10 Online Education Statistics that will Set the Tone in 2024

Updated on February 26, 2023
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Written by
Andrea Mercado
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Layla Varela
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Fact-checked by
David Mercado
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Since 2020 and the need to move all activities to the virtual world, online education has gained more followers. That year alone, for example, at least 17.3 million Americans enrolled in online courses, making the U.S. the country with the highest consumption of online education.

💡 Online Education Statistics — Highlights

  • At least 2 out of 3 people spend time learning or through short-video formats every month.
  • 57% of digital content consumers say they prefer to learn something online as long as they can do it from their mobile.
  • 70% of the eLearning market concentrates in the United States and Europe.
  • 52% of HR leaders believe employees will increasingly earn credentials through online education.
  • In 2022 the number of students enrolled in online education courses grew by 21% compared to previous years.
  • 48% of venture capital investments go to EdTech solutions oriented to the workforce education segment.
  • Corporate eLearning may grow 15% annually through 2026.
  • The search for software and IT courses has increased to 3600%, which is the most demanded e-Learning segment.
  • The age group with the most significant increase in online education usage was 35-44.
  • 80% of U.S. workers find game-based learning a more engaging way to acquire knowledge.

Whether it is more affordable or because it allows greater flexibility, the truth is, when it comes to learning, digital tools have revolutionized teaching methodologies to a point where students have become active players in their education and job preparation.

To know the benefits of implementing the latest e-learning trends in times of high demand for skills in the market, pay attention to these 10 online education statistics that will set the tone in 2024.  

At least 2 out of 3 people spend time learning or through short-video formats every month

Today short video consumption is increasingly catching audiences' attention like Generation Z, making microlearning look promising in 2024 for online education.

According to a study by Newswire published earlier this year, at least two-thirds of Internet users between the ages of 18 and 27 spend some time each month learning or studying something new through platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.

Similar to the effect of entertainment content, short lessons designed for these channels keep learners engaged by requiring them to retain valuable information quickly without overwhelming them.

57% of digital content consumers say they prefer to learn something online as long as they can do it from their mobile

In the most recent survey that Thinkfic made to 2000 Internet users, 68% said they prefer to access their phones when consuming digital content. 

However, when it comes to learning something online, the percentage, although reduced still significant because 57% said that even in that case, they prefer to consume educational content also from their mobile than from a pc. 

The above scenario has made mobile e-learning a trending market that just in 2022 had grown around $50 billion.

70% of the eLearning market concentrates in the United States and Europe

Asia-Pacific has been adding more students to virtual education (only in 2020, there were 28 million new enrollees in different courses), but the U.S. still leads the global eLearning market. In 2021, 27% of its population between the ages of 16 and 74 enrolled in some online program.

According to the World Economic Forum, as of the same year, India was the second country with the most learners globally (13.6 million), followed by Mexico (4.8 million) and Canada (2.4 million).

52% of HR leaders believe employees will increasingly earn credentials through online education

Before the pandemic, it was common for someone to hesitate between traditional and virtual education. However, in a time when the world has normalized remote work, online education is also increasingly legitimized. 

Even in 2018, a Northeastern University study revealed that 52% of HR leaders believed that employees would increasingly obtain credentials thanks to online education, and 61% had already accepted the type of credentials obtained through that format as valid as those obtained in person.

In 2022 the number of students enrolled in online education courses grew by 21% compared to previous years

2020 was a year that served to legitimize online learning processes. With the global lockdown caused by the pandemic, that year alone, a third of undergraduates in the U.S. took classes exclusively online, making taking online courses a trend that has been on the rise for 14 consecutive years.

In 2022 the scenario was similar. According to the National Center for Education, the number of online course enrollees in that year grew by 21% in the U.S. This trend was particularly evident in higher education, where virtual program enrollment increased 26% over previous years.

48% of venture capital investments go to EdTech solutions oriented to the workforce education segment

With a changing reality and significant daily social, environmental, and technological challenges, the potential and active workforce needs to be increasingly trained with skills that will keep them relevant. 

Even a year before the pandemic, companies claimed training their employees online represented an income, with a profit margin of around 24%. 

According to Forbes, in 2020 alone, 48% of venture capital investments were made in corporate online education solutions. The trend continues, as 36 EdTech unicorns were born globally in 2022.

Corporate eLearning may grow 15% annually through 2026

Corporate eLearning is expected to be one of the most popular segments of the EdTech industry, to the point that, by 2026, Forbes forecasts that it alone will have a market size of $50 billion.

That growth is due to the countries that consume the most and have been increasing their virtual students. 

Until 2021, Paraguay led that list of countries with a 98% growth (110 k new students), followed by Lebanon with 97% (158 k new students) and the Philippines with 85% (1.3 million new students).

The search for software and technology courses has increased to 3600%, which is the most demanded e-Learning segment

According to the Institute of the Future, 85% of jobs in 2031 haven’t been invented yet. With AIs rising, the workforce has to be technologically trained to a level where they can compete or at least complement and empower themselves with them. 

That scenario reflects in demand for software and technology development courses, which between 2019 and 2021 increased in searches by at least 3600%. 

According to a study by Thinkfic, in the second place of the demanded segments is health and fitness knowledge (2650%), and in third place, entertainment, media, and arts with a 2500% increase in its search. 

The age group with the most significant increase in online education usage was 35-44

According to a report by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the age group with the largest increase in enrollment for virtual courses in 2022 was 35-44 years, with a growth of 35% in their online’s registration. 

This trend can respond to the need for those individuals to upskill and reskill themselves in the rapidly changing job market and the convenience and flexibility offered by online education platforms. 

80% of U.S. workers find game-based learning a more engaging way to acquire knowledge

Game-based learning is a teaching style where game logic is used in a non-game environment to engage a learner's attention better. 

This methodology has added more followers to the varied offer of online courses, as 67% of the students in the U.S. surveyed by Taylor and Francis say they prefer gamified material.

This trend is also reflected in corporate online education, as 80% of American workers find game-based learning a more attractive to acquire knowledge.

Conclusions

  • The trend of online course enrollment is expected to keep growing in 2024, not only because of the flexibility in time management that it means to the student but also because even HR leaders are validating online education, making it comparable to traditional education. 
  • In times when the attention of internet users is going to fast-to-consume content, eLearning will present new challenges for students, educators, and the job market. 
  • As the demand for online education continues to grow, there will be an increased need for educators to deliver online courses effectively and for students to adapt to the unique demands of virtual learning.
Andrea Mercado is a tech-focused journalist and copywriter with over 5 years of experience covering innovation, edtech, AI, and internet trends across media outlets. She is passionate about how technology can democratize access to education and is an avid learner when it comes to emerging tech like AI. Her articles and webinars help readers stay informed on the latest tech developments.
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