The Worldwide Corporate eLearning Market Is on Course to Exceed $23 Billion by 2004, IDC Says

FRAMINGHAM, MA – FEBRUARY 27, 2001 – The future of corporate elearning looks extremely bright. According to IDC, worldwide revenues will graduate beyond the $23 billion mark by 2004 – extraordinary considering the market was less than $2 billion at yearend 1999.


"Vendors in the elearning market are proving to be quick studies. By improving content and resolving localization issues, they are successfully overcoming corporations’ reluctance to use elearning," said Cushing Anderson, program manager for IDC's Corporate eLearning research. "Increasing Internet usage, faster, more reliable connections, and decreasing telecommunications costs will also contribute to the market's growth."

While the worldwide market has much potential, IDC cautions vendors will need to customize their approach by region to capitalize on it. "Significant regional differences exist in terms of opportunities, market drivers and inhibitors, competition, and mix of content demand. Vendors who use a one-size-fits-all approach will have trouble succeeding in the corporate elearning market," Anderson warned.

North America represents the largest opportunity for corporate elearning. It will account for two-thirds of worldwide revenues through 2004. Western Europe will be the fastest-growing market, increasing its revenues at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 97% from 1999 to 2004. In comparison, revenues in the worldwide market will increase at a CAGR of 69%.

IDC predicts a significant shift will occur in content demand. In 2000, IT content accounted for 72% of worldwide demand. By 2004, however, non-IT content will be the larger market, accounting for over 54% of revenues.

"IT training vendors have been the driving force behind elearning so it's not surprising that IT training content is now more popular than non-IT content," Anderson said. "However, a shift toward non-IT content will occur as existing non-IT courseware is reformatted for the Web, non-IT vendors adopt a Web-first training delivery strategy, and IT training vendors enter the non-IT market."

Information like the above can be found in IDC's new bulletin Worldwide Corporate eLearning Market Forecast and Analysis, 1999-2004 (IDC #B23904). This bulletin analyzes opportunity in the worldwide corporate elearning market. Forecasts are provided through 2004 segmented by region and content type. The bulletin carefully examines the elearning market by region and identifies regional differences in terms of trends, market drivers, market inhibitors, competitive landscape, and the training content mix. To purchase this bulletin, contact Jim Nagle at 1-800-343-4952, extension 4549, or at

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. 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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