(Infographic) Outsourced vs Online Training: What Actually Works?

(Infographic) Outsourced vs Online Training: What Actually Works?


The need for staff training has never been more apparent. According to the latest figures, businesses in the US have doubled their spend on training: In 2012 $55 billion was shelled out on training, but last year this spend shot up to over $164 billion.

The reasons for this increased focus on training are understandable. Put simply, today’s global economy has highlighted global skills gaps. Businesses are struggling to keep pace with the demands – and the opportunities – of ever-changing technological innovation, constantly evolving markets, increased consumer expectations and rapidly shifting demographics.

Businesses can no longer afford to rest on their laurels, but instead rely on bedrock of specialised, trained staff.

The last few years have seen a rapid proliferation of training organisations offering their services to meet this demand. At the same time there has been a rise in the number of studies that question not just the quality of outsourced training companies, but the efficacy of it as a training model.

  • Nearly two-thirds of current training budgets are blown on travel and entertainment expenses.
  • Current training methods lead to 90% of the skills and knowledge acquired being rapidly lost on return to the workplace.

Is there a better way?

Online training claims to offer an alternative to traditional methods that is more effective in terms of both learning outcomes and cost to the business. This infographic investigates the centrality of training to businesses today and the current costs of this emphasis on skills acquisition. It compares the effectiveness of online and outsourced training.

The results may surprise you. The received wisdom that face-to-face training is superior to its cheaper online option is given a rigorous review and here’s some headline statistics that could revolutionise your budget forecasts for next year’s staff development:

  • The Harvard Business School found that trainees learn 5 times as much on eLearning courses as they do on training courses.
  • The same study found that eLearning cut the cost to businesses by a third.
  • Similar research has suggested that 25-50% gains in learning retention can be achieved through online training.

Is yours a training budget or a draining budget? How can you best allocate spend to truly foster employee development and talent retention? To continue outsourcing or to get online, that is the question. Start finding the answers below.