By a strange twist of fate, during COVID-19, when millions lost their jobs or were laid off, thousands of businesses fell, and even coins were in short supply, many companies in the training industry are doing well compared to other industries. Market Training study estimates global L&D spending at $ 370.03 billion last year, but is projected to cut 5% this year. This is not surprising; if this year was a good measurement of the uncertainty and anxiety that fills our industry, we could put ourselves in the Guinness Book of Records.
The good news is: the training industry expects our industry to grow by 3% in 2021.
This growth helps explain the accelerated pace of private investment taking control of more and more of our industry, either through direct acquisitions or through the financing of mergers and acquisitions.
What is behind the growth
Why is the training industry still on its feet? Training companies are responding to the needs of the market, which a year ago were unforeseen – unimaginable. The pandemic and subsequent quarantine required organizations to teach their students the virus itself – in particular, how to prevent its spread. It has also forced many organizations to send their employees home for months or more.
Many employees will remain working remotely in 2021 – if they ever return to work. These new remote employees needed training on how to work remotely, manage remote workersuse web conferencing tools and practice etiquette, become virtual employees, cope with stress work from home and understand what to do when business centers reopen.
Another demand for training prompted the assassination of George Floyd and Breona Taylor. During the following intensified emphasis on racial justiceorganizations wanted training on inequality and injustice in the workplace, sensitivity to marginalized groups and diversity and inclusion. Organizations have also invested more in soft skills how to communicate change managementconflict resolution and interpersonal relationships.
Additional explanations for the health of our industry include:
Not a perfect review
Economic growth is a good indicator of health, but not the only one. Is it good that, as in other areas, learning is controlled by fewer and fewer entities, making it harder for small or niche training companies to compete – or survive? What is the pedagogical cost of fewer approaches to content, instructional design, and product development? Will sellers ignore small businesses and nonprofits or withdraw them from the market?
Is it a good trend that more and more of our industry is controlled by private investment companies with little or no learning experience, motivated by rapid growth and sales of portfolio assets? What are the usual tactics of private capital that drastically reduce costs – for example, reduce or eliminate internal departments of training and development (L&D)? Is it good for L&D professionals and students when options are narrowed and in too many cases customer service seems a belated thought?
As survivors of the economic train crash, we have something to be thankful for. We are in the midst of a historical paradigm shift regarding the nature of the work itself should keep our industry humming for a long time. At the same time, we must not lose sight of the problems associated with growth. Sometimes we can be so focused on this that we don’t notice the holistic goal of the training industry.