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Online Education and e-Learning Statistics

Last updated 8th Aug 2022

Technology has transformed how students are getting educated at all age levels. The shift to e-learning has been fast in recent years partly because of the pandemic. It is a great option for students that are living remotely or there is a lack of teachers locally.

On this page, we have grouped the online education statistics into different categories. Therefore, you can quickly find the ones you are looking for. We have made an effort to find the most interesting statistics that reveal different aspects of how the education industry is changing. Also, you should read to the very end to find answers to commonly asked questions.

General e-Learning statistics

Let us turn our attention to some general e-learning statistics that will help you appreciate the state of the industry. The relatively new type of learning is transforming the way students receive their education. These statistics will help you appreciate how this is happening.

Up to 73%of students are not aware of Massive Open Online courses (MOOCs)

This statistic indicates that many students aren’t aware of the online courses available to them. A better job of advertising the courses worldwide is required so that students globally understand their options. MOOCs are low cost courses that are of a world-class standard. These courses can even out the planning fields between students from wealthy families and those with low or middle income parents.

Source: Statista

$2.59 billion was spent by the US government to buy e-learning products

The US government invests a lot of money in training its employees and e-learning presents cost-effective opportunities. The increase in e-learning spending is a good use of taxpayer money to improve public services across the board. This statistic represented the spending in 2019 and it could grow as the industry matures.

Source: E Learning Industry

22 of the top 25 universities are offering free e-learning courses

Universities are the beacons of education across the country, so if they are offering e-learning courses, then it is here to stay. The free courses offered by universities allow underprivileged students to compete in marketplaces by getting an education without paying money. However, the quality and recognition of these courses has to improve so they do not create disadvantages during company hiring processes.

Source: Mordor

50% of elementary school students share that using technology is their favourite method of e-learning

Young students enjoy technology when studying, indicating that they will continue to use e-learning throughout other periods of their lives. This culture of e-learning from a young age could increase the adoption rate of the format in the future. Face-to-face learning is important for young students because they are learning many things such as social cues.

Source: Tomorrow

The number of students currently studying fully online is at 3 million

Many students currently studying online do so in a hybrid format, where some is done digitally and the other portion in-person. However, with 3 million people taking their studies 100% online, this shows it can be done. In the future, the number and percentage of people that are studying fully online may increase.

Source: EdSurge

For 86% of graduates the cost of e-learning was worth it in the value provided

This data indicates the graduates who studied with e-learning managed to get the value back and even got more out of it than they paid. This means that e-learning is a good investment of your money. The job and career opportunities it affords can be life-changing. However, it depends on the course that you take and the available positions in the marketplace.

Source: Learning House

41.6% graduate students who graduate from fully completed online courses are 30+

A significant section of graduates is above 30 years of age. This indicates that there is demand for online education not only for young students but older ones too. This might be because adults have commitments such as kids or day jobs. Therefore, they can take advantage of the flexibility that online courses provide.

Source: NCES

Online course tasks are completed with mobile devices by 67% of students

Mobile devices are always developing and they are now fast and responsive enough to provide excellent opportunities for finishing online course tasks. This means students can be out and about while getting their education. It is also flexible because they do not need to carry around a laptop everywhere they go. Mobile devices can store a lot of data with SD cards, so courses can be accessed without an internet connection if they are saved to the device.

Source: Learning House

44% of students have a MOOCs postgraduate degree

The large number of students with MOOCs degrees shows that e-learning is commonplace. As more postgraduates have e-learning degrees, then they will begin to be more widely accepted by employers. The stigma behind e-learning will go away, allowing students to have more control over how they choose to study.

Source: UK Gov

5x more knowledge is retained using e-learning compared to traditional means

This statistic indicates that e-learning is a significantly more productive way of learning than sitting in a classroom. This might be because the courses students take online are delivered in a way that they find easy to digest. Also, the amazing choice of online courses means that students are likely to enjoy their courses and therefore try harder to learn the material.

Source: E Learning Industry

During the last 12 months around 49% of students studied using e-learning

The e-learning industry has been widely accepted by students, parents and established schools. Therefore, almost half of all students have taken part in e-learning. The adoption rate of studying online has also increased during the last year due to the pandemic. It provided an alternative for students that could not attend class if they tested positive for the virus or regulations meant schools had to briefly close.

Source: E Learning Industry

Trend Statistics That Indicate the Future of E-learning

The statistics in this section offer insight into where e-learning is going as an industry. This will help you to determine the expected growth and how it might change during the next few years. As technology improves and the culture changes, the explosion of interest in e-learning may continue to gain momentum.

E-learning is the fastest growing sector of the education industry, up 900% since 2000

It is unsurprising that e-learning is the fastest-growing segment of the education industry. This is true of most industries since technology-based sectors have seen the most development. You can expect a solid growth rate to continue until most people across all walks of life adopt the e-learning format for its advantages. Also, the annual growth of the mobile e-learning sector is 23%.

Source: KPMG

Udemy has shared that they have 295 million enrolments

In 2010, Udemy launched its online courses to deliver education across a wide range of topics. More acutely, it is a courses marketplace where students buy courses from other users who upload them. A large number of concurrent users mean there is a huge demand for online courses. This company has been around for 10 years and is only growing in size, which says something about the demand for e-learning.

Source: Udemy

Coursera shared that over 2,300 business and 49 million users are taking their courses

Coursera is another popular online courses service that has a large user base. They provide a combination of paid and free courses. Therefore, students with no e-learning experience can see what the fuss is about without spending money. They offer world-recognized certificates, so taking Coursera courses can help make a career progression.

Source: Coursera blog

The number of students taking an online course in 2008 was 16.5% while in 2016 it is 45.6%

The number of students that have taken an online course has almost tripled in under a decade. This statistic is another example of the upward trend for e-learning. The improvement of internet-related technologies and hardware has provided access to e-learning to more students over this period.

Source: NCES

By 2026, the e-learning market will be worth around $370 billion

This projected growth indicates that e-learning will continue to gain popularity. The advantages of e-learning are causing many households to re-examine how kids will receive their education. Also, college students enjoy the freedom of movement online courses provide, so committing to a single campus is less attractive than it used to be.

Source: Statista

Company E-learning Statistics

Now let us turn our attention to the statistics highlighting how businesses take advantage of the e-learning trend. These statistics underline how companies spend money in this sector and their attitude towards this new format of educating their employees. The spending by companies is increasing as the advantages of e-learning are giving businesses an edge in employee training.

Companies share that their 2nd most important training method is e-learning

This statistic reveals that companies deem e-learning to be one of the most important methods of educating their employees. The advantages of e-learning for business includes lower costs, speed of bringing employees up to speed, and scalability. Therefore, an increasing number of in-house mentors are getting discarded for online learning setups.

Source: Shift Elearning

Every dollar spent on e-learning for employees they improve in productivity by $30

Companies are all about a positive return on investment. In this case, they get a 30x return when spending money on educating their employees. This also may improve employee morale since they feel appreciated by the company. Training employees allows promotions from within, which enables them to hit the ground running in new positions instead of having to learn the company culture.

Source: Kommando Tech

An increase in revenue is reported by 42% of companies that invested in e-learning

This indicates that companies who spend money on training their employees with e-learning see more sales. It is not surprising since training your employees to offer a better service or develop higher-quality products allows the company to grow. The higher revenue also leads to better profitability – for example, IBM managed to save over $200 million after transitioning to e-learning.

Source: Shift E Learning

72% of businesses feel that they have an edge of competitors because of e-learning

E-learning offers companies the flexibility to offer employees effective and low-cost training. Companies feel that educating their employees on the latest technology and strategies allows up-to-date services to be offered. The rising competition in some business sectors can also propel e-learning in parallel.

Source: E Learning Industry

Talent MLS has been used by over 70,000 organizations in the US

The US-based online learning company has offered its services to train the employees of over 70,000 organizations. They offer educational support in many industries, which include education, call centers, franchise, aviation, and healthcare. The platform offers cost-effective education solutions that can be personalized to meet company needs.

Source: TalentLMS

Bottom line

To conclude, e-learning is a growing trend that is important for companies to compete and for students in college to have a lower cost of education. As technology develops, the availability and practicality of e-learning will also grow. Also, e-learning provides access to more topics than any single city or university campus can provide.

However, there are a few disadvantages to consider such as technical problems, student isolation, and lack of face-to-face contact with teachers and other students. The statistics above indicate that the rapid investment and success of e-learning means this education format will continue to develop.


What devices can be used to receive an e-learning education?
Do you have to complete online courses in one go?
What recognition do e-courses get?
Do free online courses exist?
Who can take part in e-learning?


Our content quality team consulted the following expert sources to maximise the value and accuracy of this page:

  1. Statista
  2. eLearning Industry
  3. Talent LMS
  4. Udemy
  5. Shift e-Learning
  6. Coursera
  7. KPMG
  8. UK Government
Keith Hodges

Keith Hodges