From the career perspective is there money in the online/e-learning space?
November 20, 2009 12:32 PM   Subscribe

From the career perspective is there money in the online/e-learning space? If so, where is it, or where will it be in a few years? I specialize in software training and education and am looking to get my foot in the door if it is worth it.

Posting anonymously because in my relatively small world of software training there's a potential for colleagues to identify me and this could jeopardize my position.

In the (admittedly narrow) world of creative software training in the US, I am somewhat well known (think, Deke McClelland). I have published a few books and have been doing trainings for corporate customers and in the classroom for 10 years or so. My personal "brand" centers around digital imaging, web technologies and digital video. The money is ok, but I am employed full-time by a training company and this necessarily limits how far I can go financially and professionally. To get a sense of the "ruler" I'm using for financials: I currently make around $85k a year with some supplemental money dribbling in from the books. I would love to hit over $100k for this next position, but would also be wllling to take a hit on that if there were some startup companies who had some potential.

So I'm looking for the next step, one thought is to leverage all of this experience into doing online trainings or consultations. However I don't know what sort of market there is for this, if there are established companies in the space or how profitable this might be. Alternatively, if there are larger businesses doing this sort of thing in-house, I'd love to hear evidence of this. I'm looking for any insight Mefites might have and would love to hear from people connected to the e-learning, web training or online education space.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If you send me a mefi mail I can give you one perspective.
posted by ejaned8 at 12:58 PM on November 20, 2009

If you Mefi mail me, I can tell you about my experience as a consulting company owner, ebook publisher and so on.
posted by acoutu at 2:58 PM on November 20, 2009

In the building where I work, the only company that's growing significantly does online learning. They tripled in size over the last year; I guess they're maybe 30 people now. I don't know what their particular niche is (but you're welcome to memail for the little other info I can add.)
posted by anadem at 3:51 PM on November 20, 2009

Here's a summary of a recent market analysis. If you're interested in becoming an elearning designer or developer, you might also look at Training Magazine's annual salary survey. If I remember correctly, consultants averaged a little over $100k in the last survey while in-house people did less well. You might also look at some of the market and salary research done by the Elearning Guild.

It's not clear to me if you're a subject matter expert who delivers training on your subject or if you use your expertise in digital imaging, etc. to develop training for others. There would likely be more money in the latter.
posted by PatoPata at 5:23 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]

PatoPata nailed in the last paragraph. Also, there's a ton of money in the corporate Learning Management and Workforce Development space.
posted by wildeepdotorg at 4:54 AM on November 21, 2009 [2 favorites]

Josh Bersin also keeps an eye on the marketplace; it's worth watching his analyses.
posted by wildeepdotorg at 4:54 AM on November 21, 2009 [1 favorite]

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