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The Rapid Growth Of Online Education With The Stats To Prove It

The online education market is growing at a fast pace thanks to a confluence of factors. The growth is driven in part by student demand, fierce competition among institutions, and efforts by governments. The demand for e-learning also reflects a change in the way people want to learn. They want short, focused courses which they can take from any location and on any device. Advances in cloud-based solutions and IT security, along with the increased adoption of smartphones, mean the growth is likely to continue in the upcoming years. This presents several opportunities for course creators.

If you are a coach, author, speaker or subject matter expert, you can benefit from the growth in the e-learning industry. Before you begin or continue creating more online courses, you need to understand the e-learning market and the notable trends in the industry.



The e-learning industry will reach $325 billion by 2025 

The online course market hit $187.5 billion in 2018, and its value seems certain to increase in the coming years. Different studies predict that the e-learning industry will reach $325 billion by 2025 up from $107 billion in 2015. This projected increase is likely due to a shift in workplace training needs, hiring trends, and industry developments like LinkedIn’s acquisition of Lynda. Professional success these days depends on continuous learning and development.

By the end of 2019, 50 percent of all classes will be delivered online

 It was predicted that by 2019, 50 percent of all classes will be delivered online. This is not surprising since online learning meets the needs of students, learning institutions, and employers. Students can learn at their own pace from the comfort of their home, usually at a lower cost than for face-to-face instruction. Online courses are also shorter than classroom lessons. At the same time, learning providers can reach large and geographically dispersed audiences with lower setup costs.

More People Are Creating Online Courses

An industry survey of more than 1,000 entrepreneurs conducted by Global Industry Analysts found that 20 percent of respondents were in the process of creating an online course. Another fifty-five percent were thinking about it. You may think this is because the market is so lucrative, but the majority of respondents (51.5 percent) said they wanted to help people learn something or solve a problem. Another 23.4 said they hoped to reach a wider audience and become more accessible online.

Read more: 4 Types of Entrepreneurs Who Should Start an Online Course

Online courses made $46 billion in 2017

According to Statista, in 2017, the self-paced e-learning product market amounted to 46.67 billion U.S. dollars, and is projected to decrease to 33.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2021. Based on these profits, you may think it’s expensive or difficult to break into the market, but this isn’t the case. Individuals and businesses continue to be interested in e-learning, and you don’t need any specific qualifications to get started. While academic subjects are popular, you can also teach practical skills or virtually any other topic. 

Read more: 6 Ways to Differentiate Your Online Course from the Competition

The Rising Demand for Online Education

In a survey of higher education school administrators, 74 percent of respondents reported an increase in demand for online programs at their institutions. Ninety-eight percent said demand had increased or stayed the same over the past few years. The study also found that just over a quarter of college students took at least one online course in the previous year.

This rising demand for online education is taking place against a backdrop of falling enrollment in higher education overall. Despite this, the majority of schools didn’t plan to increase their budget for developing online programs in the next year.  

79% of online students find e-learning to be equal to or better than in-person instruction.

This is according to the 2019 Online Education Trends Report by People from all walks of life are drawn to the convenience of online courses. They are using e-learning to help them change careers or gain academic qualifications in the fields in which they are already working. Others are lifelong learners who enjoy taking courses.

Companies and Universities Are Embracing Online Learning

 Over 900 universities globally had announced or launched more than 11,000 massive open online courses by the end of 2018. MOOCs are platforms which enable large numbers of users to take courses online. Registration is often free, and the syllabus is publicly shared. The increase in this type of learning is driven in large part by the rise in Internet usage and the adoption of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

More Budget for Online Learning

Companies are recognizing that training and developing staff online gives them the edge in a competitive environment.  According to LinkedIn's 2019 Workplace Learning Report,  since 2017, 59% of talent developers spend more of their budget on online learning, and 39% say they spend less on instructor-led training (ILT). 

90% Less Energy + 85% Reduction in C02 per student compares to Instructor-Led Training

Online courses use an average of 90 percent less energy and create an 85 percent reduction in CO2 emissions per student when compared to face-to-face courses. This is according to a study by The Open University which found that online learning was not only great for students, but it could help the environment. This is because it can reduce travel, cut the need for paper, and reduce the need to maintain a large physical facility.

Shifting Business Model Towards Micro-Credentials, Certificates, and Rewards

Even though students are eager to enroll in online courses, they don’t always complete their courses. Low retention is a growing concern for course creators.

The average course completion rates for:


  • Business opportunity courses is 3%
  • MOOC’s - Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, MIT courses is around 5-8%
  • Udemy - about 8% 
  • Personal Development Course around 12%

This is the sad state of affairs!

Although low completion rates can be reflective of poor content and bad design, there are many other reasons why students don’t complete a course.


Due to these reasons, online course creators are changing their business models and moving towards micro-credentials, certificates, and other types of degrees that motivate and reward students for finishing a course.



The Key Takeaway

As with almost everything else, the Internet has changed the way people learn. As these stats show, there is a huge demand for online courses but there is still room for even further development in this industry. Whether you represent a corporation looking for innovative ways to train staff or you want to take your face-to-face course to a larger audience, online learning can help to reach your desired outcomes.

steps to make more money with your online course


Mike Weiss
Mike Weiss
Mike Weiss is the founder of Client Engagement Academy, The Client Engagement Membership Platform and Internet Sales Experts. He has become one of the top experts in online sales and marketing and client engagement. Mike's Client Engagement Membership Platform is leading the global movement utilizing modern technology and proven adult education methodologies to increase client engagement and course graduation rates causing profit margin expansion.

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