The Transformative Potential of Online Learning: 55 Powerful Statistics

Modern learning and development has expanded its reach beyond the traditional classroom environment. Most organisations and educational institutions are moving away from face-to-face training. At least that’s what online learning statistics tell us. 

Some are supplementing their classroom-based training interventions with digital solutions to create an effective blended learning approach, while others are seeking a fully digitalised experience. 

As a result, the adoption of online learning and learning management systems (LMS) is becoming increasingly popular. 

COVID-19 has fast-tracked the growth as lockdowns and social distancing measures have required new innovative approaches to education and training.

Now more than ever, companies need to maximise their human capital by offering the right training at the right time for the right people. 

62% of organisations affected by changes due to COVID-19 stated that they will spend more on training in 2021. Therefore, it is clear that the need to adapt and thrive in this new environment is pressing for many organisations!

Now, the push towards digital transformation is not just a beneficial addition, but an existential requirement

For those of you who are evaluating online learning solutions, you’ve come to the right place! We have gathered 55 online learning industry statistics that show the power of eLearning and efficient learning technology solutions. If these don’t convince the most reluctant leaders, we don’t know what will!

Online Learning Industry

The internet has gradually become more easily accessible all over the world. As a result, the online learning market has seen impressive growth over the past 20 years. Last year we saw an increased need for eLearning after the COVID-19 outbreak, and the pandemic continues to shape the industry. So, let’s take a look at the current online learning industry statistics!

1. Let’s start with a no-brainer! 94% of employees say that they would be more willing to stay in a corporation that invests into employee training and development. That alone emphasises the importance of an efficient approach to L&D. 

2. In 2019, the global eLearning market reached $101 billion. By 2026, the total market is forecasted to grow exponentially, reaching over $370 billion. The online learning industry is not showing any signs of slowing down! 

3. Online learning is the quickest growing market in the education industry with a whopping 900% growth rate since 2000

4. And mobile learning is one of the fastest-growing markets within the eLearning industry, with an annual growth of 23%.

5. In 1995, just 4% of corporations used online learning. Nowadays, 90% of organisations use some form of eLearning in their training. 

6. European EdTech companies saw a 540% increase in venture capital investments between 2014 and 2018. The investment grew from $70 million to $379 million. See? Investors have long since begun to realise the importance of online learning. 

7. Asia Pacific has the highest eLearning growth rate, with more than 30% annual growth. Similarly, the LMS market size in Asia Pacific is expected to increase at a 34.2% CAGR

8. The US and Europe markets account for more than 70% of the current global online learning industry.

9. For the third year in a row, 37% of L&D professional are expecting to increase their budget. 57% of these individuals have planned to spend more on online learning. 

10. Fosway’s Survey from 2020 shows that 15% of organisations thought their digital transformation of learning was complete. In 2018, the figure was only 4%. 

11. In addition, in 2018, 4% of businesses stated that converting to digital training did not apply to their organisation. By 2020, the figure was 0%.

12. While we care about you and your learners, we also care about our planet! Online learning can cut energy consumption by 90%. On top of that, eLearning produces 85% fewer CO2 emissions per person. Amazing, huh!Online learning industry is expected to reach $370 billion by 2026

Online Learning Vs Classroom Learning

The popularity of online learning has skyrocketed. It has easily become the most attractive form of distance education. As a result, more and more organisations and institutions are offering some form of eLearning. 

Meanwhile, some leaders and decision-makers are still objecting to online learning due to common misconceptions about its price and effectiveness. As such, we have collected some statistics comparing online and classroom learning!

13. IBM found that their employees learned 5x more material using online learning techniques compared to using offline learning methods.

14. Online learning takes 40% to 60% less employee time than traditional face-to-face learning. This reduces training costs, and employees can get back to their work tasks quicker. A win-win, if you ask us!

15. Online learning may increase retention rates by as much as 60% compared to the 8-10% retention rate of typical classroom training. 

16. The biggest motivators for employees to choose online learning (rather than traditional classroom-based learning interventions) are individual learning pace (95%) and minimised travelling (84%).

17. 85% of learners say that their online learning experience was better, or at least equally as satisfactory, as their traditional face-to-face classes. 

18. 57% of L&D professionals spend more time with online learning than they did three years ago. Vice versa, 37% of them report spending less time with instructor-led training than they did three years ago.Learners can learn 5 times more when using microlearning


A Learning Management System (LMS), like our Growth Engineering LMS, is an online software solution used to support employee training. An LMS helps you to develop and share online learning material effortlessly. And what is more, it’s useful for anyone with a hunger to learn! Want to see the power of an engaging LMS? Then keep on reading!

19. An estimated 73.8 million people use learning management systems. And in our opinion, you should be one of them!

20. The global LMS industry has experienced annual growth of 19.1%. As a result, the market is expected to reach $29 billion by 2026

21. 93% of L&D professionals want to bring live online learning, such as virtual classrooms, into their LMS. 

22. 58% of L&D professionals want to introduce social learning to their online learning technologies. We have seen the benefits of social learning, and that’s why we have added various social elements into our products.

23. In fact, online learning should help to bring us together. We encourage knowledge sharing and building a learning community. In 2020, Growth Engineering Learning App users posted to their social feed 9 times per week

24. Functionality was chosen by 39% as the most significant priority when selecting a new LMS. The other considerations focused on reliability (20%), training support (17%) as well as price (12%). 

25. Learning management systems have been a vital asset in fighting against Coronavirus! For example, Capterra found that nearly 74% of learners feel that their LMS has had a positive impact on satisfaction, productivity and teaching during COVID-19. 

26. Poor usability (53%) and high cost (44%) were seen as the biggest factors that cause learning leaders to seek out a new and improved learning management system. 

27. The majority (51%) of those surveyed by Capterra said that they demoed 1-2 products before making a decision. Only 3% said they purchased an LMS without demoing the product. That’s still 3% too many in our opinion! 

28. 23% of large companies incorporate VR, 11% use AR, and 9% AI technology in their learning technologies. In contrast, only 5% or less of small corporations incorporate similar methods.

29. Engaging learning management systems help to build your learners’ skill sets! In fact, 98% of EE’s employees agreed that their digital skills had improved after introducing our learning management system, Growth Engineering LMS, to the organisation.


Microlearning breaks hefty learning interventions into smaller chunks. The smaller units are easier to consume as learners can explore the material at their own convenience and pace. 

Got a spare five minutes while waiting for a meeting to start? Great! That’s all the time you need to complete a microlearning unit. In the end, these small efforts will make a significant impact!

We already know how powerful microlearning can be, but check these stats for yourself!

30. How much beneficial training could you get done in under 30 minutes? On average, employees can dedicate just 1% of their workweek to professional development. That 1% is the equivalent of 24 minutes a week

31. According to the Forgetting Curve introduced by German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, we forget a whopping 90% of what we study within 7 days if we don’t try to retain the information!

32. Research shows that microlearning is 17% more effective in transferring knowledge compared to traditional classroom training. 

33. What’s more, bite-sized content has been shown to increase information retention by 20%. As such, microlearning is the key to maximise training time and effectiveness. 

34. People also prefer learning in short bursts. 58% of employees said they would be more likely to do online training if the content was broken into smaller chunks. 

35. One of our Fortune 500 customers saw the impact of microlearning first-hand when they introduced our mobile app solution, Growth Engineering Learning App. Initially, their target was to encourage spending 20 minutes on the app a month. The mind-blowing results show that the actual average reached 2 hours and 23 minutes.

36. In 2020, we saw impressive mobile app usage overall! Not only did every user complete 4 training units per week, but also logged into the platform 7 times a day!

37. According to Dr Jimenez, microlearning can cut development costs by 50%. On top of that, it can increase the speed of development by 300%. Impressive!

38. Microlearning now accounts for more than 60% of all online learning experiences. That alone speaks for itself!

GamificationGamification can boost learner engagement by 60%

Gamification means taking elements of game playing and applying them to other contexts, such as L&D. Our mission here at Growth Engineering is to fight against dull online learning, and gamification is one of our favourite allies!

Gamification brings the joy back into online learning by adding fun and engaging game elements. Still wondering how effective it can actually be? The following statistics show how gamification can boost online learning!

39. 78% of employees feel that they would be more prone to work for a company that uses gamification in the recruitment process.

40. 89% of employees estimate that they would get better results if their work were more game-like. And can you blame them?! Playing games is fun — and imagine getting improved learning outcomes at the same time. 

41. Gamification also has a big impact on our productivity! 72% of employees believe that gamification motivates them to work harder. 

42. T-Mobile, for instance, learned how gamification can increase employee engagement. Just six weeks after introducing gamification elements, T-Mobile awarded 187,000 achievement badges to their learners! Badges, amongst other features, help you to make an awesome learning game

43. Over 30% of L&D leaders wanted to incorporate games as well as simulations into their online learning programmes by 2021. With our Growth Engineering Authoring Tool, you can effortlessly transform your microunits into a gamified learning adventure. 

44. 26% of learners wish their LMS had gamified elements. That’s more than one in four users!

45. That doesn’t come as a shock since 95% of employees say they enjoy using gamified systems.

46. It takes 400 repetitions to make a new synapse in the brain. But did you know that gamification can reduce the needed iterations to 20?

47. So, it is no surprise that gamification can boost learner engagement by up to 60%!

Online Learning & Business Impact

Now you know more about the online learning statistics, so let’s look into the impact eLearning can have for your business! Investment in an innovative LMS can result in better productivity, higher employee engagement and reduced training costs. 

However, it is worth noting that, like with most products, no one solution fits all. That’s why our learning technologies are fully customisable to suit your business objectives!Every dollar invested in online training results in $30 in productivity

48. More than 40% of Fortune 500 companies use online learning regularly as part of their training approach. 

49. Corporate eLearning can increase engagement by as much as 18%! AstraZeneca, an international pharmaceutical company, needed to teach 500 sales employees about a new release. 95% of their learners completed all available training modules!

50. Hendrick Automotive Group, the largest privately owned automotive dealership in the US, also saw amazing engagement after replacing their old fashioned LMS with our engagement-focused platform. As a result, the organisation saw over 750,000 visits on the learning management system in just eight months.

51. And another client of ours saw over £16 million in retail sales growth after introducing a new learning campaign!

52. In fact, 42% of organisations have experienced an increase in income after introducing eLearning to their workplace L&D! Are you convinced yet?

53. IBM also studied the value of workplace training, and found that every dollar invested in online training results in $30 in productivity, as workers learn quicker and can resume to work faster. Consequently, after moving to online learning, IBM saved nearly $200 million!

54. So, it comes as no surprise that 72% of organisations believe that using online learning creates a competitive advantage for the business.

55. And lastly, 94% of learners in the LinkedIn Learning Report stated that they see career benefits after taking more time to learn. That alone is a huge motivator for many of us!

Final Words

We see online learning as the future. Like these 55 online learning statistics show, the industry has experienced an immense growth period in the last 20 years. More importantly, the market is not showing any signs of slowing down! As such, in the right hands, these new engaging learning technologies can create a meaningful business impact. 

Want to learn more about how our learning technology solutions can improve your employee training and help you to achieve your organisational goals? Or perhaps you are after similar online learning success that these statistics manifest?

Growth Engineering LMS is our very own award-winning learning management system that uses the power of engagement, behavioural science and learning best practice to drive results. Book a demo now!

Unlimited Learner Engagement on
The Impact Suite

Tired of learning technology that doesn’t make a difference? Fret no more! Our Impact Suite combines three multi-award-winning learning solutions with expertise from the Growth Engineering team.

Like What You're Reading? Join the Growth Squad!

Subscribe now to receive exclusive access to our weekly newsletter. It’s packed full of the best L&D research, analysis and downloadable resources.

Like What You're Reading? Join the Growth Squad!

Subscribe now to receive exclusive access to our weekly newsletter. It’s packed full of the best L&D research, analysis and downloadable resources.


Unlock The World’s Most Impactful L&D Resources!

Our unrivalled treasure trove of white papers, research, tip sheets, infographics and more gives you all the L&D knowledge you need to start making an impact today. Happy exploring!

We are always working to improve your experience on our website. Part of this involves using cookies to collect data for statistics and personalization. Further information can be found in our Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy.