29 Astonishing E-learning Statistics for 2021

Technology has revolutionized teaching and learning. Lectures and seminars no longer have to be confined to the classroom.

Why not?

Because instructors and students now have a digital toolbox – ranging from mobile devices to virtual learning systems to online courses. And let’s not forget digital textbooks. If it’s in print, it’s also on Kindle.

Here’s the deal:

Online learning can collect data to identify each student’s strengths and weaknesses. Based on that, the platform can tailor its approach and make the learning process enjoyable and effortless.

Interested? I bet you are.

Let’s have a look at some:  

Incredible E-learning Statistics

  • The worldwide e-learning market is projected to be worth $325 Billion in 2025.
  • In 2017, approximately 77% of US corporations used online learning, but 98% planned to incorporate it in their program by 2020.
  • The US e-learning market is set to grow by $12.81 billion between 2020 and 2024.
  • E-learning increases retention rates by 25% to 60%.
  • The corporate e-learning market could increase by $38.09 billion between 2020 and 2024.
  • E-learning has lead to an increase in income for 42% of US organizations.
  • A survey of 2,500 companies found that those with “comprehensive training programs” have 218% higher revenue per employee and 24% higher profit margins.
  • IBM saved approximately $200 million after switching to e-learning.

These are some impressive online education statistics, which show the industry is booming. And with good reason.

Let’s explore them in greater depth, starting with the latest data. 

Impressive E-Learning Statistics for 2021

Discussed below are some of the most amazing e-learning stats for 2021 to show how the industry is developing.

1. The massive open online course (MOOC) market could be worth $25.33 billion by 2025.

(Source: Globe News Wire)

MOOCs are free learning online platforms that allow for unlimited participation from students worldwide. Most of them provide valuable courses, resources, and forums for discussion and quizzes to their students. With MOOCs, students can have free access to any class of their choice, study for free, and interact with experts through MOOC forums.

Following the establishment of the first MOOC platform in 2006, many other valuable ones have been created, some of which are Udemy, Coursera, edX, Udacity, etc. 

According to e-learning industry statistics, the MOOC market is currently worth $5.16 billion. It is projected to grow at an annual rate of 32.09% until 2025.

2. The US e-learning market could grow by $12.81 billion between 2020 and 2024.

(Source: Market Research)

Statistics on e-learning in the United States indicate that 63% of high school students in the US use digital learning tools daily. Also, 45% of elementary school students make use of at least one digital learning tool every day. 

How about middle school students? 

Well, 64% of them make use of one digital learning tool daily. 

What’s more, a good percentage of American graduates (52%) and undergraduates (39%) consider online learning better than classroom learning. Hence, there is a growing importance for e-learning in the US.

3. Mobile learning could reach $80.1 billion worldwide by 2027.

(Source: Globe News Wire)

Statistics on the e-learning market size in 2021 indicate that mobile learning remains one of the fastest-growing markets in the sector. It has maintained an average steady growth rate of over 20% over the past years.

In 2015, the mobile learning market was worth just $7.98 billion. In 2020, that number had risen to $22.4 billion.

Experts speculate that the number grew rapidly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ever-growing group of mobile users worldwide. They also predict that the mobile e-learning market will rise to $80.1 billion by 2027.

4. Augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) are key trends that could drive the e-learning sector forward in the next couple of years.

(Source: Globe News Wire)

There is no doubt about how vital mobile learning and the other forms of e-learning have been to the world of online education. However, statistics on e-learning trends for 2021 show that with AR/VR, developers can take it a step further. 

Both AR/VR provides an opportunity for trainers to better engage their students through immersive experiences that make learning much more practical, effective, and enjoyable. And considering the growth of both AR and VR industries, it’s no wonder the educational sector will take advantage of both.

5. The corporate e-learning market could increase by $38.09 billion between 2020 and 2024.

(Source: Business Wire)

Corporate e-learning entails online training that employees have to undergo when working under a particular organization. It could be sales training, product training, recruitment training, conferences, and workshops, etc. 

Over the years, corporate e-learning has provided businesses and organizations with the necessary tools to maneuver away from traditional classroom training (which is quite expensive). This has increased benefits for those organizations with employees scattered all over the continent. According to corporate e-learning statistics for 2021, the corporate e-learning market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11% between 2020-2024.

6. Corporate e-learning takes 40% to 60% less time to complete when compared to traditional learning.

(Source: eLearning Industry)

On average, only 1% of the work week is dedicated to training and development in the workplace. Hence, there is a need for organizations and employees to maximize training time, while also achieving the best possible results. 

E-learning provides employees with all the fun and engaging ways to learn effectively. To top it all, employees have the luxury of selecting their most convenient and preferred time of learning, and at what pace they wish to study. This, on its own, is both a luxury and a big boost that ensures faster learning capacity.

General E-Learning Statistics

Have you ever taken an online course? They’re insanely popular – and can be a lot of fun. Check out these online learning statistics.

7. The worldwide e-learning market is projected to be worth $325 Billion in 2025.

(Source: Forbes)

The corresponding figure for 2014 was $165.36 billion, according to e-learning stats. This means the market will have nearly doubled in a decade.

There’s a lot of demand for online learning. It’s cost-effective and quite beneficial to a company’s bottom line…

8. In 2017, approximately 77% of US corporations used online learning. However, 98% planned to incorporate it into their program in 2020.

(Source: eLearning Industry, Small Business Trends)

For comparison, stats on online education show this number was only 4% in 1995. Companies have been quick to acknowledge the benefits of e-learning and have embraced it wholeheartedly.

9. In 2019, 67% of US companies offered learning opportunities via smartphones.

(Source: eLearning Industry)

As smartphone adoption worldwide continues to grow, experts expect even more companies in the US to offer mobile e-learning opportunities.

10. E-learning increases learning retention rates by between 25% and 60%.  

(Source: SH!FT)

In contrast, retention rates of face-to-face training are much lower: 8% to 10%. With e-learning, students have more control over the learning process.

What’s more, if they happen to forget something, they can revisit the material whenever they need to. And – they can retake that online quiz if they failed it the first time around. This takes a lot of the pressure off and allows them to focus on actually learning.

11. Corporate e-learning is expected to grow by over 250% between 2017 to 2026.

(Source: Business Wire)

E-learning stats show the corporate e-learning market was valued at $14.23 billion in 2017. However, it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15%, hitting almost $50 billion come 2026.

12. E-learning has helped to increase income for 42% of US organizations.

(Source: The Educators)

This is huge. Nearly half of US corporations are reaping the benefits of e-learning, according to e-learning stats for 2021.

13. An “American Society for Training and Development” survey of 2,500 companies discovered that those with “comprehensive training programs” have 218% higher revenue per employee and 24% higher profit margins.

(Source: E-learning Infographics)

This stat demonstrates beyond doubt that it pays to invest in your employees’ education.

14. IBM saved approximately $200 million after switching to e-learning.

(Source: SH!FT)

When utilizing online learning, companies can reduce instructor costs. This way, they also minimize expenses related to travel, hotel rentals, and equipment.

This is especially important when your employees live in different cities, countries, or even continents!

E-learning Trends in and out of Academia

It should come as no surprise that secondary and tertiary education institutions have embraced e-learning. Тhe US is at the forefront of this trend.

15. 43% of US college students found digital study technologies extremely helpful for doing homework.

(Source: Statista)

Back in the day, you had to go to the college library to do your homework. That’s not the case anymore for a growing number of college students, as statistics in 2020 speak volumes about the growth of online education.

When the library buys an ebook, any given number of students can read it simultaneously. Whether they actually will is a different matter.

16. 56% of US college students stated they used laptops in the classroom during a typical week.

(Source: Statista)

It’s a lot easier to take notes on your laptop – especially if your lecturer speaks quickly! As an added bonus, you can also post-viral cat videos on social media. Tablets came second in this study with a 51% weekly usage rate.

17. 81% of US college students agreed that digital learning technology was helping them improve their grades.

(Source: Statista)

Even though instructors are expected to offer extended student support outside of class, they’re not available 24/7. At least not in person.

In fact:

Many students now prefer to contact their instructors via email instead of during office hours. And this flurry of emails has a massive effect on the total number of emails sent per day.

E-learning statistics are quite clear:

Digital learning technology is there to help students – whenever they happen to need it.

18. 41% of US teachers stated the lack of training was the biggest barrier to increasing the use of educational tech in their classrooms.

(Source: Statista)

This is especially true for older teachers, whose training predates the widespread use of educational technologies.  

19. 49% of students worldwide stated they had taken an online course in the preceding 12 months.

(Source: Statista)

Online education statistics reveal the figure was up from 46% in 2013. Would you like to learn German? Or perhaps coding? With online courses, the sky’s the limit!

20. In 2020, 180 million learners used MOOCs worldwide.

(Source: Class Central)

The pandemic has caused considerable growth for these platforms, as over ⅓ of learners on MOOCs joined in 2020.

These impressive numbers were majorly a result of the pandemic, which led students and educational institutions to turn to online learning.

21. A study by the Open University found that producing and providing e-learning courses consumes 90% less energy and produces 85% fewer CO2 emissions per person than face-to-face training.

(Source: SH!FT, College Stats)

E-learning statistics show online education can help us address the pressing concerns of global climate change. And universities are leading the way.

The Open University is Britain’s largest online university. In the US, the University of Phoenix-Arizona is currently ranked first with 320,973 students.

22. Canvas had the largest LMS (learner management system) market share in the US, with 36.7% of institutions using it in 2020.

(Source: Edutechnica)

E-learning stats also show that BlackBoard claimed second place with 26.8%. Moodle, which is open source, had the third-largest market share (16.2%).

Now:

LMSs, also known as virtual learning environments, allows instructors to upload lecture notes, PowerPoint presentations, writing assignments, and even taped lectures! Students have easy access to course materials, while instructors can now spend their time more effectively. No wonder pretty much any higher education institution in Europe and North America uses one.

23. 33% of post-secondary school administrators will continue to offer remote and online courses after their campuses have reopened completely.

(Source: EducationData.org)

Statistics like this prove that more and more educational institutions recognize the value and benefits of online learning to students.

What’s New?

E-learning has the potential to transform the developing world. While North America and Europe are leaders in online learning, Africa is catching up at an impressive rate.

For example:

In 2019, eLearning Africa has rolled out seminars and discussions about farming.

Agriculture remains a vital sector for most African economies.

Farming and food production currently employ over 40% of the continent’s workforce, with more than 70% of those being women,” said Rebecca Stromeyer, the founder of eLearning Africa.

At a time of rapid technological change, e-learning can alleviate world hunger and improve the lot of millions of people worldwide.

But let’s go back stateside for a few more e-learning statistics:

Eye-Catchy Stats and Facts

E-learning has become a hallmark of the US educational model at all levels.

24. The self-paced online learning market in the US is estimated to be worth $15.86 billion in 2021.

(Source: Statista)

That’s a huge figure. But:

It marks a considerable decrease from the all-time high of $20.85 billion in revenues in 2016.

25. In 2020, the US Federal Government generated about $2.05 billion in revenue through self-paced e-learning products.

(Source: Statista)

For comparison, e-learning industry stats show that the value was $2.24 billion in 2019.

The figure is expected to decrease further to $2.035 billion by the end of 2021.

Still:

The Federal Government spends a lot of money facilitating its employees’ professional development while driving up e-learning market size.

26. 41% of students in 2020 believed that the quality of their college-level online learning experience was far superior to that of physical classroom learning.

(Source: EducationData.org)

How about these online education statistics?

Online education allows students to take a more flexible approach to their learning. Unlike physical classrooms, you can register for an online course at any given time. 

More than that, you can also at whatever time is convenient for you, evenings and weekends included.

27. Around 65% of US faculty members advocate for online learning courses and educational resources.

(Source: DDIY)

As you can see, students aren’t the only ones happy with the rise in e-learning.

28. In 2020, 90% of companies used e-learning as a training tool.

(Source: EdgePoint Learning)

E-learning industry stats in 2017 predicted that 98% of companies would be training online by 2020.

However, although we didn’t quite meet up with predictions, companies came pretty close due to COVID-related remote work.

29. The e-learning market is now 22 years old.

(Source: SH!FT)

The word e-learning was coined back in 1998. That’s the year Google was launched. You could have just about been able to Google it back then! How about that.

And on that interesting note, it’s time for:

Wrapping up

E-learning is the future. It’s a booming industry, as these mind-blowing e-learning statistics clearly show. And with data visualization, task and time management apps, e-learning is more convenient than ever. 

It also has the potential to revolutionize the way we think about knowledge transfer. Educators are no longer confined to the ivory tower:

They’re but a mouse click away. Just imagine the possibilities.

FAQ

How big is the e-learning market?

As of the end of 2019, the global e-learning market had a market value of $187.877 billion. According to the growth of online education statistics for 2020, it has currently reached over $200 billion and could rise to $376 billion by 2026.

How fast is online education growing?

Online education statistics for 2020 show that the e-learning market is growing at a CAGR of 9.23%.

Is online learning effective?

This boils down to the situation at hand.

In a situation where about 10,000 people are to be educated on the same topic, then online learning will be a more effective approach, especially when all 10,000 are from different locations worldwide.

In contrast, in a scenario where only a few employees or students are to be educated, one might want to consider a one-on-one training as a more effective approach.

Why is e-learning important to education?

According to e-learning statistics, e-learning provides many benefits to education, some of which are:

  • Access to a particular lecture multiple times,
  • Easy access to updated lectures,
  • Easy scalability, in case of numerous students,
  • Elimination of the need for a physical location, thus reducing cost.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Bobby Chernev, editor at TechJury.net. A historian and political scientist by training, he is passionate about quality research and writing in different fields. He's also a general sports fan, a devotee of cask ale, and an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction.

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2 Comments

  1. Amazing stats Thanks for sharing it one place

    1. You are welcome, Laiq.

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