E-Learning Statistics – What They Tell us About Online Learning Today and in the Future 

The world changed in 2019. For the first time in living memory, we had lockdowns and quarantines.  The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we saw the world in many ways.  It also changed the way that adults and children were educated.

E-learning is electronic learning.  It is learning that takes place online or via an electronic device, such as a computer, laptop or cell phone.

Correspondence courses have been around since the 1700s, but the first online courses appeared in 1985.   Since then, the online and e-learning industry has grown in leaps and bounds.

But the COVID-19 pandemic gave the education industry that extra push.

  • New technologies meant that it was easier for more people to offer online courses.
  • The growth in social media meant that education providers – large and small – were able to share information about their courses to a wider, and global, audience.
  • Many face to face, classroom-based education providers were forced to offer e-learning for the first time.
  • Many existing correspondence and online course providers, such as ACS, were able to benefit from their existing courses, skills and knowledge in online learning to the benefit of their students.

Online learning enables many different education providers to now offer courses to students at home.  This benefits many students who cannot or do not want to attend a face-to-face class. It also saves time, travel costs and money (in some cases).

E-learning has therefore grown massively in recent years, before and since COVID.


Statistics on E-Learning

Let’s look at some of the statistics on e-learning.



It is estimated that over 17 million people are currently enrolling on e-learning courses in America along.


The Asian e-learning market was valued at $38.25 billion in 2020 and is estimated to rise to $162 billion by 2030.

  • 13.6 million people in India alone are enrolling on online courses.


The Australian Bureau of Statistics tells us that -

  • 42% of Australians studied a course in the last year. That is around 7.8 million people.
  • 50% of people are now doing work related training online
  • 4 million Australians said that they had done work related online training in the last 12 months and over half said that they had done their training online.
  • Twice as many people are doing work related training online as at four years ago.
  • At the same time, work related training in the classroom between 2016 and 2021 dropped from 69 -37%.


  • 23% of citizens of the European Union aged 16 – 74 were studying online courses in 2021, rising to 27% today.
  • 46% of students in Ireland studied an online course or accessed online learning materials in 2021.
  • 45% of students in Finland and Sweden studied online in 20
  • 98% of universities have moved some classes online.
  • 21% of students in the UK are studying an online course

The Education Industry Worldwide

The e-learning industry overall has increased massively –

  • The e-learning market is currently estimated to be worth $315 billion.
  • There has been a massive increase in the number of students studying online as we have seen by the figures above.
  • Between 2012 to 2019, the number of students studying online/hybrid courses at traditional universities increased by 36%.
  • In 2020, however, it increased by another 92%!

The Future

These figures are interesting, but you may be sitting there thinking – yes, but… it was COVID. We were in lockdown. There was a pandemic. Of course, people started studying online.

This is true. The pandemic did have a massive impact on online learning. But the lockdowns are mostly finished. Life is returning pretty much to normal in most places, but not in e-learning.

E-learning is continuing to grow, and grow, and grow.

So what does this mean for the e-learning industry?

  • It is estimated that the e-learning industry is currently worth $315 billion dollars.
  • Research suggests that by 2026, it will be worth $400 billion and by 2030, a massive, $830 billion.
  • 42% of businesses are already using e-learning to generate more income for their businesses
  • Work-related training is here to stay. It is estimated that the number of employees studying online will increase.

Also consider –

  • Work related, corporate, training requires 40 – 60% less time to complete. This means that employees can study and finish their courses more quickly. There are no travel costs. They can study when and where they want to and finish more quickly. This makes e-learning more effective in terms of time and money.
  • 90% of American businesses now use some form of online learning for their employees.
  • People learning by e-learning tend to retain 60% of the information, compared to 25% of the information in students studying in classroom-based courses.

Therefore, the e-learning market is growing and going to continue to grow globally.

The world is changing, and we are all changing with it.

  • Students need to change. Some struggle with online learning, but others are welcoming e-learning with open arms as a way to study effectively and efficiently.
  • Businesses are using online learning as a way to train their staff effectively and efficiently.
  • Traditional, classroom-based education providers are realising that it is necessary to offer online courses to meet the needs of their students.

But many organisations, such as ACS, have already been here at the forefront of e-learning and online education, developing courses specifically for students who want to study by e-learning.

  • Do you want to expand the income your business is earning?
  • Do you want to start your own online school?
  • Do you want to be part of the global growth of e-learning?

Then get in touch with us and find out ACS Distance Education

  • A global leader in online education
  • A well-established and respected online education provider
  • ACS Distance Education is the education provider that can offer YOU the opportunity to ride the waves with a wide range of great courses, written and developed by experts in online education!

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What our clients say

We've been working with ACS over the course of the last three years. Being able to mix and match content to suit our students' needs has been extremely useful. With their material in combination with our own in house tutor service we have been able to provide a complete online learning service which has helped us expand our student cohort and advance our teaching techniques! We are thankful that we have had them as a partner throughout our time in the industry and look forward to many more years of growth together.

Jason T - Director, ACS Partner College (Affiliate)

ACS Distance Education have been fantastic to work with over our first 12 months as a start-up online short education affiliate.
They provided immense support in the foundation period ensuring we setup the best support mechanisms for students and engaging quality tutors.
ACS have continued to be receptive to feedback and promptly moved to make improvements wherever required.

David C - Director, ACS Partner College (Affiliate)

Having access to ACS' extensive library of digitalised education content has allowed us to scale our business quickly and efficiently. Their LMS is easy to access and manage, whilst also providing the consumer (student) with a professional and easy to use experience. John and Kate have always been a pleasure to work with and are quick to provide support when it is required."

Andrew O - Director, ACS Partner College (Affiliate)

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