Employers Spend More on Training; Especially E-learning

The American Society of Training & Development issued its 2011 State of Industry report showing that in 2010 employers spent more on employee development than ever before. U.S. businesses spent $171.5 billion in 2010, up from $125.8 billion in 2009.

The report also found that the “use of technology to deliver training, especially mobile learning, continues to grow – Fortune Global 500 companies set a new high of 40.1 percent of formal learning hours used being delivered via technology-based methods.”

Employers should understand the pros and cons of this type of learning. Pros of e-learning (e.g., webinars, video conferencing, online training, and self-directed off-line training) are convenience of time and location, easy transfer of information, and quick development. Cons of e-learning are technology costs, ever-changing technology, and limited understanding of effective teaching methods due to the newness of online learning.
There are advantages and disadvantages to every type of learning environment. Employers should maximize the advantages that each offers to their fullest extent. Initial studies show that a combination of online and classroom learning is best to convey subject matter to employees.