Corporate and Government Employers Give Universities an "A" for Quality, but a "C" for Flexibility

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Eduventures Research on Corporate and Government Training Markets Identifies Demand for Greater Flexibility and Customization: Eduventures, the leading research and consulting firm serving the education market, released some of the findings from its four-part analysis of the $51 billion employer-sponsored training market, Developing Effective Channels to Corporate and Government Markets. Overall, the study found that corporate and government training and development executives gave university offerings an “A” for quality, but a solid “C” in the areas of applicability of learning, flexibility, and customization.

Eduventures, the leading research and consulting firm serving the education market, released some of the findings from its four-part analysis of the $51 billion employer-sponsored training market, Developing Effective Channels to Corporate and Government Markets. Overall, the study found that corporate and government training and development executives gave university offerings an “A” for quality, but a solid “C” in the areas of applicability of learning, flexibility, and customization.

Developing Effective Channels to Corporate and Government Markets analyzed more than 500 survey responses from chief learning officers and managers, directors of human resources, and other education and training decision-makers. Employers gave high marks to university providers for the quality of their offerings. They noted a need for improvement, however, in the areas of applied learning, customization of courses/certificates to align more closely with organizational goals, and a more flexible approach to curriculum design – all three of which are among the top capabilities employers seek in education providers.

Among other key findings:

  • The top five drivers for education and training investments are to improve operation efficiency; comply with government or industry regulations; establish a competitive advantage via a better educated and trained staff; improve profitability; and keep pace with market innovations.
  • In terms of learning and development courses and content, employers emphasize needs in leadership and management, communication, and technology – themes that drive organizational performance.
  • Employers are most interested in short-term, continuing education formats such as certificates of course completion, CEUs, professional development hours, and with varying degrees of relevance, non-credit courses. Degree programs appear most relevant at the manager and executive levels.
  • More than 62% of employers view online learning as being equal to or better than face-to-face instruction, based on the specific subject being taught and the learner involved.
  • In terms of frequency of use, employers ranked the following options as most popular: traditional classroom on-site at employer location with instructor; traditional classroom off-site at campus/commercial location with instructor; and self-paced online delivery, without instructor or cohort.

“We estimate that approximately $13.3 billion in employer training budgets are devoted to third-party providers – of which universities capture only a fraction, approximately $670 million,” noted Eduventures Senior Analyst Sean Gallagher. “We believe universities have a significant opportunity to expand their share of this market, rather than rely solely on growing their tuition assistance programs, if they can adapt their offerings and strategies to meet the preferences of employers.”

Addressed in the four-part report are Employer Policies and Practices for Learning and Development; Employer Demand for Learning and Development Curriculum; Employer Preferences for Learning and Development Delivery and Formatting; and Employer Selection Criteria for Working with Third-Party Providers. The full reports, including statistical analyses, graphics, and strategic recommendations, are available to members of the Eduventures Learning Collaborative Program for Continuing and Professional Education (CPE).

About Eduventures

For more than a decade, Eduventures has been the most trusted name in the education market for research, consulting services, and peer networking. Its clients include senior administrators and executives from leading educational institutions and companies serving the K-12, higher education, and corporate learning markets, as well as decision-makers in government agencies and the investment community. For more information, visit http://www.eduventures.com.

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Steven Shapiro