Future of elearning industry looks Bright!

Reports, factors and the current market conditions strongly indicate that elearning is going to be a growth industry over the coming years. As Tony Bingham, president and CEO of ASTD states, “Today, we actively pursue content based on search terms and our preferences [while in the future]…content will find you – rather than actively seeking it, your activities and interests will determine what finds you, be delivered how you want it, and to your preferred channel. This provides tremendous potential for learning.” Source

According to a report by Ambient Insight, called “The Worldwide Market for Self-paced eLearning Products and Services: 2010-2015 Forecast and Analysis,” the worldwide market for Self-paced eLearning products and services reached $32.1 billion in 2010. The five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is 9.2% and revenues will grow to $49.9 billion by 2015. Source

Additionally, according to BLS’s Occupational Outlook Handbook for 2010-11, the Instructional Coordinator market (of which Instructional Technology is a part) is expected to grow at a rate of about 23% or greater between 2008-2018. This rate of growth is considered, “much faster than average, reflecting the need to meet new educational standards… and develop new materials.” Source

This coupled with a report from McKinsey & Company indicating a dramatic increase in the intensity with which people use digital devices and platforms is leading to growth in the elearning delivery market. Nearly 50 percent of US online consumers are now advanced users of smartphones, social networks, and other emerging tools—up from 32 percent in 2008. This leads to a growing increase in the need and acceptance of online learning in a variety of industries. Source

This, in part, has led to ASTD reporting in their 2011 Learning Executive’s Confidence Index that 42% of learning executives surveyed indicated that they plan on increased expenditures on outsourced or external services to aid in the learning function and 81% anticipate resource availability to remain the same or improve in the next six months

As organizations look for cost saving measures and methods to increase productivity by delivering courses to the mobile workforce through internet enabled delivery on any device ranging from a smartphone to a tablet PC elearning plays a pivotal role.

Additionally, empirical evidence of the positive impact of elearning is coming to light in a variety of venues. For example, the US Department of Education conducted a meta-analysis of studies comparing face-to-face and online courses in a report titled “ Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies” and found that, on average, students in online learning conditions performed modestly better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.

If, as reported in the Harvard Business Review, employee costs are five times assets (not uncommon in an employee intense businesses), then it only takes a 5% increase in employee productivity to increase profits by 25% of assets. This can be achieved through educating employees faster, more efficiently and more effectively through online learning. Even a modest improvement can lead to increased profits. Reported in June 2005 issue.

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Karl Kapp
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