29 Incredible eLearning Statistics for 2021 (Infographic)

Online studying has increased dramatically in 2020. This is largely because of COVID-19 and the restrictions placed on movement and large gatherings.

It’s also due to people trying to upskill themselves online following retrenchment or difficulties in finding employment. 

It is to be expected that eLearning statistics in the future will be very different from what we have seen in the past. In this article, we will be looking at statistics and facts related to eLearning throughout the world.

Top 10 Online Education Statistics

eLearning Statistics Infographic

eLearning Industry Statistics

The industry started booming in 2015 and didn’t slow down since. Let’s see how it has expanded since then.

1. eLearning is becoming more of a necessity, with two-thirds of people lacking the core work skills. 


This means that they need to upskill using online learning platforms so that they can improve their performance at work. This contributes greatly to eLearning statistics in 2020

2. By 2022, vital skills needed to do most jobs will have changed by 42%. 

(World Economic Forum, 22nd Annual CEO Survey)

This shows just how much the workplace is evolving and how people need to constantly retrain in order to keep up with the times.

In fact, the availability of key skills was one of the three biggest threats to business growth in 2019, according to surveyed CEOs.

3. A mere 3% of expenditure in the education sector goes towards technology, according to eLearning statistics

(Holon IQ)

This shows that very little financial investment is being made in eLearning and taking education forward. 

4. The first boom in eLearning happened in 2015. 


It was then that the industry became worth around $107 billion. It is estimated that by 2025, the industry will be worth about $325 billion. 

5. In 2018, there were around 3.3 million students going to college exclusively online. 

(Purdue Global University)

It’s likely this number will be a lot higher after 2020, since most of the learning institutions resorted to distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’ll perhaps even become one of the eLearning trends in the future. 

6. In 2017, $46 billion was made from online courses. 

(Forbes, eLearning Industry)

Corporate America contributed a large part of this, with 77% of US organizations offering online preparation courses to their employees. 

7. The United States federal government made around $2.59 billion from eLearning products in 2016.


In 2016, this number was projected to be around $2.05 billion in 2020 and $2.03 billion in 2021. 

Online Learning Statistics

Online learning market size is incredible even though it started growing only recently.

8. In 2014, the corporate Learning Management Systems (LMS) rose by more than 21%. 

(Software Advice)

This was seen as a significant increase in corporate LMS for that year alone. 

9. 2019, the global LMS market size reached a value of around $8.7 billion. 

(Fortune Business Insights)

When talking about the growth of online education, statistics from 2019 showed a noticeable improvement. This global market size for LMS is expected to rise to $29.7 billion by the year 2026.

That’s an increase of $21 billion over a period of seven years. 

10. North America generated the most revenue from Learning Management Systems in 2018, with $3.3 billion. 

(Fortune Business Insights)

Asia-Pacific generated around $1.4 billion from LMS that same year. 

11. The top player in the LMS market is McGraw-Hill Education. 

(Fortune Business Insights)

D2L Corporation, SAP SE, Oracle, IBM, and Cornerstone make up the rest of the top six players in the market. 

eLearn Workforce

Online learning isn’t reserved for schools only. With the expansion of the gig economy, many professionals rely on eLearning to improve their skills and advance in the professional world.

12. Only around 30% of employees in the United States feel engaged or motivated at their workplace. 

(Software Advice)

When people aren’t engaged or inspired by what they are doing, they are unlikely to do their best work. Upskilling through online learning can help improve this statistic. 

13. For a single dollar spent on eLearning, a business receives around $30 in productivity. 


Research done by IBM helped us shed some light on these statistics on online learning.

It shows that, while it may cost a company to pay for eLearning, the business will earn its money back (and gain a profit) in productivity. 

14. One of the main reasons (51%) to conduct training is to improve workplace morale, satisfaction, and longevity. 

(ILX Group Survey)

Online learning can help motivate people as well as give them the skills they need to improve at their current job and future positions. 

15. 67% of businesses that noticed an increase in productivity throughout the organization encouraged eLearning. 

(eLearning Industry, HR Dive)

In regard to online education, 42% of companies saw an increase in their profits. This shows that businesses that invest in the online education industry see an increase in both productivity and profit margins. 

16. In 2016, 98% of organizations in the United States said they would like to use video as part of their eLearning strategy. 

(elogic learning)

These stats on online education show that the usage of video in corporate training and eLearning has been on the rise in the past few years. 

17. 44% of organizations would give themselves five out of five on their ability to evaluate the ROI in regard to the eLearning they offer. 

(HR Dive)

While this is surely encouraging, it’s also important to mention that the way they measured ROI was mostly related to completion rates and training satisfaction, which are not always the most objective metrics.

18. Offering eLearning opportunities can improve employee retention by around 60%. 


This piece of information shows that encouraging digital learning for staff members can decrease staff turnover. 

eLearning Industry Trends

Smartphones are an essential part of our lives. They provide essential info, entertainment, but did you know that mobile learning is a major trend in eLearning?
Here are some other interesting trends.

19. Having access to mobile learning has improved the experience of 99% of people using mobiles. 

(elogic learning)

Mobile learning can be done on-the-go, which makes it convenient for people who have busy schedules but still want to learn. 

20. A mere 6% of employers claim that they offer high-quality mobile learning. 

(HRO Today)

Statistics on online education show that the percentage of employers who say they’re great at including Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) in their training and development endeavors is also 6%. 

21. In 2017, it was predicted that the mobile learning market would be worth around $37.6 billion by the year 2020. 

(elogic learning)

These numbers could be drastically different this year considering the increase in eLearning due to COVID-19 pandemic. 

22. Creating eLearning content that is game-oriented would be more effective, according to 80% of learners. 

(elogic learning, Shift Disruptive Elearning)

Using gamification helps employees retain information by 40%, as eLearning statistics show. In the past few years, we have seen an increase in gamification in online learning. 

23. By the year 2021, it’s predicted that game-based learning revenue will reach $7.3 billion. 

(elogic learning)

In 2016, the total revenue from game-based learning was around $2.6 billion. The earning from this type of online learning has been increasing over the past few years. 

24. Trends in eLearning show 94% of people claimed micro-learning was their favorite method of learning. 

(Campaign for Learning)

Micro-learning is a way of eLearning that uses small chunks of information at a time so that the learner can learn quickly. 

25. Employees spend 40–60% less time on eLearning than they would on traditional learning.

(Docebo, Training Industry)

Facts about online education reveal that most employees are more likely to make use of Learning Management Systems if the lessons are shorter. 

26. Employees working a 40-hour workweek have around 1% of their time to spend on professional development. 

(HRO Today)

According to the eLearning stats, this works out to around 4.8 minutes per day, or 24 minutes per week. This is also why a micro-learning format is so important — for some people, it’s the only way to learn.

Growth of Online Education

The global online education has expanded over all channels, acquiring millions of users. With thousands of smartphone apps and platforms like Udemy and Coursera, you can have access to thousands of courses right at your fingertips.

27. Globally, the eLearning market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14% between 2017 and 2022. 


Online learning in the United States alone is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5% in that same time period, while in Europe, it’s expected to grow at a CAGR of 15%.

This shows incredible eLearning industry growth over time.  

28. An increase in multi-channel learning has been one of the changes in eLearning. 

(HR Technologist)

Other trends that started in 2019 and are still popular include:

  • A switch from Learning Management Systems to Learning Experience Platforms
  • An increase in personalized learning experiences, and
  • Mapping the ROI of learning

29. Docebo is the top online learning platform with 6 million users and 500,000 courses, as online education facts reveal.

(Resume Chief)

Next on the list is Udemy, with 24 million users and 100,000 courses.

Then there are Skillshare, with 10 million users and 22,000 courses, Coursera and with 40 million users and 3,600 courses.

Finally, there’s Lynda.com, with 10 million users and 3,000 courses. 


How big is the eLearning market?

The eLearning market size (globally) was estimated to be around $101 billion in the year 2019.

It is likely to increase even further due to the impact of COVID-19 on the eLearning industry, and we should expect to see a much larger global market size when it comes to eLearning in the future. 

How effective is online learning?

Research shows that online learning, on average, isn’t more effective than in-person classes.

That being said, online learning comes in many different forms, some of which are not that different from face-to-face classes. They also offer some opportunities that traditional classes cannot.

In short, it depends on both students and teachers, and since it’s a field that is still improving — and is more important now than ever before — the statistics are likely to improve as well. 

What are the benefits of online learning?

There are many benefits of online learning. For starters, there are more options when it comes to courses.

As there are no space or time restrictions, there are an incredible number of online courses for you to choose from. In general, eLearning is cheaper, since it typically doesn’t require you to buy print or ebooks, which makes it more accessible.

You can communicate with your lecturer or teacher through a number of channels at a time that suits you best.

You can also choose how you learn.

If you learn better in an isolated environment, you can go to an empty room. If you learn better with noise, you can put on music and not distract anyone else. These are just some of the many benefits of online learning.

Final Thoughts

These eLearning statistics show how much the online learning market has increased over the past few years and how it will continue to increase in the coming years.

Whether people are choosing to upskill themselves in their current profession, retraining later in life, or choosing eLearning over traditional learning, it’s a growing industry that is worth keeping an eye on. 


Jessica is a writer and editor from Cape Town, South Africa. She started her journey studying journalism and media studies, along with English literature. Since then, she’s written for many different websites on a number of subjects. She loves any topic that she can really sink her teeth into, and she makes sure that everything she writes is thoroughly researched.