In the face of this, education – from schooling to post graduate university to government and professional training to private sector and self driven courses – is estimated to be on the order of $7 trillion per annum worldwide. And given the rate of technological innovation against the backdrop of breakthroughs of basic discovery and applied scientific invention, this GigaIndustry is about to take off.
The global market for public (tax payer paid) education is $4.4 trillion from the $7 trillion total, and poised to grow significantly over the next five years, according to an analysis IBIS Capital, a London-based investment bank.
The online learning sector is projected to grow significantly by 23 percent between 2012 and 2017, making it the fastest-growing market in education worldwide (counting K-12, higher education, and corporate and government training programs). There are more than 3,000 online learning firms in Europe alone. This offers a glimpse of the market for online learning, serving 1.4 billion students and 62.5 million educators. Today, just over half of this $4.4 trillion expenditure goes on schools (K-12 or equivalent), 1.8 trillion on post secondary, and the rest on corporate and government. Which means the privet learning sector – personal refreshers, hobbies and interests, new skills, vocational qualifications - operates at around $2.6 trillion worldwide.
Go forward to 2030, it expected that over 90 percent of the world's schooling age will finish primary education, and 55 percent will have completed secondary education; in turn, almost a third of collage age individuals will be in further or higher education. In the OECD countries alone, by 2030, there will be ~ 65 million new students every year.
But as you might expect by now, the biggest strides in literacy and wider education to 2030 will be achieved in the emerging nations. Today, there are still around 3 billion (42 percent) people that lack a thorough elementary education, but that may fall to 2 billion out of 8.3 billion population by 2030 (24 percent). And that is a sea change. The internet, by the trends, will have 6 billion users by 2030, about 3.9 billion more than today. Again, most of the growth in the Internet will come from developing countries over the next 15 years. And this is significant, because most education, or more precisely, learning, will take place over the world-wide-web.
Market value wise, this is difficult to speculate. But, a half a billion new students from emerging nations and 65 million from the OECD nations, will quite probably double the total education marketplace to $14 trillion by 2030. Much of which will be outside formal education systems. So there is a lot to discuss and learn here.