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US Continuing Education Market - Outlook and Forecast 2023-2028
The continuing education market in the United States experienced a significant growth, with a value of USD 60.52 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 93.25 billion by 2028, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.47%. Continuing education plays a crucial role in the licensing process within the U.S., as many regulated professions necessitate a certain level of education for obtaining a license. Various specialized fields require professionals to provide evidence of continuing education for license renewal or re-licensure. Professions such as teachers, lawyers, healthcare workers, accountants, engineers, and others must accumulate continuing education credits to advance their careers, leading to a demand for continuing education programs and driving the growth of the U.S. continuing education market.
Continuing education (CE) refers to organized and sequential activities/programs that individuals or groups who are no longer engaged in full-time academic education can participate in. These programs aim to enhance knowledge and skills to solve work-related challenges or identify them. As the world transitions towards an industrialized economy, the need for continuing education becomes increasingly essential, promoting the requirement for advanced education. In this regard, continuing education allows adults who face challenges with traditional educational modules to enhance their personal and professional competence and efficiency.
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USD 60.5 billion in 2021
Delivery Mode, Profession, Providers
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Advances in technology are revolutionizing the continuing education industry across all sectors. Artificial intelligence (AI), in particular, has transformative potential that extends to education, transcending social and economic barriers. The education sector is currently experiencing rapid transformation through AI, which can facilitate increased access to learning, automation of management processes, and optimization of methods to improve learning outcomes.
Among the rapidly growing industries in the continuing education market are real estate, finance, and entrepreneurship. Real estate, especially in the United States, has been experiencing substantial growth. Additionally, different states in the U.S. have specific requirements for continuing education credits. Across the country, continuing education is a critical component for license renewal and staying updated with current trends. In the real estate business, practicing agents and brokers are required to complete 12 hours of CE courses within two years before renewing their licenses, as stated by Massachusetts State Guidelines.
Digital badges, micro-credentials, and blockchain credentials play a significant role in continuing education. These emerging methods are used to recognize and acknowledge specific skills and achievements of learners. Blockchain technology, in particular, has the potential to revolutionize the continuing education sector by providing a transparent, secure, and tamper-proof platform for storing and sharing educational records. The U.S. continuing education market aims to keep pace with the latest trends in rapidly growing industries in the region. Micro-credentials have been introduced to cater to the needs of continuing education seekers, allowing individuals to take short career-oriented CE courses at their own pace, time, and convenience.
The integration of AI in continuing education provides numerous opportunities, with Chatbot (ChatGPT) being one of the promising technologies that can accelerate market growth in the United States. As continuing education continues to evolve, technology plays a vital role in assisting professionals in their growth and learning. Chatbots can engage in conversations with professionals, providing them with assistance and information across various educational areas. ChatGPT, as one of the innovative chatbot tools, has high potential in this regard. In the U.S. continuing education market, ChatGPT aids professionals in browsing the internet to expand and update their knowledge through associations, creative solutions, and new information pertaining to pressing issues.
The preference for professional development is not new in the United States. It encompasses skills, knowledge, experience, and practices. Over 74% of workers express their willingness to acquire new skills to remain employable. Strong training and development programs that offer short- and long-term benefits are highly sought after by employees. Research indicates that over 59% of employees are self-taught and open to training opportunities. Furthermore, more than 87% of millennial employees recognize the importance of workplace development and learning for their professional growth.
Industries are becoming increasingly complex and competitive, and the United States ranks among the leading industrialized countries globally. U.S. industries have gained a reputation for early adoption of new technologies and procedures, which can potentially transform the industry landscape. Workers need to stay abreast of emerging trends and patterns, from environmental concerns and social justice issues to cultural trends and transformative technologies. With diverse and complex challenges faced by employers and employees, the demand for skilled workers is rapidly increasing due to intensified competition among industries. Therefore, courses offered in the U.S. continuing education market ought to be aligned with future demands. Addressing contemporary challenges can help companies maintain their competitiveness and prepare their workforce for upcoming opportunities.
The market is segmented based on various factors, including delivery mode, profession, providers.
Segmentation by Delivery Mode
Regularly Schedules Series
Segmentation by Profession
Segmentation by Providers
The U.S. continuing education market can be divided into different delivery modes, including classroom training, e-learning, regular schedule series, journals, and others. The largest segment in 2022 was classroom training, accounting for over 42% of the industry share. Classroom-based CE programs provide an opportunity for learners to engage with expert instructors and fellow participants, fostering creativity and free-flowing thinking. Many individuals prefer learning in their workplace, where they can share and discuss ideas with others, enhancing the overall learning experience. CE providers offer a variety of options under classroom training, such as conferences, lectures, seminars, and workshops. The availability of diverse delivery options and easy access to CE programs are key factors driving the growth of this segment.
The U.S. continuing education market is further segmented by profession, including healthcare workers, engineers, architects, accountants, educators, lawyers, and others. These professionals have mandatory CE credit requirements in the United States. The healthcare segment held the largest industry share in 2022. Given the significant size and development of the healthcare sector in the U.S., which relies on millions of health workers and professionals, there is a consistent demand for continuing medical education. Factors such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, advancements in healthcare settings, increased expenditure on healthcare services, and a growing number of healthcare workers contribute to the growth of this segment.
Among the provider segments, educational institutions accounted for the largest share of the U.S. continuing education market in 2022, representing over 43%. Educational institutions offer continuing education programs designed to help individuals update their knowledge and skills. Many individuals pursue these programs to change career paths, align with their interests and goals, and advance their professional journeys. Colleges and universities, among other educational institutions, provide continuing education opportunities for students, working professionals, post-secondary educators, and others. Given their accessibility and convenience, educational institutions serve as one of the prominent providers of continuing education programs.
The U.S. continuing education market is characterized by a high level of competition, primarily driven by large continuing education providers. Major contributors to the industry are educational institutions such as schools, colleges, and universities, which offer a wide range of continuing education programs. Additionally, there is a growing presence of online continuing education services provided by educational companies. This has resulted in competition between traditional educational institutions and online providers.
Non-profit organizations also play a significant role in the U.S. continuing education market. They operate as standalone providers and have established strong networks of continuing education recipients throughout the United States.
The extent of competitive rivalry among continuing education providers in the U.S. varies depending on the profession and the specific states. Professions that require mandatory continuing education credits, such as healthcare workers, engineers, educators, accountants, architects, and lawyers, contribute to the high demand for continuing education across the country.
In terms of market share, the leading continuing education providers in the U.S. are educational institutions, educational companies, and non-profit organizations. However, it is worth noting that government organizations, insurance companies, and military organizations also play a role as continuing education providers in certain cases.
Key companies profiled in this report include 360training, Aceable, Acadoodle, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Advancement Courses, Antidote Education Company, AMA EDHUB, AO North America, AcademicCME, AffinityCE, Amedco, American Medical Seminar, AXIS Medical Education, Aspirus, BooqSmart.com, BlackRock, COPIC Insurance Company, CME Outfitters, CPAwebengage, Inc., Curi, Current Reviews, Carlat CME Institute, CMEPlanet, Cine-Med, EXCEL CME, EZ-pdh.com (Ezekiel Enterprises), EdCompass, Forefront Collaborative, Greeley Company, Global Education Company, HonorHealth, HealthSream, Illinois Online, Kaplan, MCKISSOCK LEARNING, MedScape (WebMD), MIT Professional Education, North Dakota State University, National Society of Professional Engineers, Norcal Mutual Insurance Company, PDH Academy, RCEP, Relias LMS, Sequoia CPE, StatPearls, Strafford LLC, Syandus, SafetyPro Training Center, Stanford Medicine, Salus Global, The American College of Financial Services, Salus University, TheCEShop.com, University of San Diego, Titan Continuing Education, University of South Alabama, University of California (Irvine), University Professional and Continuing Education Association, University of North Dakota.
Key Questions Answered
What is the projected value of the U.S. continuing education market by 2028?
The U.S. continuing education market is expected to reach a value of USD 93.25 billion by 2028.
What are the key factors driving the growth of the U.S. continuing education market?
The key factors driving the growth of the U.S. continuing education market include increasing demand for professional development, technological advancements in e-learning platforms, rising adoption of online and digital learning methods, and the need for upskilling and reskilling in various industries.
What are the major challenges faced by the U.S. continuing education market?
Some major challenges faced by the U.S. continuing education market include high competition among providers, affordability and accessibility issues for certain demographics, and the need for standardized accreditation and quality assurance measures.
What are the emerging opportunities in the U.S. continuing education market?
Emerging opportunities in the U.S. continuing education market include the integration of artificial intelligence and virtual reality technologies in learning platforms, partnerships between educational institutions and employers for customized training programs, and the growth potential in niche markets such as healthcare, technology, and finance.
What are the regulatory frameworks governing the U.S. continuing education market?
The U.S. continuing education market is regulated by various bodies such as accrediting agencies, state licensing boards, and industry-specific regulatory authorities. These ensure quality standards, professional competence, and adherence to ethical guidelines in continuing education programs.