The industry of e-learning is a young one, but each year it grows rapidly. Especially, this rising trend can be seen during and after 2020, the year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, this article is aimed at revealing the main online learning trends of 2021 and then, it focuses mainly on important statistics broken down by subtopics.
Online Learning Stats of 2021
General Industry Stats
- The study by The Research Institute of America shows that students retain 25-60% more material when learning online compared to 8-10% in a traditional classroom way.
- The online learning industry is forecasted to grow at an annual 21% rate until 2027.
- The global education technology market size was valued at USD 89.49 billion in 2020 and is expected to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.9% from 2021 to 2028.
- By the end of 2022, the EdTech industry is projected to surpass $243B in revenue.
- In 2019, the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) market was valued at $5.16 billion. This figure is expected to reach as high as $21.14 billion by 2025.
- According to a research report by Global Market Insights, AI in the education market will surpass $6 billion by 2024.
- The U.S. and Europe account for over 70% of the global eLearning industry.
- North America dominated the EdTech market in 2020 and held over 37% share of the global revenue.
- The fastest-growing market is the Asia Pacific, with eLearning revenues expected to grow at an annual rate of 20%.
- The e-learning market is now 10 years old, when first online learning courses were released.
The industry of e-learning is growing quickly as this type of learning provides more flexibility and is focused on gaining practical knowledge and skills. The U.S. and European markets are leaders by revenue, while the Asia Pacific shows the fastest speed of growth.
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) Stats
Universities that offer the highest number of open online courses:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology – 361 courses
- University of Michigan – 351 courses
- Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur – 295 courses
- Stanford University – 265 courses
- Indian Institute of Technology Madras – 238 courses
Top MOOCs providers by the number of course offered:
- Udemy – 250,000 courses
- Coursera – over 7,000 courses
- EdX – over 4,000 courses
- FutureLearn – 2,400
- Personal Development
Most popular additional services offered by MOOC companies:
- Online coaching
- Online mentorship
- Job help
Top universities offer plenty of online courses today on different subjects. Also, while there are companies that provide more than a couple of thousand of courses, online students seem to be interested more in such subjects as personal development, tech skills (coding), and marketing.
COVID-19 Impact Stats
- Around 25-30% of total registered users on Coursera, Edx and FutureLearn came after the pandemic has started.
- Coursera got nearly 35 million enrollments between mid-March and the end of July 2020.
- April 2020 shows the biggest increase in traffic on e-learning platforms.
The real growth of the market is clearly visible after April 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic locked many people all around the world at home while also causing many employees to lose their jobs and business owners to lose their businesses.
Mobile Learning (M-learning) Stats
- Almost three-quarters (72.6 percent) of internet users will access the web solely via their smartphones by 2025.
- The average growth rate of mobile learning has been nearly 20% over 2020.
- This industry is forecasted to maintain a CAGR (Compound annual growth rate) of 36.3% down to 2025.
- 67% of students use mobile devices to finish online course tasks.
- Learners who use mobile devices complete course materials 45% faster compared to those using computers.
- 43% of learners saw improved productivity levels compared to non-mobile users. (Source: Towards Maturity)
- 70% of learners felt more motivated when training on a mobile device as opposed to a computer. (Source: LearnDash)
- Time spent during online learning – desktop (one interaction): 20-60 min.
- Time spent during mobile learning (one interaction) – 3-10 min.
Mobile learning is a logical trend of the development of e-learning. This is caused partly because of the fast growth of mobile Internet users and also because online learners are seeking even more flexibility and freedom which is possible with using mobile devices for education purposes.
Traditional Education vs Online Courses Stats
- Almost 80% of online course learners have a Bachelor’s degree or higher.
- 46.4% of undergraduate students taking entirely online degrees are studying either Business (17%), Computer Science (16.1%), or Health (13%).
- More than 3 million students are now studying higher education fully online.
- 46% of females and 62% of male high school students say that they are interested in learning programming.
- 22 of the top 25 U.S universities now offer online courses for free.
- There are 50 MOOC-based fully online Master’s degrees available today.
While many universities are offering now a hybrid type of learning (offline + online), many have moved to the fully online form of education. Also, many people choose online courses and bootcamps over a traditional degree or opt for online courses after gaining bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Corporate Online Learning Stats
- Nine out of ten companies used an e-learning route to teach their employees new skills in 2020.
- 72% of organizations believe that eLearning puts them at a competitive advantage.
- On average, employees only have 25 minutes per week to spend on learning.
- 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers.
- 56% of employees would take a manager-suggested course.
- 44% of Gen Z would spend more time learning if their manager recognized it
- 62% of businesses affected by changes due to COVID-19 are spending more on training in 2021
Employees have become pickier with choosing the company to work for, and companies have realized that they need to invest in upskilling their employees, especially younger ones. Thus, corporate online training is shifting from an advantage a limited number of companies can offer to their employees to a must-have for almost every company.
Challenges of Online Education
- 24% of online students are concerned about lackluster quality, instruction, and academic support for online learning courses versus on-campus education.
- 15% of students are afraid that lack of interaction with classmates and professors because of online learning will be detrimental to their education in general.
- Despite having many courses available through mobile devices, 17% of online students complain that their e-learning program does not support mobile access.
There are still disadvantages and challenges in online education like lack of social interaction or quality of online education but offline education has also its downsides.
In 1994, the first accredited wholly online high school, CompuHigh, was established.
The term “e-learning” was first utilized in a professional context by Elliott Masie during TechLearn and was referred to as learning using the web or any other electronic medium. However, the term “online learning” is older and is originated from the University of Illinois in 1960.
The term “MOOC” appeared in 2008 by Dave Cormier from the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada.
The first MOOC was the course “Artificial Intelligence” by Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig from Stanford University in the fall of 2011.
2012 is the year of the MOOCs as many top players were born in this year. Coursera, Udacity, and edX were founded in 2012.
While the industry’s indirect beginning can be traced back to the end of the 60s, its actual beginning is dated after 2011 with a real beginning after the first huge MOOCs company such as Coursera were born.