2020 Online Learning Statistics, Trends and Data – The Ultimate List

The online education industry is growing and always changing — technologies, trends and new platforms are always on the rise.

This is why you should be on top of the new trends and data. After all, as an online teacher or entrepreneur, you want to stay ahead of the curve instead of seeing your competition get more of the pie.

So how can you ensure you stay ahead of the curve?

A great way to do so is to stay updated on the latest online education statistics and data. Whether you’re creating online courses, classes, tutoring or have your own online school.

In the list below we’ve collected the latest stats, trends, and data of 2020 to help you achieve success in the online learning world, to get more customers and get paid for teaching online classes or courses.

Online Learning Statistics

Online learning is education that takes place on the web instead of a physical classroom. It can be called “eLearning” or “online education” among other terms. 

However, online learning is just one type of “distance learning” – a term for any learning that takes place from distance. Distance learning has a long history and there are several types available today, like Correspondence Courses (courses through physical mail), Telecourses (broadcasted courses through radio or TV) or Mobile Learning among others. 

With the advancement of technology, the most popular approach today is online learning.

Online Learning (eLearning Industry) Stats

  • The word ‘eLearning’ was invented in 1998.
  • The eLearning industry is over 22 years old.
  • 77% of US companies used online learning methods in 2017. The main reason for companies to use online learning is to speed up employee training, according to Global Industry Analysts.
  • The global eLearning market was worth $107 billion in 2015, by 2025 it forecasts to reach $325 billion, according to Global Industry Analysts.
  • Academic online learning is forecasted to grow by over 15.3% by 2025  in western countries leading the way such as the United States, Europe (Germany on top), United Kingdom, China, and Japan, according to Global Industry Analysts. 
  • The self-paced eLearning markets are forecasted to decline 6.1% year over year to $33.5 by 2021, according to Global Industry Analysts.
  • The main reason for MOOCs (massive open online courses) decline is the dissatisfaction by students and incompletion of most courses taken online, according to Global Industry Analysts.
  • It was found that eLearning could reduce employee training time by as much as 40-60% in 2017, according to Brandon Hall Group.
  • More than $2.59 Billion spent by the US government over self-paced eLearning products, according to Global Industry Analysts.
  • In 2017, 72% of American organizations said eLearning gives them a competitive advantage, according to the American Heart Association.
  • 40% of Fortune 500 companies already use eLearning, according to the American Heart Association.
  • According to BestColleges, a survey suggests that 37% of online learners are adults, whereas 28% are younger people.
  • According to BestColleges, 59% of online students who were surveyed have children, and 50% reported that they are employed.

Growth Of Online Education

  • From 2000 to 2020, the online education industry has by over 900%, with a forecast of becoming 3x times bigger by 2025, according to Brandon Hall Group.
  • In 2018, the global Self-Paced eLearning market size was $5.3 billion and it is expected to reach $9.5 billion by the end of 2025, with a CAGR of 8.18% during 2019-2025, according to 360reaseachreports.com.
  • US e-learning market is forecasted to grow by more than $6 billion between 2017 and 2021
  • The size of the global corporate eLearning market is predicted to reach an approximate amount of USD 31 billion in revenue by the end of 2020, according to Technavio.
  • The main reasons for online industry growth are: standardization of online education among companies, clear management and tracking of progress by course moderators, the elimination of social judgment by not giving texts, grades, and social feedback, according to Brandon Hall Group.
  • The global e-learning market is expected to reach $238 billion by 2024, according to Arizton.

Online Classes vs Traditional Classes Statistics

online learning statistics and elearning statistics
  • The number of students studying on a campus has dropped by almost one million (931,317) between 2012 and 2015, according to Digital Learning Compass. 
  • In 2015, more than one in four US higher education students (29.7 percent) took at least one distance education course, according to Digital Learning Compass.
  • From fall 2016 to fall 2017, overall US postsecondary enrollment dropped by almost 90,000, nearly half a percentage point, according to the National Center for Education. 
  • In 2017, the portion of students who were enrolled exclusively online grew to 15.4 percent, up from 14.7 percent in 2016, according to the National Center for Education.  
  • In 2014, 77% of educators believed that online learning is just as good as traditional learning, if not better, according to the Potomac.
  • In 2014, nearly 70% of all students claimed online instruction to be as good as or better than in a traditional classroom setting, according to Potomac.
  • In 2014, 26% of online students claim to learn better online than in a classroom, according to Potomac.
  • In 2014, The average score of classroom learners was 50th percentile while the average score of online learners was 59th percentile, according to Potomac. 
  • Online degrees cost as little as 80 times less than traditional degrees, according to Potomac.
  • The total average cost of an online degree is $50,000 less than that of a traditional degree, according to Potomac.
  • According to the BestColleges survey from 2018, 50% chose online courses because their time schedule (work and family) doesn’t allow them to attend campus-based courses, 20% chose online courses as a part of employer incentive and 20% chose online courses because it was their only way to pursue a certain field.

Online Learning In Higher Education Statistics

  • In 2017, 72% of online students reported job and employment goals as a reason for enrolling, including transitioning to a new career field (36%) and earning academic credentials in a current field of work (32%), according to BestColleges Education Trends Report. 
  • In 2017, students reported that their biggest challenges in making decisions about online education related to cost estimates, finding funding sources, and navigating the financial aid process, according to BestColleges Education Trends Report. 
  • In 2017, marketing new online programs to prospective students and meeting recruitment goals is seen as the biggest challenge to offering an online program, according to BestColleges Education Trends Report. 
  • In 2017, 98% of administrators find that demand for online education has increased or stayed the same over the past few years. However, 60% do not plan to change their budgets for online program development in the next year, according to BestColleges Education Trends Report.
  • In 2017, 65% of administrators consider “needs of local employers” and/or “general employment/job market trends or forecasts” when designing a new online program, according to BestColleges Education Trends Report. 
  • In 2017, 77% of schools reported that online students were asking for “placement/ employment” rates in addition to other outcome data, such as completion rates (58%) and post-graduation salaries (48%), according to BestColleges Education Trends Report.
  • Between 2015-2016, 32 was the average age of US online students in ranked online bachelor’s programs, according to the U.S. News Data.
  • Between 2015-2016, Only 5 percent of new entrants were first-time students,  according to the U.S. News Data.
  • Between 2015-2016, 31% of US students who were participating in ranked online bachelor’s programs pursued health programs, 30% pursued business programs, 8% pursued liberal arts and sciences programs,  according to the U.S. News Data.
  • Between 2015-2016, 65% of US students who were participating in ranked online bachelor’s programs were females and 35% were males,  according to the U.S. News Data.
  • In 2014, 275 was the number of accredited online universities, according to Potomac.

Online Learning Trends In Higher Education

  • In fall 2017, there were 6,651,536 students enrolled in any distance education courses at degree-granting postsecondary institutions, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
  • In 2015, 6 million US higher education students took at least one distance education course, according to Digital Learning Compass.
  • In 2015, public institutions commanded the largest portion of distance education students, with 67.8 percent of all distance students, according to Digital Learning Compass.
  • In 2015, large enrollment drops among for-profit institutions were driven by a few of the largest institutions; the majority of for-profits grew their distance enrollments,  according to Digital Learning Compass. 
  • In 2017, the number of all US students who took at least some of their courses online grew by more than 350,000, a healthy 5.7 percent, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. 
  • In 2017, at public institutions, the number of students studying partially but not fully online is about twice as large as the number studying entirely online – nearly 3 million versus 1.5 million. Many of those students are presumably using online courses to supplement their in-person course schedules, out of convenience and preference, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.
  • In 2017, at private nonprofit colleges, the pattern is reversed, with those studying exclusively online about doubling the number of those studying only partially online.
  • In 2012, 22% of graduate students in the United States exclusively studied online, compared to 11% of undergraduates.
  • In 2015, 65% of US faculty supported the use of Open Educational Resources, such as online courses, according to Statista.
  • In 2015, 49% of global students have taken an online course, according to Statista.

References:

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