Research Outline

Learning and Development Spend


To figure out the learning and development spending per head at tech companies in the US, the number of people that get that kind of benefit from their company, the range of prices that executive coaches charge, the market size of executive coaching in the US, and a breakdown according to the subcategories (e.g. coaching, conferences, classes, etc.) in order to pitch VCs on a new business and be able to defend the market sizing estimates.

Early Findings

  • Tech companies in the US are investing in learning and development (aka training and development) of their employees.
  • Some companies avail the services of executive coaches for these purposes while others also offer their own training courses. For example, Amazon, Dell Technologies, Intel, Microsoft, Facebook, etc. offer their own professional development programs, whereas other companies adopt other ways as well, e.g. Zillow offers access to online courses to its employees.
  • Adobe maintains a Learning Fund for its employees, through which it offers reimbursement for professional development and educational expenses. "The program will reimburse up to $10,000 per year for tuition, course fees, certification fees, and required books for approved coursework" and it will also reimburse up to $1000 per year for professional development opportunities, e.g. conferences, workshops, professional or technical training courses, online learning, and professional memberships.
  • Small businesses spent $1,886 per learner in training costs in 2017.
  • According to the Training Magazine's report, the total spending on training declined to $87.6 billion in 2018.
  • As per the report, spending on outside producs and services rose to $11 billion in 2018.
  • Companies spent $986 per learner overall in training costs in 2018 and employees received an average of 46.7 hours of training.
  • 35.5% of the overall training hours were delivered by a stand-and-deliver instructor, 25.6% were delivered via online or computer-based technologies, virtual classroom/webcast represented 10.2% of hours, while 1.7% of hours were delivered via mobile devices.
  • The average expenditure for training outsourcing stood at $422,321 in 2018.