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Home > News > March 2006 > 29-Mar-2006

New study looks at US corporate learning market

Oakland, California. Bersin & Associates has announced the availability of its latest research study, 'The corporate learning factbook: benchmarks and analysis of U.S. corporate learning and development'.

Bersin & Associates says the study offers corporate executives baseline metrics which can be used to assess the efficiencies of their own corporate training initiatives.

The Corporate Learning Factbook analyses a wide range of metrics, including: budgets, expenditures per learner, cost per student hour, programme priorities, budget allocations, staffing sizes, staff to learner ratios, staff to total spending, technology usage and budgets, and outsourcing spending.

The study also looks at the trends shaping the learning market. According to the study:

* The corporate learning market grew by 5% in 2005, with fastest-growing spending rates in the technology and retail sectors. Spending increases by small and medium-sized businesses (6 to 6.5%) were double those of large enterprises (approximately 3%).

* Based on reported budget data, the study estimates the value of the U.S. corporate training market to be approximately $46.6B. Approximately $14.8B is marked for external spending on technologies, products, and services. The remaining dollars are spent on salaries, facilities, and other internal operations.

* The biggest percentage of programme dollars go to management and leadership training, rated as a first or second priority by 37% of respondents. These investments are fuelled by succession planning and the need to develop new and mid-level management talent.

* Spending per employee varies widely, depending on industry sector and company size. The spectrum ranges from $4,000 per employee in business services to $200 in retail. The average per learner expenditure is $1,412.

* LMS spending is typically 3 to 7% of an organization's total training expenditures. Consolidation of LMSs is a significant trend, with 26% of large enterprises consolidating or reducing the number of LMSs within their organisations over the last year. One-third plan to consolidate in the next 12 months.

* The adoption of virtual classroom technology is high in most sectors. The study found that 60% of respondents are now using virtual classes as part of corporate training.

* One-third of training groups report staff increases over last year. One-half say staffing resources have remained unchanged, and just 13% have reduced staff size.

"Training organisations are constantly challenged to demonstrate the efficient and effective use of resources," said Jim Bauman, director of NCR University operations. "The Corporate Learning Factbook will help executives measure their learning organisations against others of similar size and type and identify areas of excellence and those that should improve. This knowledge is essential for formulating strategies and priorities for the future."

External links

For further information about the The Corporate Learning Factbook, available at no cost to Bersin & Associates research members, visit

Bersin & Associates will discuss findings and offer benchmarking guidance in an upcoming webinar on Tuesday, April 4, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. Eastern time. The webinar will be hosted by Karen O'Leonard, research director for the study, and Josh Bersin, president of Bersin & Associates. To register, go to:

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