(From Human Resource Executive Online) -- According to the 2010
State of the Industry Report just released by the Alexandria,
Va.-based American Society for Training and Development, 37 percent
of training hours involved electronic technology in 2009; 28
percent of training was done online, up from 23 percent in 2008.
By comparison, in 2002, only 15 percent of the 304 companies
surveyed used electronic technology to deliver formal training.
Meanwhile, live, face-to-face interaction is down to 59 percent,
says Pat Galagan, ASTD executive editor. "There is a lot of blended
electronic and classroom. It's a general trend."
Despite a total drop in training expenditures, the ASTD says it is
encouraged by the continuing high level of investment in job
training by U.S. companies, despite the recession.
Companies surveyed invested $126 billion in job training in 2009.
While that is a decrease of 6 percent from 2008, the average
cost-per-employee remained stable -- increasing very slightly, by 1
percent -- because there was a smaller work force.
In addition, learning expenditures accounted for a slightly larger
percentage of corporate revenue and profit.
"The findings... clearly demonstrate that executives and business
leaders know their investments in employee learning and development
are keys to survival, recovery and future growth," says ASTD
president and CEO Tony Bingham.
Galagan says it's not unusual for training expenditures to "remain
stable despite the recession". When the workforce is cut, the
employees that remain are doing more and often have to be trained
in new areas.
In addition, in bad times, companies often opt to make a "rapid
change in direction" or business model, which "requires a change in
skills for everybody," she says.