Interesting Online Education Statistics

20 Interesting Online Education Statistics You Need to Read in 2024

Published on: October 5, 2023
Last Updated: October 5, 2023

20 Interesting Online Education Statistics You Need to Read in 2024

Published on: October 5, 2023
Last Updated: October 5, 2023

Online education has become more popular in recent years because it offers several advantages over conventional classroom-centric learning.

Online classes are usually more affordable and flexible so that students can take them from anywhere and at any time.

Some have specific deadlines while others allow you to learn at your own pace. 

For some students, online education is easier and more effective.

We will address the online education statistics you need to know about in this article.

We will show trends, effectiveness, and preferences across several demographics.

Statistics show that the online realm for education isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

In fact, it’s most likely here to stay and play an even bigger role in the future of education.

Let’s explore the world of online education and its implications and future of learning.

Resource Contents show

Key Statistics

  • 30% of undergraduate students in the U.S. took at least one online course for the Fall 2021 session.
  • The global online education market is expected to reach $336.98 billion by 2026. 
  • Over 80% of companies now offer online training or learning.
  • 70% of students believe online learning is better than traditional classroom learning.
  • 49% of global students have already completed some online courses.
  • The online learning market grew by 900% since 2000.
  • The most popular online course is business with 30% of online learners taking it.
  • The average cost of online courses comes to between $50 to $300 per course.
  • In China, the online education market is expected to reach 490.5 yuan by 2024.
  • It’s expected that the global online student count will be around 1 billion by 2027.

Top Online Education Statistics in 2024

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1. Almost 30% of Undergraduate Students in The U.S. Took at Least One Online Course for The Fall 2021 Session.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that almost 30% of undergraduate students in the United States had taken at least one online course during the Fall 2021 quarter.

This is a good example of how popular online learning has become among college students.

It’s believed to be because of its affordability, flexibility, and accessibility.


2. The Global Online Education Market Is Expected to Reach $336.98 Billion by 2026. 

This statistic shows that the overall online education market is rapidly growing.

This is believed to be due to the ever-increasing demand for online education from today’s students and businesses.

The CAGR is expected to be at 9.1% in the forecast period of 2018 to 2026.

It’s most likely due to how effective online learning became during the global pandemic.


3. Over 80% of Companies Now Offer Online Training or Learning.

Statistics like these show us that online learning is rapidly growing in the corporate realm with 80% of companies now offering online learning or training to employees.

This is more than likely due to the cost-saving and efficiency it provides for training employees.

Moreover, half of institutional students have used e-learning resources.


4. 70% of Students Believe Online Learning Is Better than Traditional Classroom Learning.

This statistic suggests that from the perception of the student, 70% of them believe online education is better than classroom learning.

This is thought to be because of the ease of access, flexible options, and personalization that online classroom environments offer.

Moreover, 26% still think that classroom learning is better. 

(University of the Potomac, Upskillwise)

5. 49% of Global Students Have Already Completed Some Online Courses.

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Nearly half (49%) of global students say they already completed some kind of online course related to their major.

Statista says that technology has changed how education, teaching, and learning work in the modern world.

At one time, classes before the digital era consisted primarily of talks, physical elements, and lectures.

Digitized textbooks, interactive tests, and classroom environments are some elements of online learning.

(Statista, University of Central Florida)

6. The Online Learning Market Grew by 900% Since 2000.

Since 2000, the eLearning market has grown by 900%.

This statistic reveals that in just 20 years, the online education industry has experienced substantial growth.

This growth is expected to continue at least through 2025, but more likely beyond that.

A few regional markets that play a major role in this growth include China, India, Thailand, and the Philippines with each area seeing 30% yearly growth rates.

(Devlin Peck, SkillScouter)

7. The Most Popular Online Course Is Business with 30% of Online Learners Taking It.

This statistic tells us that business courses are the most popular in the online learning realm with 30% of all students who have completed online courses. 

After business courses, online courses in IT and computer sciences have seen 19% of students taking them.

Healthcare and medicine online courses are third with 14% of students having taken and completed courses.

(Devlin Peck²)

8. The Average Cost of Online Courses Comes to Between $50 to $300 per Course.

Statistics show that online courses are usually more affordable than convention classroom-based courses.

This is true in most cases with an average cost of between $50 and $300 per course.

Keep in mind that online course costs vary according to the subject, college or university offering it, and other factors.

Overall, when colleges can save overhead costs, they will do so through online learning portals.

(EdX Learner Help Center)

9. In China, the Online Education Market Is Expected to Reach 490.5 Yuan by 2024.

In 2020, China’s online education market had an estimated 257.3 yuan market size.

The forecast between 2016 and 2024 shows that it’s expected to reach 490.5 yuan by 2024.

The CAGR is expected to slow to around 17.5% over the next few years after experiencing high growth rates in the past few years.


10. It’s Expected that The Global Online Student Count Will Be Around 1 Billion by 2027.

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This statistic shows that every year, the online learning market is growing.

Not only is it expected to enjoy growth in revenues as we mentioned earlier, but also in student figures.

By 2027, it’s expected that there will be abuot 1 billion online students taking courses all over the world. 


11. 60% of Graduate Students Say that Affordability Is the Number One Factor They Consider for Online Programs.

The number one factor that graduate students consider when choosing an online program is its affordability.

Another 46% of undergraduates said the same thing.

Overall, this is the number one thing that college students take into consideration before choosing an online college.

The reputation of the institution is second with 39% of both graduates and undergraduates when selecting an online school.


12. E-Learning Helps Reduce Energy Consumption Over Conventional Classes by 90%.

One study conducted by the Open Design Innovation Group found that online courses can reduce energy consumption by 90% over traditional classroom courses.

This is part of cutting costs in overhead among colleges and universities all over the globe. 

(Luisa Zhou)

13. The Most Popular Online Learning Platforms are Coursera, Udemy, and edX.

These statistics show that the top three online course platforms are Coursera, Udemy, and edX respectively.

Other popular online platforms for learning include Skillshare, Codeacademy, Udacity, LinkedIn Learning, Moodle, and Future Learn.

During the pandemic, these online learning platforms saw a significant rise in enrollments and revenues.  


14. Online Learning Takes 40% to 60% Less Time for Learners.

Statistics show that employees and students who take online classes don’t take as long to complete a program as it takes in conventional classroom settings.

Since it takes less time for students and employees to complete an online course than it does to take an in-person classroom course, more money and energy are saved.


15. The European Online Education Market Is Expected to Rise by $28.36 Billion by 2025.

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In terms of the European market for eLearning, this market is expected to see a boost of $28.36 billion (USD) by 2024 at a CAGR of 13% by 2024.

Personalized learning prioritization is being attributed to this growth which is known to accommodate more individual learners. Improvements in this industry are developing daily.


16. The edX Platform Experienced a 29 Million Enrollment Increase in 2020.

During the early period of the pandemic, edX experienced massive growth in global enrollments that increased from 81 million in 2019 to 110 million in 2020.

That’s an increase of 29 million enrollments.

Moreover, edX has 15,000 instructors teaching from 160 partnering institutions including MIT, Berkeley, and Harvard.

(Colorlib, edX)

17. 73% of Students Say They Want to Keep Taking Online Classes Post-Pandemic.

Data shows that 73% of students in the United States said they prefer to keep taking online classes post-pandemic.

While we were hearing a lot of discord among parents and students who didn’t like having to adjust to the remote learning ideal, the concept took hold enough for most students to prefer to keep learning in the remote realm.

Therefore, not all student experiences were negative.

The study included over 1,400 students, most of which said they wanted to keep learning online.

(Inside Higher Ed)

18. 81% of College Students Claim Online Education Helps to Improve Their Grades.

In 2016, McGraw Hill reported their digital trends survey results regarding online learning and found that 81% of college students said that digital learning improves their grades.

Another 81% said digital learning platforms helped them to be more efficient with their learning and 82% said it lets them study more.

Even as far back as 2016, students were on board with online education.

(McGraw Hill)

19. In 2021, Denmark Had the Best Conditions for Online Education.

Demark had the best online learning conditions in 2021, which moved ahead of Norway that made the top of the list for best conditions in online learning in 2020.

As of 2021, Norway had fallen to 9th in ranking for this category.

Other countries with excellent online education environments include Hungary, the United States, France, Poland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.


20. In 2021, Ireland Ranked as The Worst for Online Education Conditions.

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Unfortunately, Ireland had the worst online learning environments in 2021 in contrast to Denmark.

It was discovered that it was the least well equipped for digital online education and learning for 2021.

Also, Ireland has high internet costs and expensive tutoring.

Mexico had this rank in 2020 but had a small improvement ranking 30th out of 32 in 2021.

Other countries with the worst learning conditions for online education in 2021 included Italy, Australia, Greece, New Zealand, and Belgium.



What Are the Benefits of Online Education?

There are several benefits to getting your education online such as:

Flexible: You can take the courses in your own time frame, which is ideal for working parents, students, and students with busy schedules.
Affordable: Online courses are usually more affordable than traditional classroom courses. This is due to the lower overhead affiliated with traditional classroom learning.
Accessible: Online courses are much more easily accessible and can be taken anywhere you have internet connections. 
Personalized: Online courses can be custom-fit to your specific learning needs.

Is Online Education as Effective as Traditional Classroom Education?

Studies have shown that not only are online classes as effective as traditional classroom learning, but they’re also more effective.

More studies show that students who take online courses are outperforming traditional classroom students. 

What Are the Challenges of Online Education?

The lack of face-to-face interaction with instructors and classmates is the biggest challenge of online learning according to research.

For some, this challenge makes it harder to engage and stay motivated.

Moreover, some students need the structure of a classroom, and the support face-to-face instruction provides.

How Can One Be Successful in Online Education?

We found some tips to help you succeed as an online learner:

Set realistic goals: You want to stay on track and motivated, so it’s best to set realistic goals for yourself. 
Create a set study schedule: To stay on track, you need to set your own schedule for online learning. It will help you be more organized.
Take breaks: To avoid burnout and to prevent losing focus, take regular breaks as part of your study schedule.
Reach out for help: If/when you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to your fellow students or your instructor for help.


This is the end of our discussion about trends and demographics related to online education all over the world.

We learned that the United States, areas of the EU, and Denmark are all digital learning ready unlike Ireland and Mexico.

We know where online education was ranked the best and worst.

Also, we shared student perceptions and how companies and institutions are responding to the demand for online e-Learning platform training, learning, and certifications.

You should also now be aware of the most used and popular online education platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and edX.

If you have ever used one of these popular online learning platforms, let us know what your experience has been.

The FAQs in this article also cover a lot of resources to help you be more successful with digital online learning solutions.

Always remember to ask for help when you need it.

We hope these online education statistics have been of value to you in some way.

Maybe you’re on the fence about taking online classes or you just want to know more about online learning.


NCESUniversity of the PotomacDevlin Peck
Luisa ZhouInside Higher
University of Central FloridaDevlin Peck²LearnWorlds
G2StatistaEdX Learner Help Center

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Written by Jason Wise

Hello! I’m the editor at EarthWeb, with a particular interest in business and technology topics, including social media, privacy, and cryptocurrency. As an experienced editor and researcher, I have a passion for exploring the latest trends and innovations in these fields and sharing my insights with our readers. I also enjoy testing and reviewing products, and you’ll often find my reviews and recommendations on EarthWeb. With a focus on providing informative and engaging content, I am committed to ensuring that EarthWeb remains a leading source of news and analysis in the tech industry.