A report has been compiled to help schools, universities and organisations see the significant benefits that e-learning can bring.
US higher education marketing information and technology services company EducationDynamics released its 2011-12 eLearning Index, which includes a five-year trends analysis to show how the distance learning sector has grown.
Carol Aslanian, senior vice president of Aslanian Market Research at EducationDynamics, said: "This incredible resource takes the guesswork out of the online education market, enabling institutions to better determine what program levels, fields of study and majors will serve students best, while also providing return on investment."
She added that for the past five years the index has provided a comprehensive resource for colleges and universities as they develop their online program and course offerings.
The index looked at more than 3,400 degree programs in more than 200 institutions and found that the most popular areas of study that had successfully implemented e-learning as part of their curriculum were health professions business, humanities and social sciences.
Other subjects that were popular for their use of online learning were law and criminal justice.
The report revealed that health subjects have risen from number three to number one in the past year, while business studies has dropped from the top spot to second place.
Furthermore, online education degrees have seen the greatest growth in demand, moving from number three in the 2007 report to number one in 2011.
Data collected by the online learning market watchdog the Sloan Consortium recently revealed that the number of students taking at least one online course has now surpassed six million across the US.
The report, entitled Going the Distance: Online Education in the United States 2011, also showed that nearly one-third of all students at higher education level are taking at least one course based in the virtual classroom.