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Training industry in the U.S. - statistics & facts

The training industry in the Unites States includes both internal and external resources engaged by companies to provide training to their staff, so that their staff have the specific skills they need to perform their job. Such skills can relate to areas such as the use of internal systems, legal compliance requirements, and general company policies and processes. In this respect training is to be distinguished from workplace learning, which is the broader goal of absorbing information so as to generally improve skills and abilities. Learning is therefore more focused on more how to handle future situations whose exact details cannot be foreseen, whereas training is directed at teaching people the specific skill set needed to perform a range of predefined tasks.

The training market in North America recorded a significant growth in the last years

In 2020, the overall size of the North American training market was estimated at 165.3 billion U.S. dollars. While the market size of this industry recorded a small decrease in 2020, the years prior to 2019 saw significant growth, with the overall market size growing from 110 billion U.S. dollars in 2009 to a peak of about 170 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. Spending on training in the United States is strongly skewed in favor of internal resources. In 2020, 42.4 billion U.S. dollars were spent on internal training staff, compared to 10.7 billion U.S. dollars on externally provided products and services. Of the areas outsourced, the most common appear to be content creation, learning management system hosting, and instruction and facilitation.

Online learning methods and training represent the latest trend in this industry

The two most common training methods used in the United States in 2020 were instructor-led classrooms, or a blended approach combining instructor-led classrooms with some form of technology. The area which has the highest adoption of online training is compliance training, with 42 percent of companies reporting that their compliance training is all online. Conversely, the areas with the lowest adoption are executive development, management and supervisory training and sales training. As of November 2020, 41 percent of companies in the U.S. expected to increase their spending on learning management systems.


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