Digital and online technology is rapidly becoming accessible on a global level, and that means there are big opportunities for e-learning to shift into new and developing markets.
E-Learning in western markets
The e-learning industry is one that has grown massively in a very short period of time. The word itself was coined in 1998, and in just 16 years it's become an integral part of the education system in the world of work as well as in schools and universities.
Around the world around $35 billion was spent on self-paced e-learning in 2011, and by 2014 that figure had climbed to $56 billion. Corporations that use e-learning for employee training report that it's around 50% cheaper than traditional training methods, and 60% faster. E-learning is taking off in global Fortune 500 companies too, with 41.7% using some form of e-learning. In America in particular e-learning is highly popular, with 77% of American corporations using online training methods in 2011; the European market is almost as robust.
Shifting to developing markets
A 2014 report from cloud e-learning provider Docebo points to a big role for e-learning in developing markets over the next few years. E-learning is rapidly gaining popularity in many Asian, African, and South American countries, as well as in Eastern Europe, with high annual regional growth rates:
• 17.3% for Asia
• 16.9% for Eastern Europe
• 15.2% for Africa
• 14.6% for Latin America
Each region has specific indicators that are driving the shift towards e-learning. For example, in many Asian countries government-funded programmes designed to increase literacy in rural areas are a big driving force behind the introduction of e-learning. In the Middle East government-funded e-learning programmes are being introduced for students and for public sector employees.
Government investments are driving the shift in Eastern Europe, while in Latin American countries government-funded initiatives and corporate-funded e-learning platforms are thriving. In African countries national governments play a key role in the introduction of e-learning, but many countries are hampered by a lack of both IT infrastructure and feasible connectivity solutions. These problems are being partially addressed by international organisations such as UNESCO, which continues to invest heavily in the development of infrastructure in many African nations.
These infrastructure challenges present opportunities for technology companies and there seems to be no shortage of government funded programmes addressing the issue. When you consider other markets where growth may be stagnant or negative this is an area for serious attention, the much searched for double digit growth opportunity