15+ eLearning Statistics You Shouldn’t Miss in 2023

Updated · May 20, 2023

As the latest pandemic’s survivors, we are no strangers to online modules, class recordings, Zoom conferences, or hybrid course loads.

But don’t be fooled—the scope of online learning goes beyond colleges and that ever-present ad for a Contemporary Art 101 course on your Instagram feed.

If you think about it, technology started encroaching on the education sector way before any of those things existed. And, now, online learning is branching out, too, weaving itself through the cracks of the corporate sector.

We’ll tell you all about it with the following elearning statistics

Let’s check them out!

Surprising Facts About Online Learning (Editor’s Choice)

  • Online learning takes 60% less time than the traditional way of learning.
  • 42% of US companies increased their revenues after switching to elearning.
  • Online courses produce almost 86% less CO2 emissions per individual.
  • 70% of the elearning traffic comes from Europe and the US.
  • Over the course of the last 20 years, the elearning industry grew 900%.
  • Udemy is the most popular online learning platform with over 40 million students.
  • By 2027, the online learning market is expected to reach $370 billion.

Online Education Statistics

Do you remember how things used to be before computers took over schools?

One had to actually write assignments and hand them in during class. Computers had their own space—a lab or perhaps a library—and weren’t allowed out of it.

But then ‘writing’ became ‘typing’, ‘handing in’ became ‘submitting’, and any classroom without a computer became outdated.

Fast forward a few more years, and people now are signing up for online courses left and right, making even classrooms with computers seem outdated.

But is elearning effective?

Let’s see.

1. Only 15% of college students think that elearning isn’t as good as traditional methods.

(Source: Statista)

Actually, many students agree that the online method is more effective than classroom dynamics (41%), whereas 38% believe that both methods are equally good—or equally bad, depending on how you want to look at it.

The fact is that online classes take up significantly less of students’ time. Online learning statistics show that people complete digital programs 60% faster than standard in-classroom courses.

2. Around 73% of students haven’t heard about MOOCs, have you?

(Source: e-student.org)

If not, you should know that MOOCs (aka Massive Open Online Courses) is an excellent website where you can find 3,000+ free programs.

So far, only 5% of the world’s students have completed a whole course on the platform. Still, projections suggest that MOOCs’ market size will surpass $21 billion by 2025.

3. According to elearning statistics, about 65% of Universities agree with the use of Open Educational Resources.

(Source: Statista)

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are learning materials that are under an open license. In other words, these resources don’t operate under copyright restrictions, which means you can use and share them freely, without an ounce of remorse.

(Source: Skill Scouter)

Udemy is number one on the list of the top elearning companies in 2022. Out of all online platforms that specialize in creating content for educational purposes, Udemy is the most popular one with more than 50,000 content creators and over 40 million students.

Teachable follows, boasting three million students.

5. Many Business Schools are planning to keep a hybrid model for the long-term.

(Source: Business Graduate Association)

After elearning became a necessity for institutions around the world, many of them struggled to adapt and, now that they finally conquered it, they’re reluctant to let it go.

A recent elearning study revealed that 62% of Business Schools want their faculty to continue giving online classes. Furthermore, 65% of them saw the benefits of students not coming to campus.

That said, not everything is rosy. For instance, online learning makes it harder to both identify where students’ understanding is lacking and keep the student engaged with the class. Furthermore, 54% of Business Schools’ representatives are concerned about the students having connection issues.

6. Men are more likely to use elearning materials than women.

(Source: Statista)

According to online learning statistics, men are slightly more likely than women to take online courses (16% vs 11%) and use elearning material (25% vs 18%).

But the difference goes beyond gender—age also plays a factor. The older people are, the less likely they are to use elearning resources.

For instance, 46% of individuals in the 16-24 age group use online learning material, which is more than double the users in the 45-54 age group. 

Similarly, 22% of the 25-to-34-year-olds take online courses, whereas only 10% of those older than 55 do so as well.

Elearning Industry Growth

Since the new millennium came around, the industry has been growing nonstop. Specifically, it has grown 900%—which, if you think about it, isn’t all that surprising, considering how seamlessly the Internet has blended into our lives.

The fact that projections for the industry’s growth continue to be quite optimistic probably isn’t all that shocking, either. But let’s see if we can actually surprise you with the following stats on online learning.

7. Coursera saw a 430% increase in enrollments in 2020.

(Source: Coursera)

After lockdowns started, many people found that online courses helped them deal with the pandemic and the restrictions that came with it. For instance, 69 million people signed up on Coursera—an online learning platform that gives people access to courses from various prestigious Universities.

Fun fact: Yale’s The Science of Well-Being was the most popular module on Coursera in 2020. Other widely popular courses were Stanford’s Machine Learning and Harvard’s Mechanical Ventilation for COVID-19.

8. Over 70% of the elearning traffic comes from the US and Europe.

(Source: Skill Scouter)

While it’s true that Europe and the US make up most of the global online education industry, it’s also true that the trend is spreading all over the world.

China, for example, already houses more than 70 online learning institutions. And projections suggest that the Latin American market will surpass $10 billion by 2025.

9. By 2026, the elearning market could reach $370 billion.

(Source: Statista)

In 2019, just before the pandemic hit, the elearning global market was around $101 billion in terms of market size.

So, if projections are correct, those $370 million would mean a 366% growth in less than a decade.

10. Estimations put the mobile learning market size at $80.1 billion by 2027.

(Source: Finances Online)

As of 2020, 70% of associations offered some type of mobile learning, and we can only assume that the number has only increased since then (what with COVID and all).

Fun fact: The US is responsible for at least 31% of mobile learning expenditures worldwide.

Online Education Success Rates

The usefulness of elearning tools goes beyond school limits. It’s actually quite the trend in the workplace. But more than that, it’s something that has proved quite useful for companies worldwide.

Let’s see what online learning statistics have to show.

11. 12% of the people who are taking online courses signed up because their employers encouraged them to do so.

(Source: Statista)

Admittedly, the most popular reason for signing up is because COVID-19 left people with no other option (37%) but work-related reasons don’t fall that far down the list.

Apparently, taking elearning courses is a way for employees to earn rewards and get partnerships.

12. According to 44% of employees, elearning has improved their job performance.

(Source: Statista)

Is elearning more effective than traditional learning, then?

Not exactly.

If you ask employees, the most effective methods are hands-on learning (90%), mentoring (83%), and classroom-training (78%)—but online learning’s effectiveness is nothing to scoff at.

Especially when we consider that many of the items in the list are essentially elearning tools, like videos (57%) or podcasts (35%) or outright virtual instructor-led training (52%).

Fun fact: Zoom saw a 3,000% increase in meeting participants due to the pandemic. 

13. Elearning results in 18% more employee engagement.

(Source: Skill Scouter)

Perhaps this is a consequence of online learning being more accommodating to people’s different learning speeds. According to elearning statistics, 58% of employees feel more comfortable learning new things at home, going over the material at their own pace.

Fun fact: 83% of employees feel more motivated when online learning is game-based.

14. 94% of elearners said that they prefer short modules when it comes to soft-skills training.

(Source: Rapid Learning Institute)

How short is short?

Apparently, 10 minutes tops.

As it is, the majority of elearners (65%) think the typical module presents too much information.

Nevertheless, companies are willing to keep betting on it. Around 70% of organizations are planning to invest more in technology-based learning.

15. Nearly half of Fortune 500 companies rely on virtual resources for employee training.

(Source: elearning Industry)

And it’s no wonder, given that elearning makes employees happier—no, seriously.

Studies on online learning revealed that 51% of HR execs noticed a positive correlation between employee morale and elearning courses. It seems like the more the staff learns, the more heartened they are.

Fun fact: Most employees (94%) feel more inclined to stay with a company that invests in their careers.

16. IBM saved more than $200 million after switching to elearning.

(Source: Shift elearning)

One of the advantages of online learning is that companies can save on costs related to travel, equipment, instructors, hotel rentals, and other expenses related to in-person coaching.

But online training statistics show that elearning can do more for a company’s finances than just reduce costs. If you ask IBM, you get $30 in productivity for every dollar you spend in online training. Plus, according to 42% of the companies surveyed, implementing elearning strategies led to a revenue increase.

Fun fact: elearning courses are eco-friendly. They produce 86% less CO2 emissions per individual and consume 90% less energy than in-person sessions.

Wrap Up

So, in summary, the elearning industry is growing every day and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Between schools, companies, and governmental institutions, elearning’s market size is just getting bigger by the hour.

And, although it has some drawbacks, we at Web Tribunal could make an excellent case based on the aforementioned elearning statistics as to why this is a good thing.

Trends are constantly changing in the elearning industry, but online courses’ continued presence in our lives is something that we can take for granted.

Nick Galov
Nick Galov

Unaware that life beyond the internet exists, Nick is poking servers and control panels, playing with WordPress add-ons, and helping people get the hosting that suits them.