E-learning market set to top $18 billion in 2005 says IDC

The major vendors have been using e-learning applications to reduce operating costs for years. But according to IDC figures, the rest of corporate America is about to catch on to the cost saving benefits of e-learning applications.

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By  Greg Wilson Published  August 27, 2001

After the likes of IBM and Cisco have illustrated the cost saving benefits of e-learning applications, the rest of corporate America appears ready to follow in their footsteps.

According to statistics compiled by IDC, the US demand for e-learning applications is skyrocketing.

In 2000, the e-learning market was worth an estimated $2.3 billion. However, market value will boom to approximately $18 billion by 2005.

“In 2000 the US corporate e-learning and corporate training markets experienced a bit more growth than we anticipated. We are seeing that companies, operating in a tight labour market, are being forced to retrain their current employees and many are choosing to outsource those roles,” said Cushing Anderson, program manager with IDC's learning research.

“In addition, corporations are beginning to recognise the strategic foothold that e-learning can give them in the market.”

Accompanying the massive growth, the training market is also due to undergo slight changes. According to IDC’s research, there will be a shift in the market from IT skills training towards the non-IT or business skills segment.

In 2000 the non-IT segment accounted for a mere 24% of the e-learning market. IDC predicts this will increase to capture to 53.8% of the e-learning market by 2005.

“Vendors are seeing larger audiences in need of non-IT training. This is forcing companies, previously focused on IT rich content, to create more business skills training over the Web,” said Anderson.

“Yet this will not be the only challenge learning vendors will face. Although the market will grow by more than 50%, vendors will have a tough time ahead with customers tightening IT budgets and competition growing,” predicted Anderson.

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