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It is no secret that the way training is conducted has changed dramatically over the years as eLearning technologies have slowly become the norm and become mainstream essentials. Whether it is higher educational institutions or major corporations, the majority of them are starting to move away from the traditional (and often expensive) face-to-face delivery to online learning.  However, there are many companies that do not appreciated the manner in which Learning can help benefit their organisation. All too often, these organisations are held back by leaders and managers who are not willing to step out of their comfort zones and experiment with new technologies and processes which may be very different to what they have been used to.   

This article outlines some very powerful statistics that are sure to be eye-openers to any business owners who have not yet come to terms with the power of elearning.  

The Growth of eLearning  

  • The term eLearning was created in 1998  
  • Since the year 2000, the eLearning global industry grew by 900% 
  • Around 80% of global companies have used online platforms in 2017  
  • The eLearning industry in general is expected to triple its size from 2020 to 2025  
  • The self-paced elearning market is expected to decline by 2021 to be around $33.5 billion, as more experts and professionals create scheduled e-learning courses. This means that more users are looking for a collaborative approach in their learning.  
  • The percentage of undergraduate students taking entirely online degree programs has risen from 3.8% in 2008 to 10.8% in 2016. 
  • The most popular eLearning platform for courses is Udemy, with more than 20,000 users creating content. There are more than 12 million Udemy students taking courses. 
  • The US and Europe market account for more than 70% of the global e-learning industry. 
  • By 2022, the global eLearning industry is projected to surpass $243 billion. 
  • By 2026, the global eLearning industry is projected to reach $336.98 billion. 

Global Statistics on eLearning  

  • Dating back to 2011, eLearning courses were amongst the most popular technologies used by employers, used by about 80% of employers. This fact remains true to this day. 
  • Germany has the highest eLearning market share in Europe. 
  • Germany’s eLearning market is growing 8.5% annually, while the German economy is growing at around 1.9%. 
  • More than 40% of Fortune 500 companies are using e-learning regularly and extensively, which does however mean that there is room for more eLearning activities to be used.  
  • 72% of global corporations report that eLearning give them (or could possibly give them) a competitive advantage in their sector 
  • IMB saved about $200 million after switching to e-learning training methods 
  • For every $1 spent on eLearning, companies make back around $30 in higher productivity 
  • When employers spend close to $1,500 per employee on training annually, data reveals that their profit margins increase by around 25% 
  • By moving from physical classrooms to corporate e-learning tools, Dow Chemical saved $34 million and reduced their training course costs from $95 per learner to $11 per learner. 
  • Businesses are said to save anywhere between 50-70% of their money to replace an instructor with eLearning.  

As can be seen from the statistics above, eLearning is here to stay. However, this does not mean that eLearning will replace traditional means of learning that have worked well in the past. According to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), which includes members from 48 countries, in the future digital learning will enhance traditional higher education, rather than replacing it. 

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has forced many organiations to adopt some form of or other of elearning solutions. These solutions, many of which were set up in a panic mode have had their deficiencies, but their very implementation in the short time taken has proved to many sceptics the flexibility and potential of elearning platforms. Regrettably, many organisations were not prepared and did not have proper elearning platforms set-up and available for users. Many had to make do with ad hoc combinations of web-site repositories and teleconferencing tools, merely focusing on the use of elearning to transfer live onsite lectures and presentations to real-time on-line lectures. The real power of online learning is the combination of properly structured self-learning content with collaborative elearning activities giving greater flexibility to learning practices.