–34-year-olds said all in-person learning. 

Physical books and documents to review and test knowledge have become a hassle and inconvenience for many causing 58% of students currently enrolled in higher education to use online learning apps to practice and test knowledge.  Nearly half, 47%, are interested in a learning platform that is collaborative and encourages students to work with peers similar to a classroom environment. This integration in a learning environment has the most interest out of all actions to improve one’s education, which demonstrates the continued need for collaboration and interaction with peers regardless of class method (in person, virtual, or hybrid).

For those considering going back to school, they were most interested in being able to choose education modules to build a degree.

A person’s current education level changes their interest in the different education concepts.  Those with ‘some college’ were significantly more interested (87%) in a digital transcript that highlights skills and life experiences over degrees.  However, those with a high school diploma (66%) and those with a bachelor’s degree or higher (74%) are less interested in this type of transcript.  Furthermore, those with a HS diploma were less interested in using online learning apps to practice and test knowledge (74%) compared to the ‘some college (88%)’ and ‘bachelor’s degree (87%)’ counterparts.

Technology continues to make progress in higher education and continues to be increasingly integrated into the teaching curriculum.  Introducing these technological advancements in higher education could cause and an adjustment period for many, though it can be argued the level of convenience it provides outweighs the learning curve.


About the Study: the National Technology Readiness has tracked technology and e-commerce trends since 1999. The survey is co-sponsored by Rockbridge Associates, Inc. and the Responsible Business Coalition at Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business. The study is conducted annually, with this wave being done in June 2022 and is based on an online survey of 1040 U.S. adults sampled at random from a consumer research panel. Results are weighted to match census characteristics. For more information, contact

Written by: Cristina Santana, Analyst and Joe Taliuaga, Director, Client Development