Boom, Not Bust, for Employer-Funded Learning

Inside Higher Ed

Doug Lederman
June 3, 2021
The 2020 recession didn’t slow corporate spending on employee education and training. A $150 million investment in Guild Education, which helps employees find the learning they need, suggests continued growth in the market.
The number of entities seeking to help corporations educate and train their employee bases has grown significantly in the last few years.
Some of these organizations, such as Bright Horizons’ EdAssist Solutions, Guild Education, Arizona State University’s InStride and Edcor, focus on managing companies’ tuition benefits programs by matching workers with courses and programs and providing external support. Other corporations pay to give their employees access to the offerings of online course providers such as Coursera for Business, edX and Pluralsight. “Competency marketplaces” such as LinkedIn Learning and the community college-focused Unmudl are also in the mix.
Spending on employee training and development often dries up during economic downturns, as it did in the wake of the 2008 Great Recession, and some observers expected that might happen during the COVID-19-driven recession last year. But that’s not what happened.