Bersin Confirms Turnaround in Corporate Learning Spend

On Monday, Bersin & Associates released a study, The Corporate Learning Factbook 2011: Benchmarks, Trends and Analysis of the U.S. Training Market detailing the recent upswing of corporate spending on learning, with a specific increase in learning technology.

I believe that here are two conflicting drivers influencing this trend: 1.) Training groups are still under pressure to cut costs or be cut because they are not seen as core competency. And yet… 2.) Companies need to grow the capabilities of their people or they will not be able to compete. The solution to both of these problems is to remove the bottlenecks of effective and efficient learning implementation. This involves thoughtful adoption of tools and business-based decision making on learning strategy and management. This explains the increase in learning technology spend.

It will be interesting to see if this dynamic increases the pressure on learning functions to produce learning analytics to show ROI for that increased spend.


2 thoughts on “Bersin Confirms Turnaround in Corporate Learning Spend

  1. Adam

    It is interesting to see that L&D seems to follow the trends of the wider economy – as the private sector picks up (at least in the US, if not the UK) more employees and more confidence drive investment back into training. I guess this suggest a lot of L&D is still reactive rather than being used as a lever to drive economic growth (at least be the majority of companies).

    I’d also pick up on the key point the study makes re: ‘Informal Methods Fuel Innovation in
    Learning’. I’d suggest this is good news for learners …driving more ‘just in time’ rather than ‘just in case’ learning, and acknowledging that however grade the formal ‘curriculum’ offered within the workplace, most vocational learning happens informally ‘on-the-job’.

    Equally, it also continues to challenge those involved in L&D – whether it is concerns over the security of learners accessing YouTube and similar sites from work PCs, or capturing the learning achievements of the workforce that cannot be neatly packaged and recorded via a LMS


    • John,

      You make some interesting points. There is a real concern about L&D being reactive vs being a method of growth. The problem is that L&D requires resources, both in development and delivery of content and the time it takes learners to access that content. For formal learning programs L&D is subject to the willingness of senior management to spend those resources. For informal learning, there is still the time spent by learners that needs to be accounted for. Without solid measures of the success of informal learning, will learners be rewarded for spending the time? I think the goal is to find a way to measure the success of informal learning by blending it with formal guidance of learning objectives so that learners and senior management can be encouraged to promote informal learning.


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