Training Industry

Size of Training Industry

  • Size of Training Industry


Several organizations within the training industry estimate the size of the market by comparing internal research to economic data. uses data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis along with data collected from annual Top Training Company studies.'s estimates of the global spend compared to North American spend is below. Note that data related to spend includes all dollars spent by companies for training activities, including insourced and outsourced spend.

This data does not include expenditures related to consumers' spend for training programs (individuals taking training courses for personal or non-work related development); or revenues for educational institutions (universities and for-profit educational companies); nor revenues of community colleges from students paying tuition. It does include dollars paid by corporations to educational institutions for corporate training initiatives.

Global Spend (USD)

North America (USD)

Rest of World (USD)

Annual Growth Rate














































SOURCING BREAKDOWN estimates that companies spend an average of 42% of their training budget on external (outsourced) suppliers, while approximately 58% of their budgets are spent on insourced resources.

It is estimated that the outsourced market for training services in North America (NA) was approximately $67.2B in 2015; while the insourced spend for training activities was approximately $92.8B in 2015.

Of the outsourced spend in North America in 2015, Training BPO (business process outsourcing) deals comprise an estimated 4.5%-4.8% of the market. The Training BPO market consists of comprehensive and selective outsourcing engagements, of which selective outsourcing engagements are growing the fastest. 


The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) estimated that organizations in the United States spent approximately $171.5 billion on employee training and development in 2010, according to their 2011 State of the Industry Report. In ASTD's 2012 State of the Industry Report, they estimate that U.S. organizations spent approximately $156.2 billion on employee learning and development in 2011. 


  • American Society of Training & Development (ASTD) 2011 State of the Industry Report
  • American Society of Training & Development (ASTD) 2012 State of the Industry Report
  • U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

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these figures are mind boggling. But I am not sure whether this includes formal education...?

Anantha PrabhuFebruary.27.2013 (8:42 AM)

The numbers are encouraging but we still haven't hit the training spend from 2007. This has been a long and slow recovery.

Jeff WalterJune.10.2013 (1:10 PM)

Anantha asked if this data includes formal education, and the answer is no. Except for those dollars spent by corporations to educational institutions.This data represents dollars spent on training and education by corporations and business. But overall revenues for educational institutions are not included in these numbers. In regard to Jeff's comment that the market has not returned to spending levels of 2007 is correct. Although we can see that corporate spend for training services has been growing over the past few years, overall spending is still a little below levels prior to the recession. This data demonstrates that corporate spending for training is much more conservative in today's economic climate than it was in previous years. Thank you for your questions and comments.

Doug Harward June.13.2013 (1:36 PM)

Thanks for the valuable report. Can you estimate what could be the size of Indian Training Market ? I am unable to source the above information for the Indian market

Yogesh BhatSeptember.10.2013 (2:26 AM)

Does this figure for L&D include executive coaching and business coaching, where coaches are brought in to do more individual coaching, but it is paid for by the companies. Any ideas on the size of that market?

glenn laumeisterApril.15.2014 (1:36 PM)

Does anyone have a good source to understand the size of the compliance training market?

Julian FenwickMarch.24.2016 (4:55 AM)

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