Top training industry trends for 2023
Our annual State of the Training Industry Benchmark report relays the thoughts, feelings and insights from training professionals on a range of topics from training delivery and digital innovation to opportunities, threats and outlook.
It's now our 7th year taking the pulse of the training industry, sharing key trends in training delivery, technology, sales and marketing, as well as the challenges and opportunities facing training providers.
For the past couple of years, we have also surveyed learners, to understand how the demands of the market are being addressed by training businesses
With that being said, here are the top training industry trends for 2023!
Top training industry trends for 2023
So, what did we learn from the State of the Training Industry Benchmark Report 2023? We've highlighted a few key trends below:
Online learning is here to stay
We've heard talk of the "rise of digital" over the past few years, with fluctuating trends in training delivery and services. However, it seems now that online learning delivery methods are truly here to stay. With rising costs of facilitating in-person courses, it may be that training providers are seeing the ROI of virtual more than ever before.
Last years' most popular course types (in-house and workshops) have both declined in number this year, with training providers sharing that they expect a further 14% drop in focus of these course types in the next 12 months. Conversely, virtual courses types such as eLearning and blended learning are averaging at similar levels to 2022, and are predicted to increase in popularity next year. Over 50% of training providers say blended learning is a focus for them in 2024.
Despite seeing a downward trend of in-person course types, in-house remains the most popular type of course offered, with 66% of training providers offering this type of course.
Alternative delivery methods continue to rise
Last year, we reported seeing the rise of alternative training delivery methods such as video, quizzes, and content downloads. We have again seen a significant increase in these less traditional delivery methods in 2023 - most notably, a sharp rise in the use of downloadable content for learners, with 53% of training providers using this as a method of training delivery.
As these methods are generally delivered virtually, the increase does mirror the trends we're continuing to see in terms of course types offered, too. It is important to note that despite a slight decrease in use this year, in-person classroom training yet again comes out on top, with a whopping 89% of providers delivering training in this way.
Learners prefer on-demand, self-paced training
According to this years' data, learners' top preference in terms of pace and timescales of training is on demand - self-paced, online learning structured over many weeks, with 31% of learners choosing this over other options of bitesize, intensive, or a combination of all.
There's less variety of training services being offered
This year, we've seen pretty sharp declines in a variety of services, including short courses (-13%), online self-service (-13%), and instructor-led training (-10%). The largest shift however, is virtual instructor-led training, with a huge 29% decrease this year. With other training services failing to make up this deficit, could it be that tighter budgets this year are constraining training providers to only focus on offering a select few training services to their customers?
The biggest challenge this year is (unsurprisingly) increasing costs
47% We've had a big shift in training providers' views of what they perceive as their biggest challenges this year. With last years' top challenge being increased competition, this has now fallen (-12.5%) out of the top four to make room for - unsurprisingly - increasing costs and lack of resources, at 47% and 41% respectively.