IT Training and Business Skills Training Will Reach Parity in 2004, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – AUGUST 2, 2000 – The business skills training market has long followed in the footsteps of the IT training market, but now it is ready to blaze its own trail. According to IDC, the business skills training market is about to embark on a high-growth path. From under $7.6 billion in 1999, its revenues will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 17% and exceed $16.8 billion in 2004. During that same time frame, the IT training market will increase its revenues at a CAGR of 12% from $9.4 billion to the same $16.8 billion figure.


"There are a few factors driving growth of business skills training," said Cushing Anderson, manager of IDC's Corporate eLearning research program. "The biggest reason is probably that there is a trend toward outsourcing non-core business functions so companies can focus more on their core competencies. Also, the market is seeing a lot more competition, which is generating better training solutions, more product and service offerings, and a reduced cost of delivery of training content and other services."

Along with growing, the business skills training market is shifting from instructor-led training and text-based training toward a technology-based delivery of training. In 1998, instructor-led training accounted for 77% of the market, but in 2004 it will account for only 35%. "This shift toward technology-based training is happening because of the need for a broader range of content for a more dispersed workforce," Anderson said.

eLearning, training over the Internet, is fast becoming customers' preference for business skills training because of its cost effectiveness, convenience, and flexibility. However, while customers are quick to support a move toward elearning, for vendors, the change isn't so easy. It is forcing them to adjust their business strategies. For example, they will need a wider scope of services and delivery options to remain competitive, and they will need to develop learning management capabilities.

Nevertheless, IDC believes the process of implementing an elearning strategy will be well worth it. "While training vendors following an elearning path will encounter tough decisions and fierce competition, their rewards will be great," Anderson said.

The above information comes from IDC's recent report, U.S. Corporate Business Skills Training Market Forecast and Analysis, 1999-2004 (IDC #B22251). This report forecasts revenues in the market through 2004 by delivery segment. It discusses factors driving growth in the market and strategic and tactical challenges facing business skills training vendors. It identifies business skill courses with the greatest enrollment and predicts which content areas will see the most demand through 2004. The report also discusses major obstacles to elearning adoption. To purchase the report, contact Jim Nagle at 1-800-343-4952 at extension 4549 or at

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 500 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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