The worldwide market for eLearning is has grown significantly over the past 10 years and it doesn't look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon. In 2011, the worldwide market was valued at US $35.6 billion and by 2016 the market is expected to reach US $51.3 billion. As discussed in eLearning Trends in the Fast Growing Education Markets, the leading regional market is Asia Pacific where growth is expected to have the largest aggregate growth rate over a 5 year period at 17.3%. Close behind is Eastern Europe (16.9%), Africa (15.2%) and Latin America (14.6%).
With regards to the learning management system (LMS) market, the software that makes eLearning possible, the current market represents a large number of small to medium sized players. According to Bersin & Associates, in 2012 there were 500 LMS players in the market and only five companies held more than 4% of total market share. What does this tell us?
Well, for starters it indicates little differentiation in system offerings and therefor steep competition on price. With proprietary and open-source LMS software companies stiffly completing on price, LMS offerings like Moodle and Totara which are virtually free, only increase price wars. Despite this, in 2013, the LMS market grew to US $2.55 billion—$65 million more than the market forecast. This growth is largely attributed to the spread of eLearning from the education to corporate world as more and more organizations realize how continued education contributes to the bottom line.
Corporate eLearning Trends
More than ever before organizations recognize the value of implementing business strategy that aims to remain ahead or on top of rapidly changing markets. An increasingly popular way of ensuring this happens is marrying the idea of lifelong learning and workplace productivity, all made possible through a workplace learning management system (LMS).
While this idea is not old, it is only in the past 3-5 years that organizations have learned to increase productivity via corporate eLearning in an efficient, effective and cost-saving manner. Gone are the days of having to pay for expensive training sessions and conferences that require airfare, accommodation and food allowances. Now, with technology and the ability to learn anytime, anywhere online—research shows that corporate eLearning has proven to achieve identical or better results in a shorter timeframe. Based on an industry report released in March 2014, here are the top 3 benefits of corporate eLearning:
- Corporate eLearning ensures that employees are kept up to date with developing job requirements and changes in both external and internal market/organizational conditions. This allows employees understand how their performance positively impacts organization-wide goals.
- Corporate eLearning organizes succession planning in a way that helps employees acquire necessary knowledge and skills faster and at a lower cost. With LMSs, senior employees are also able to better document their professional history to pass on down to their successors.
- Corporate eLearning allows organizations to reduce HR costs associated with on-boarding, training, recruitment, retainment and enagement via automated processes, sophisticated reporting and a decreased need for hiring talent to manage and provide training/continued education.
Most importantly though, when organizations invest in continued education for their employees they are signalling that they care. It is an tacit message that tells employees that your employer cares about your long-term professional growth, career advancement and over all success.