The Future of the Training Industry: Findings from the 2020 Industry Benchmark Report
The Industry Benchmark Report for 2020 was published in December and involves the participation of more survey respondents than ever before. Given that the data for the report was collected after the start of the first national lockdown in March 2020, this year’s benchmark report offers a temperature check for providers, capturing the thoughts and feelings on how the current crisis will continue to affect the training industry.
The benchmark report also outlines the major trends shaping the industry, using data collected from previous reports over the past four years to predict the direction that training will be moving in this year. For your ease, the CourseSight Team has summarised the key takeaways of these trends and what they mean for training providers looking to stay competitive in 2021.
1. Rise of Online and Virtual Reality Learning
This probably won’t strike you as much of a surprise, but the particularly interesting point here is that this trend is not entirely a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Even back in 2016, 33% of providers said they planned to move towards online learning in the next 12-month period. This is likely due to the ease of managing training online, the reduction in traditional costs associated with face-to-face training, and the possibility for automated processes, reducing the burden of administration internally. Perhaps even more appealing than these initial advantages of online learning though is the potential to widen your market, opening up your training to a potentially international audience.
2. Clear Move towards E-Learning and Micro Learning
Similarly, the rise of e-learning is also likely to be built on the possibility to reduce costs for providers and the capacity to access a much wider market. As you can see in the graph below, almost 70% of respondents intend to focus on e-Learning and 56% on a blended approach in the next 12 months. This conveys the direction the industry is moving in, being the only two areas in which more people are planning on moving to. The rise of micro-learning is tightly linked to e-learning and the convenience with which people can now complete required training in their own time, whenever best suits them. Generally speaking, as people are busier now on a day-to-day basis than ever, the option of micro-learning training offers a manageable and accessible solution. It so much more efficient for essential staff required to undertake refresher training every year or so and is also much more cost-effective for both learners and providers.
It’s also worth mentioning that most respondents in the 21% who ticked the ‘Other’ option on the survey, specified this meant a move towards ‘Live Online Training’, ‘Virtual Training’ and ‘Remote Training’, or other variations of the same theme.
3. Casting Aside Outdated Spreadsheets
The final major trend that the 2020 Industry Benchmark Report highlighted was the move away from outdated modes of managing training. The benefits of using a training management system (TMS) to process course bookings, schedule courses, arrange trainers and venues as well as promote new training courses are shown to decisively outweigh the administrative effort required to execute these tasks without using training management software.
The 2020 Industry Benchmark Report clearly demonstrates the direction in which the training industry is moving. The pandemic has accelerated the transition online by forcing the industry to go fully virtual, necessitating a sudden move to distance and virtual learning as a result of various national and local lockdowns. It is without question that online learning is the future. Not only because of the manifold benefits to providers, but because it is a way through which to ensure education remains accessible and available to all.