Here we look at global e-learning trends in 2023, including key statistics and projected market growth over the coming years. We also look at some of the top e-learning companies in the industry worldwide and in specific markets, such as the UK and US.
The global e-learning market has seen significant growth in recent years, driven by factors such as technological advancements, increasing high-speed internet penetration thanks to 4G and 5G, and the need for convenient and flexible learning options. This report provides an overview of the global e-learning market, including its projected market value, key growth drivers, and top companies in the industry.
The report aims to provide insights and valuable information for stakeholders in the e-learning ecosystem.
Introduction: e-Learning Definition
e-Learning, or electronic learning, refers to the use of digital technologies to deliver education and training content. This e-learning definition can incorporate a range of formats, such as online courses, virtual classrooms, and mobile learning applications.
e-Learning has become increasingly popular as it offers numerous advantages, including accessibility, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and the ability to personalise the learning experience.
e-Learning Market Size and Projections
The global e-learning market size was valued at approximately $220 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $375 billion by 2026, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.3% during the forecast period. The market’s expansion is primarily driven by factors such as technological advancements, increasing high-speed internet penetration thanks to 4G and 5G, the need for continuous learning and upskilling, and the rise of remote working and learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The global e-learning market can be segmented by type, technology, provider, end-user, and region:
- Academic e-Learning
- Corporate e-Learning
- Learning Management System (LMS)
- Mobile Learning
- Virtual Classroom
- Others (e.g., E-Textbooks, E-Learning Analytics)
- Content Providers
- Technology Providers
- Services Providers
- Corporate Training
- Government and Defence
- Primary & Secondary School / K-12
- Higher Education
- Vocational Training
- North America
- Latin America
- Middle East and Africa
Key Growth Drivers
Technological Advancements: The development of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and virtual reality technologies has allowed for more engaging and personalised e-learning experiences.
Rising Internet Penetration: The increase in internet users globally has facilitated the growth of e-learning platforms and made them more accessible to a wider audience.
Need for Continuous Learning and Upskilling: The rapid pace of technological change has created a need for continuous learning and upskilling, which e-learning platforms can efficiently provide.
Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic: The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of e-learning as educational institutions and businesses adapted to remote learning and working.
Challenges and Opportunities
- Ensuring data privacy and security
- Providing equal access to e-learning resources for individuals in regions with limited internet connectivity
- Maintaining the quality and effectiveness of e-learning content
- Addressing the digital divide and the need for digital literacy
- Expansion of e-learning platforms in emerging markets
- Integration of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality, to enhance the e-learning experience
- Development of adaptive learning platforms to create personalised learning paths
- Collaboration between educational institutions, businesses, and e-learning providers to create industry-relevant content
e-Learning Market Trends
As the e-learning market continues to evolve, several key trends have emerged that are shaping the future of online education and training. Some of the main e-learning trends include:
Mobile Learning (mLearning):
With the widespread use of smartphones and tablets, learners increasingly prefer accessing educational content on their mobile devices – mLearning. This trend has led to the development of mobile-friendly e-learning courses and apps that provide a seamless learning experience across different devices.
Microlearning refers to the delivery of educational content in small, easily digestible chunks. This approach allows learners to fit learning into their busy schedules and helps improve knowledge retention. It is particularly useful for training in fast-paced industries where employees need to quickly acquire new skills and knowledge.
Integrating gaming elements such as points, badges, and leaderboards into e-learning courses can increase learner engagement and motivation. Gamification makes the learning experience more enjoyable and helps improve knowledge retention and skill development.
As AI and machine learning technologies advance, e-learning platforms can deliver personalised learning experiences tailored to individual learners’ needs, preferences, and performance. This approach enables learners to progress at their own pace and focuses on areas where they need improvement.
Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR / AR)
Incorporating VR and AR technologies into e-learning can create immersive and interactive learning experiences. These technologies can be particularly useful for training in fields that require hands-on experience, such as healthcare, engineering, and skilled trades.
Leveraging social media and collaboration tools, e-learning platforms can facilitate social learning experiences where learners can interact with their peers, share knowledge, and collaborate on projects. This trend promotes active learning and helps create a sense of community among learners.
Adaptive learning systems use algorithms and data analytics to continually adjust the learning experience based on individual learner performance. This enables the delivery of customised content and feedback, which helps improve learning outcomes.
The use of video content in e-learning courses continues to grow, as it provides an engaging and visually appealing way to deliver information. Video-based learning can be particularly effective for demonstrating complex concepts, processes, or procedures.
The use of data analytics in e-learning enables educators and organisations to track learner progress, identify areas of improvement, and optimise learning experiences. Learning analytics can help improve the effectiveness of e-learning courses and inform decision-making for curriculum design and learner support.
As the pace of technological change accelerates, the need for continuous, lifelong learning and upskilling has become more important than ever. E-learning platforms are increasingly catering to this demand by offering a wide range of courses, certifications, and learning pathways for individuals looking to expand their skills and stay competitive in the job market.
Top Global e-Learning Companies
These leading global e-learning companies are recognised for their significant market presence, user base, and influence in the industry.
Coursera is a prominent online learning platform partnering with top universities and institutions worldwide to offer a wide range of courses, specialisations, and degree programmes.
Udemy is a global marketplace for learning and teaching, providing a vast selection of courses on various subjects, from technology and business to personal development and hobbies.
Formerly Lynda.com, LinkedIn Learning is an online learning platform that offers courses in business, technology, and creative fields, with a focus on professional skill development.
Pluralsight is a technology skills development platform offering online courses, assessments, and certification paths for IT professionals, software developers, and other technology specialists.
Instructure provides the Canvas Learning Management System, a widely adopted cloud-based LMS catering to K-12, higher education, and corporate learning sectors.
Blackboard (now part of Anthology)
Blackboard is a leading provider of learning management systems, collaboration tools, and analytics solutions for educational institutions and organisations.
D2L offers the Brightspace LMS, a cloud-based learning management system designed for personalised learning experiences in primary & secondary schools / K-12, higher education, and corporate training sectors.
Adobe Systems Inc
Adobe’s e-learning solutions include Adobe Captivate, a tool for creating interactive e-learning content, and Adobe Connect, a web conferencing platform for virtual classrooms and webinars.
Moodle is an open-source learning management system that allows educators to create customisable online courses and manage learning activities. Well-established as one of the best LMS in the education space, Moodle is gaining traction as a corporate learning management system as well. They have accelerated this through the addition of Moodle Workplace – a corporate LMS solution that has adapted the core platform for the needs of business training.
Skillsoft provides online learning, training, and talent solutions for businesses, offering a comprehensive library of courses, videos, and books across various industries and fields. Skillsoft now also incorporates Codecademy.
The above companies are considered global leaders in the e-learning market.
Leading e-learning companies in the UK
The United Kingdom has a vibrant e-learning ecosystem with several noteworthy companies offering various online learning solutions. Some of the leading e-learning companies in the UK include:
A subsidiary of The Open University, FutureLearn is a digital education platform that offers online courses, programs, and degrees from top universities and institutions worldwide. It covers a wide range of subjects and focuses on social learning experiences.
Kineo specialises in bespoke e-learning solutions, learning management systems (LMS), and workforce management solutions. They work with businesses and organisations to design, develop, and implement online training and development programs.
Virtual College provides online training courses and learning management system solutions to various industries, including healthcare, food safety, safeguarding, and compliance. They cater to both individual learners and organizations.
Learning Pool offers custom e-learning content, learning management systems, and other learning technologies. They provide a range of services, including e-learning consultancy, content development, and training support.
Elucidat is an e-learning authoring platform that enables organizations to create, manage, and measure the effectiveness of their online training content. Their cloud-based software is designed to facilitate collaboration and streamline the course creation process.
QA Ltd is a training and education provider that offers a range of courses, including technical IT, project management, leadership, and business skills training. Their e-learning solutions include virtual classrooms, self-paced online courses, and blended learning options.
These UK e-learning companies have made significant contributions to the global e-learning landscape and continue to innovate and develop new solutions to meet the evolving needs of learners and organisations.
e-Learning statistics and market projections
Market Size and Growth
The global e-learning market was valued at approximately $200 billion in 2020 and was projected to reach around $370 billion by 2026, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of about 10.85% during the forecast period (source: https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/e-learning-market-247.html).
The mobile learning market was expected to grow at a CAGR of 21.7% from 2021 to 2028, driven by the widespread adoption of smartphones and tablets (source: https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/mobile-learning-market).
Learning Management Systems (LMS)
The LMS market was valued at approximately $4.07 billion in 2020 and was projected to grow at a CAGR of 16.6% from 2021 to 2028 (source: https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/learning-management-system-lms-market).
The corporate e-learning market was expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.16% from 2020 to 2026, driven by the need for continuous upskilling and the rise of remote working (source: https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/corporate-e-learning-market).
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
As of 2021, over 180 million students had enrolled in MOOCs worldwide, with more than 16,000 MOOC courses available from over 900 universities (source: https://www.classcentral.com/report/mooc-stats-2021/).
Online Degree Programmes
The number of students enrolled in online degree programmes in the United States increased by 151% between 2008 and 2018, with 34.7% of all college students taking at least one online course during the 2018 academic year (source: https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=80).
In a 2020 survey, 87% of U.S. organisations reported using e-learning for employee training and development, with 42% of companies stating that e-learning had led to increased revenue (source: https://www.elearningindustry.com/top-elearning-statistics-2019).
e-Learning can lead to an increase in knowledge retention rates of between 25% to 60%, compared to 8% to 10% for traditional, instructor-led training methods (source: https://www.shiftelearning.com/blog/bid/301248/15-facts-and-stats-that-reveal-the-power-of-elearning).
The global e-learning market is poised for significant growth in the coming years, driven by factors such as technological advancements, increasing internet penetration, and the need for convenient and flexible learning options. Top companies in the industry, such as Coursera, Udemy, and Instructure, are well-positioned to capitalise on this growth and shape the future of e-learning.
As the market continues to expand, addressing challenges such as data privacy, equal access, and digital literacy will be crucial to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of the e-learning ecosystem.
About the Author – Av Srivastava
Based in Cornwall UK, Av Srivastava has over 14 years of experience as an e-learning researcher and marketing consultant. He has worked with online education and training companies based in the UK, US and Germany, and writes about learning and technology.
Connect with Av on LinkedIn.
Further e-Learning Research Sources
Grand View Research: This research firm provides comprehensive market research reports on various industries, including the e-learning market. You can find their report on the e-learning market here: https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/elearning-market
Statista: A leading provider of market and consumer data, Statista offers various statistics and data on the e-learning market. You can access Statista’s e-learning statistics here: https://www.statista.com/topics/3115/e-learning-and-digital-education/
MarketsandMarkets: Another market research firm that provides insights into various industries, including the e-learning market. You can find their report on the e-learning market here: https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/e-learning-market-247.html
Research and Markets: This research firm offers a broad range of market research reports, including reports on e-learning trends within the industry. You can find their report on the e-learning market here: https://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/4985933/e-learning-market-global-industry-analysis