Economics, Specialization Fuel Growth of Professional eLearning

January 3, 2005

A recent survey of clients indicates professionals and corporate leaders had different reasons for adopting online education: professionals cited the variety and depth of course offerings while corporate leaders cited cost savings and relevance of courses to business goals.

Recent research indicates the entire online professional education industry may experience similar growth in 2005:

    • Spending on online continuing education passed the $9 billion mark in 2003, according to IDC Research, and grew to between $12 and 14 billion in 2004, according to Bersin and Associates.
    • IDC predicts a 30% increase in yearly e-learning spending worldwide through 2008.
    • The number of companies using online learning to train employees will grow by 50% in 2005, according to Bersin and Associates.
    Economics has been a driving force behind growth in online professional education. With online courses, companies no longer have to pay travel and hotel costs and employees can be more productive since they aren’t spending time traveling.

Growth in online learning is also driven by specialization in course offerings. According to the Distance Education and Training Council, more than 500 companies and organizations now offer online courses focusing on specific industries and professions., for example, offers courses for professionals in engineering, architecture, construction, interior design, land surveying, building inspection, water and wastewater operations and landscape architecture. In just a few years has attracted 40,000 customers who can choose from 2,500 course titles authored by more than 100 exclusive subject-matter experts.

“We expect demand for our online courses to almost double in 2005,” says Lisa Maier, Senior Vice President Marketing for RedVector. “A recent survey of our clients indicates they’re using because of convenience, time savings, cost savings and the variety of courses we offer. And they are highly satisfied with their online learning experiences, which is a real recipe for high growth.”

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