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March 30, 2016

The online training market is skyrocketing

In 2015, the online training market was on its way to make 50 billions USD worldwide, and should reach 51,5 billions this year.

The market for distance education which englobes online training courses, and other methods such as the sale of audio CDs and training by phone is on its way to make around 107 billions USD.

The numbers are just incredible!

In this article, we are going to explore the market and its evolution in different parts of the world. With concrete examples from entrepreneurs and modern companies that have thrived thanks to online training.

North America

  • 27,1 billions (53%)
  • 4,4% annual growth

The largest and most mature market in the world. In the United-States, an online training tool is used in 75% of businesses of all kinds and sizes. The larger the company, the more it will tend to include online training in its process.

A strong trend is the upsurge in the use of video material, a lot of independant web entrepreneurs are creating, sharing and selling online training courses.


  • 11,5 billions (22%)
  • 17,3% annual growth

The second biggest market is also the one with the most important growth. If they keep going, they should catch up with the North American market in less than 10 years.

Mobile use is a lot more important and the context is quite different than ours. For example, student tutoring after school is quite popular and is usually done online.

This reality leads to interesting stories, such as the one of the “Rock-Star” South Korean teacher who makes over 4 millions dollars per year thanks to the sale of his online tutoring videos.

Western Europe

  • 8,1 billions (16%)
  • 5,8% annual growth

The third largest market in the world is small yet just has developed than the one in Northern America.

Europeans have a tendency to use third party subcontractors to create the content of online courses (such as educational consultants), whereas we are stronger when it comes to creating the content in-house.

Markets to monitor

South America

  • 1,4 billions (3%)
  • 14,6% annual growth

Eastern Europe

  • 1,2 billions (2%)
  • 16,9% annual growth

Middle East

  • 560 millions (1%)
  • 8,2% annual growth


  • 512 millions (1%)
  • 15,2% annual growth

Online broadcast according to the types of training

The different types of training are key elements that can completely change the rate and popularity of an online broadcast. Some training courses work well and seem to be made for the web, while it can be difficult for others:

The best types of training targeted for the web are the mandatory continuous education programs linked to any professional orders that constantly need to renew themselves in order to comply with new rules and regulations.

Campus Finance is a good example. Financial advisors have to get a certain amount of financial and insurance PDU every year in order to keep their titles and their right to practice.

It’s not surprising that the training courses that do not do well online are the ones who talk about the human side of things. At the very bottom, we can find executive development, closely followed by interpersonal skills and customer service training.