25+ eLearning Statistics & Trends Shaping Education

The proliferation of education and development through eLearning is perhaps the biggest move forward in dispersing knowledge throughout the masses in the 21st century. 

We are at a point where complex educational and skill courses are no longer locked behind college paywalls and are readily available to anyone with an internet connection. 

I collected some cool eLearning statistics to give you a better idea of where we are today and what the future of learning entails. 

Let’s get started.

Top eLearning Stats

Here are the five most interesting eLearning statistics I found; read on to learn more about them. 

  • 92% of people dedicate at least one hour per month to eLearning.
  • Online-first colleges enroll approximately 1.1 million students
  • The eLearning market is worth $316.2 billion today.  
  • 69% of employees in the US said that the last skill they acquired was through eLearning training. 
  • 95% of global learners report personal benefits after completing an online course.

The Current State of eLearning

While the term eLearning was coined in 1999, the concept goes back to Isaac Pitman’s correspondence courses from the 1840s; which was further developed with Sidney Pressey’s Automatic Teacher in 1924.

We’ve come a long way since then so here’s where we are today.

92% of people dedicate at least one hour per month to eLearning. (Thinkific)

hours spent on elearning

The survey also found that 49% of people would gladly consume content that they know is created by AI.

It doesn’t take a business analyst to see how many opportunities stem from people’s willingness to learn from AI-powered content. 

Furthermore, the survey also found that 62% of people are more interested in content creators who make educational content rather than the ones who focus on entertainment.

In 2023, 57% of people felt the same. 

90% of L&D leaders feel under-equipped and underprepared to deploy their eLearning strategies in 2024.

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Only 10% of L&D leaders said that they were actively prepared to implement their digital learning strategies in 2024. 

That is a significant backstep from 2023 where 50% of L&D leaders said that they were prepared while the other half said they weren’t. 

According to L&D leaders, the top challenges in 2024 are budget constraints, a lack of capacity, L&D skill gaps, technical limitations, and resistance to change within organizations.

Online-first colleges enroll approximately 1.1 million students. (NCES)

online-first college stats

Currently, that accounts for 6.1% of all academic institutions. In 2022 alone, online-first colleges conferred more than 46,000 Associate’s degrees, 132,000 Bachelor’s degrees, 94,000 Master’s degrees, and 6,000 Doctorates. 

In the case of Master’s degrees, that accounts for 10.7% of all Master’s degrees conferred in that year.

39% of faculty in academia are currently teaching fully online courses.

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The survey also found that 72% of faculty still currently reach at least one course that’s completely face-to-face. 

26% of faculty said that they teach at least one course that’s blended; it includes online learning and face-to-face interaction.

It takes between 80-280 hours to develop a fully polished 1-hour course. (Skild Labs)

On top of that, the total cost of developing a fully polished 1-hour course is between $5,850 to over $15,000. This amount does not include the cost of hiring and collaborating with a subject matter expert. 

Of course, the cost and time taken vary based on what kind of course you develop. Passive eLearning courses are the least resource-intensive courses because they include simple slides and tests. 

Limited participation eLearning courses cost more because it requires more interaction. That means the introduction of interactive media, videos, and customized quizzes. 

A moderate interaction eLearning course is a more personalized course with simulators and detailed scenarios.

Last but not least, a full immersion eLearning course requires constant direct interaction and has simulated job exercises, story-based decision-making scenarios, interactive games, and 1-on-1 with the course faculty.

A strong learning culture helps increase employee retention by 57%.

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According to a LinkedIn report, a strong learning culture includes a sizable L&D team, a high rate of employee skill development, and readiness to adopt eLearning opportunities. 

The report also found that a strong learning culture helps improve internal mobility by 23%. On top of that, it also helps increase the chances for promotions to management by 7%.

22 of the 25 largest K12 districts in the US use Zoom for eLearning. (Zoom)

Furthermore, 46 out of the top 50 global universities currently use Zoom for eLearning and collaboration. 

On top of that, 49 out of the top 50 universities in the US use Zoom. According to Zoom, approximately 90,000 schools across 20 countries currently use their platform for eLearning.

In 2023, 564,000 students in the US enrolled in a full-time virtual school.

Enrollment in virtual schools peaked during the pandemic in 2020-2021 when a total of 588,000 students enrolled in virtual schools across the US.

It decreased to 583,000 in 2022. In comparison, before the pandemic in 2019, 356,000 students enrolled in a virtual school, and in 2018, it was 325,000 students. 

So, over the past four years, there has been an annual growth of 14.7% in full-time virtual school enrollments.

88% of school districts don’t have any policies on AI in eLearning and education. (WDPI)

AI in elearning and education

The survey found that many schools were still working on the policies or were waiting on board approval. 

While almost every school is showing an increased diversification into digital learning tools and resources, they’re still figuring out the best implementation.

Business remains the leading field of study for online college students in the US. (Statista)

23% of online college graduates studied business while 21% of undergraduates did the same. 

The second most common field of study for online college students is health, nursing, and medicine. That’s followed by computers & IT, arts & humanities, and STEM.

66% of Americans are using or are aware of online learning services.

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Currently, 20% of Americans are actively using online learning services and 10% intend to do so. 

In comparison, in 2019, 43% of Americans were aware of online learning services, 7% were actively using them, and only 3% intended to use them.

75% of US employees see the positive impact of eLearning through their L&D teams.

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Meanwhile, 76% of employees in the UK and France said the same. 

Furthermore, 63% of US employees said that their eLearning experience was interesting and 78% said that it was useful. 

On top of that, 22% of US employees said that the best part about their eLearning training was the convenience and flexibility.

16% said that they liked the self-paced learning, 10% said they liked the content relevance, and 9% enjoyed the engagement & interactivity.

eLearning Market Statistics

The eLearning market has been growing at a steady rate, especially since the Internet became more common.

In 2011, the eLearning market was worth $35.6 billion; here’s where it is today.

The eLearning market is worth $316.2 billion today.

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According to the report, the eLearning industry is growing at a CAGR of 8.6%. By 2032, the market is expected to be worth $661.6 billion. 

The report also found that the industry is seeing massive demand for remote learning right now. That’s partially attributed to a skills shortage and a lack of workforce development. 

That said, the industry will continue to boom as globalization increases and there’s more demand for cross-border education.

And, as institutes and companies alike adopt eLearning for its scalability and cost-effectiveness, we will be seeing a lot more activity in the industry.

The Learning Management System market is worth $25.33 billion today.

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In 2023, the LMS market was worth $21.56 billion. This shows that the year-on-year growth of the industry is increasing at a respectable rate. 

The report found that the LMS market is growing with a CAGR of 17.7%. That means the LMS market will be worth 93.18 billion by 2032. 

North America accounts for more than half of the market share in the LMS market, followed by Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America.

The eLearning market in the US saw a growth of $21.64 billion since 2020.

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Between 2020 and 2024, the US eLearning market grew at a CAGR of 12%. The report attributes this growth to the pandemic and how academic institutions and companies shifted toward digital learning. 

While a good majority of schools and companies are back in the office, most are experimenting with hybrid working and teaching models.

The global Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) market will be worth $25.33 billion in 2025. (Zion Market Research)

In comparison, the MOOC market had a value of around $3.61 billion in 2018. The market has been growing at a CAGR of 32.09% between 2019 and 2025. 

It’s also important to note that the market got a boost during the 2020-2021 pandemic as many people flocked towards online courses.

How Students and Companies Are Using eLearning

In 2001, MIT launched the OpenCourseWare project that offers educational courses and resources from top MIT professors.

Since then, many other institutes and companies have followed suit. Here’s how they’re making use of eLearning today.

69% of employees in the US said that the last skill they acquired was through eLearning training.

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The study also found that 63% of employees in the UK and 67% in France feel the same way. Many employers today are opting for online training and eLearning with some of them offering it as an employee benefit. 

The study also found that 58% of US employees believe that they acquired a skill by learning from peers and colleagues. 

So, the point here is that eLearning is winning and is also becoming more efficient.

14% of employees today access eLearning content daily. (Elucidat)

In comparison, only 4% of employees accessed eLearning content daily in 2023. 

Other than that, 24% of employees access eLearning content at least once a week. 31% do so at least once a month and 19% once a quarter. 

Compared to last year, people were opting for eLearning content quarterly and monthly.

However, this year, they’re opting for it weekly and daily which means digital learning is becoming a regular part of employees’ lives.

10 million college students currently take distance education courses. (NCES)

Distance learning refers to courses where 80% or more of the course is done using online technology, where the students and professors/instructors are separated by time and/or space. 

Furthermore, 54.2% of students had at least one distance education course as part of their curriculum.

26.4% of students opted exclusively for distance education courses with 16.9% opting for same-state courses and 8.7% opting for courses from a different state.

eLearning Success Statistics

There’s no denying that eLearning is proving to be an extremely successful tool in not only educational grounds but also corporate settings.

These statistics show how.

81% of US employees believe that online training provided by their employer helped them do their jobs better.

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41% said that the online training was very helpful while 39.7% said that it was helpful

Meanwhile, 82% of employees in the UK said that online training by their employer helped them do their jobs better. 86% of employees in France said the same. 

Therefore, we can conclude that four times out of five, eLearning has been successful in corporate settings.

77% of global learners report better career benefits.

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Coursera has one of the largest collections of digital courses available. Their yearly eLearning outcomes report shows that 41% of learners report tangible outcomes while 82% report intrinsic outcomes. 

After completing a course, 14% of learners said they received a promotion. 17% said that they got a new job, 18% increased their salaries, 19% improved their interview offers, and 20% got the right credentials to get their dream job. 

Meanwhile, 30% reported that completing a course improved their coworkers’ confidence in them.

43% were able to choose a better career path, 43% improved work performance, 62% gained skills they can apply in their career, and 71% felt more knowledgeable. 

Another important thing to note is that in the case of developing economies, 91% of learners reported better career benefits.

95% of global learners report personal benefits after completing an online course.

62% of learners said that they felt more confident after completing a course. Another 62% said they felt a sense of accomplishment. 

54% said they felt more capable of taking on new learning initiatives. 47% felt that they now have more opportunities for career growth. 

34% said that they are more likely to share knowledge with friends and family and 24% said they are more inclined to complete or pursue a degree program. 

Furthermore, a massive 99% of learners from developing economies reported more personal benefits as a result of completing online courses.

30% of unemployed learners found a job after completing an online course. (Coursera)

33% of unemployed learners in the US found employment after completing a course on Coursera. 

60% of unemployed US learners reported career benefits with 50% gaining a skill they can apply in their career. 

87% of unemployed US learners reported personal benefits with 58% feeling a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.

eLearning Recent Trends

While eLearning has proven to be a valuable tool for years now, it became much more popular post-pandemic as companies and educational institutes went remote.

One could say it fast-forwarded the eLearning industry by a large amount. These trends show where that drastic shift has led the eLearning industry.

When an employee has knowledge to share with their colleagues, 23% of the time they work to create eLearning content out of it. (360learning)

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The survey found that 92% of the time, employees have valuable knowledge that would help their colleagues do their jobs better.

However, only 60% of the time are these employees asked to share said knowledge. 

And only 23% of the time does the employer collaborate with the learning and development team to create relevant eLearning content around that knowledge. 

The lack of creation of eLearning content is not the fault of the employee. Employers need to be proactive and take advantage of the knowledge their employees have. 

Right now, 48% of US employees are actively seeking a new job. With that much potential employee turnover, companies should do everything in their power to make their employees’ knowledge tangible and readily available to others.

38% of leaders in L&D departments are increasing their budgets in 2024. (Elucidat)

The survey also found that 96% of leaders in L&D departments believe digital learning is important to their overall department strategy. 

However, despite that, only 38% are working to increase their budgets while 54% plan on keeping the same budget throughout 2024. 

8% of learning leaders are going to be decreasing their budget in 2024.

78% of people believe that AI-powered content is here to stay in 2024.

In 2023, AI-based content made its soft debut. An MIT Sloan research study found that people who didn’t know the source of any piece of content would prefer content that was AI-generated. 

This shows that people are not only open to eLearning through AI-generated content but they prefer it. 

That means schools, educational institutes, and companies that utilize eLearning can become more efficient by using AI to quickly generate relevant content. 

It also makes updating curriculums easier and quicker which would otherwise take a group of teachers an entire summer. 

It’s also possible that this is the reason more L&D departments aren’t increasing their budgets in 2024.

73% of faculty believe that digital materials provide more flexibility to students.

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Many teachers today are advocating eLearning in schools today as an added benefit. That means that they want eLearning to offer over-the-top benefits to traditional education. 

This survey found that 29% of faculty strongly agree on providing digital materials to students while 44% agree. 

On the other hand, 19% of school administrators strongly agree and 54% agree on giving students digital materials. 

Offering more flexibility to students broadens their horizons, allowing them to tackle academic challenges with greater diversity.

63% of K12 teachers in the US believe eLearning and edtech have the biggest impact on self-paced learning for students. (Statista)

Another 56% said that they believe eLearning and edtech have the biggest impact on the enrichment or extension of student learning. 

We can see that more than half of all K12 teachers believe that eLearning has a positive impact on student’s development in more than one way. 

This is why so many teachers today advocate for more eLearning initiatives and work towards getting bigger edtech budgets.

Wrap Up

The eLearning industry got its biggest boost during the pandemic, but it’s been growing strong way before that.

After the pandemic, while a lot of educational institutes and companies went back to traditional settings, a wave of hybrid learning environments was created. 

On top of that, people became more open to the idea of online learning and courses. 

Education is already transforming with dual credit policies, the proliferation of ESAs, and AI. 

The corporate world is also catching up with company-sponsored online courses, in-house L&D eLearning courses, and improved employee development budgets. 

All in all, eLearning is creating a new landscape for learning for both students and professionals.

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Mughees is an agile and detail-oriented content marketer and strategist with 3+ years of experience in strategy and management, and 9+ years of experience writing content that converts.