Spending on e-learning continues to be very strong in the corporate sector: up another 28% in 2013. Even more remarkable, that growth was on the heels of a record 240% increase in e-learning spending in 2012. In terms of dollars, our study respondents reported that they were spending an average of $4.5 million for e-learning initiatives. When you compare that to average total budgets reported in the corporate sector, $6.2 million, you can see that e-learning is now the “lion’s share” of the total corporate learning budget.
Not to be outdone, entrants in the public sector reported that they were spending $6.9 million on e-learning initiatives. What was a surprise, however, was the big jump they reported in the average learner population that they supported. That growth was 68.9%, expanding the average size of their learner audiences from 33,990 to 57,421.
In terms of delivery, 60% of the training hours reported on the corporate side where outside the traditional classroom venue. And although the government, non-profit and higher-education sectors tend to lag slightly behind their corporate counterparts, it’s important to note that 49% of the public sector’s training hours are now being conducted outside the traditional classroom.
However, the non-classroom spending may not only be related to the support of larger learner populations like partners, customers and veterans; it might also reflect the learning organization’s reach to some of the more remote, or under-served members of their enterprises. Supporting that notion is the rapid growth in spending in the mobile arena, where the public sector reported a 108% growth rate. In fact, based upon what we could see, we made an earlier projection that mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, and 92 other devices) will be the dominant form of delivery in 2015.
Also noteworthy is what is occurring in some of the other technology-enabled learning venues. We saw a 315% growth in the area of gaming solutions in the public sector. Corroborating that fact, Gartner projected that 70% of all private corporations will have a game app in place by 2014. But that projection goes beyond just the learner population and heads into the domain of marketing and brand awareness.
Investment in e-learning development tools is also leading spending in both the private and public sectors, as are Web conferencing solutions, virtual classrooms and social networks. That kind of investment signals a larger emphasis in the collaboration space, where informal training takes place on a day-to-day basis.
It’s pretty obvious that we’re witnessing a steep trajectory of training activity occurring outside of the traditional classroom. The bigger question, however, is whether that is also signaling a different “mind-set” for the learning department.
Who said that learning isn’t an exciting place to work?
—This article written by Joe DiDonato of Elearning! magazine. Please visit our resource libraries at www.2elearning.com to download all of our current studies.