Job Training Goes Online

Training and development experts claim that “more than one-third of all job training in 2009 was done electronically.” Many companies have reduced their training budgets in response to the uncertainty in today’s economy. Online training programs have allowed companies to save money that they formerly spent to send their employees to outside training facilities.
Josh Bersin, president and CEO of a California-based consulting firm, said that 35 to 40 percent of all training for his employees is now done online. This figure represents about a 5 percent increase from the previous year. Virtual classrooms often present a more efficient learning experience than traditional ones, because there are so many technology-based tools available online that enhance a student’s experience and understanding of material.
The use of technology and online training has grown tremendously in the past decade. In 2002, only 15 percent of companies used any form electronic technology to train their employees. Now, 37 percent of an employee’s training involves electric technology and 28 percent of training is conducted online as detailed by the 2010 State of the Industry Report released by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). Live training between an employer and a new-hire now makes up just 59 percent of an employee’s total training process.
Among companies surveyed by the ASTD, $126 billion was spent on job training last year. This number is 6 percent less than the previous year, but the average amount of money spent on training per employee has actually remained about the same. This year’s estimate reflects a smaller workforce due to increased unemployment rates.
Tony Bingham, ASTD president and CEO, said that the results of the report “demonstrate that executives and business leaders know their investments in employee learning and development are keys to survival, recovery and future growth.”

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