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Educational Apps: E-Learning Market Research And Statistics

Are you developing an e-learning app? Explore educational market statistics and trends.

Educational app market - illustration by Wukong

What did you want to be when you were a kid? The more time goes by the more our reality becomes the one where it’s possible to live up to your childhood dreams without them getting too much in the way with the rest of your life. Or significantly improve your current career with new applicable knowledge. We’re talking about educational apps and their potential to improve people’s lives. Education was rapidly evolving long before the pandemic, but 2020 is a year for the e-learning industry to start operating to its full capacity and it’s time to grasp the opportunities offered by the thriving market for educational apps.

So let’s look at the benefits of making an educational app for you as a business person, what’s worth noting about the e-learning app market, how COVID-19 influenced the global condition, what types of learning apps are more likely to succeed, and other business aspects of e-learning app development.

Educational apps market statistics

The question of how to create an educational app has its answers, but in this article, we’ll take a look at why would you want to do it and what’s in it for you. The current situation with the quarantine and shutdowns being repeatedly turned on and off all over the globe and their consequences drew the attention of entrepreneurs, startup owners, and investors to the areas of business that were previously if not neglected then underrated. In addition to the healthcare industry, it’s education and learning of various kinds.

The first online education programs began to appear in the 1990s with the widespread usage of the internet but the impact of online learning on education was really starting to be felt about a decade ago with the further development of technologies that made it available to more people. The active development of the market and a significant increase in demand for online education made it so that now the audience of e-learning courses has millions of users.

Education is the third most popular category on the App Store, beaten only by Games and Business, and on Google Play, e-learning is even higher in the second place. Though on both platforms the category has a similar percentage of almost 9% of the total.

Most popular app categories in App Store

Technavio, a market research firm that recently released its latest 2020-2024 research on the education apps market, predicts that it will expand by $46.9 billion with a CAGR of about 26%.
Following another set of predictions by the Research and Markets data provider, the worldwide e-learning market is estimated to be worth $398 billion in 2026. That is a 300% boost from 2015’s 107 billion.

The online education market is developing rapidly and is being encouraged by raising capital. The most substantial section is in the USA (42.9%) and China (21.4%). Investors prefer to put their money into learning tools based on artificial intelligence (this category occupies 19.7% of the investment structure) and mobile learning (15.9%).

E-learning mobile app development

Landing page template – Isometric by Dmitrii Horai

Why educational app development is beneficial for your business

Education is popular. Anatomy, physics, chemistry, astronomy, and art apps win design and interface awards and get downloaded by hundreds of thousands of users. Online courses from learning foreign languages to medicine are now available for both children and adults. Self-education was never easier than today, both for personal and academic education.

The rhythm of modern life dictates its laws, and often the only free time we have is while driving or commuting, so smartphones become the most affordable way to get new information quickly and easily. If you don’t give up and try to devote every minute to self-development, then your choice is training with a mobile application.

That’s why an increasing number of people are using educational apps, no matter their age or professional background. It means that by creating an educational app, you can provide specific value to consumers and businesses resulting in a popular and profitable product.

Educational app development

Online Course & Educational App UI by Niaz Mahmud

Benefits for customers

For the users of e-learning mobile apps, they present a set of distinct benefits:

  • Convenience — studying at your own pace and saving valuable time.
  • Availability and cost-effectiveness — no traveling, no specific rooms, or spaces required.
  • Knowledge — developing new skills to improve your current life situation.
  • Engagement — modern e-learning solutions are exciting and social.
  • Interactivity — a better connection between students and teachers.
  • Personalization — faster progress because of the possibility to learn only what’s needed.
  • Fresh learning approaches — gamification, micro-training, and other new methods.
  • Productivity tracking — an easier option to track one’s performance.

Benefits for businesses

  • Huge profit opportunities — taking into account the above-mentioned popularity of mobile e-learning solutions.
  • Making use of the latest technology advances — some apps for educational purposes get to be popular because of incorporating modern tech. It’s a great place to introduce something revolutionary in everyday life.
  • Ability to change and improve people’s lives — many startup owners dream about making an impact. Here’s an opportunity.
Illustration for presentation. world scientists

Illustration for presentation. world scientists by Yuliya Volodina

More and more companies, including huge enterprises, recognize the booming popularity of educational content the demand for which skyrocketed during the first months of the pandemic. For example, in May 2020 TikTok announced its desire to encourage its community to self-educate by launching its new #LearnOnTikTok platform. $14.6 million of investments are said to be assigned for the use of hiring the services of various institutions and experts with experience in creating engaging educational content. 

What types of e-learning apps are in demand

There are 2 main types of educational apps: apps for students and apps for teachers. The most common types of e-learning applications for students include:

  • Apps for a specific purpose — anything where you can acquire new skills from learning Swedish to playing guitar.
  • Apps for kids — from learning colors, shapes, and nursery rhymes for toddlers to math and geography for school kids. The demand for such applications for every age is staggering.
  • Apps for exams — a great help for college kids to keep their grades up and pass exams.
  • Apps with educational information — popular among professionals, like for example, apps with educational information for doctors and medical interns.

Teachers are in need of the following types of apps:

  • Apps for planning — these save hours of teachers’ time making it easier for them to get hold of the previous lessons and make arrangements for the next ones.
  • Apps for scheduling — for educators, it’s important to effectively schedule their time to get the most out of every minute of their day.
  • Apps for grading — such apps come with useful features like reports, grade calculation, notifications, and more.
E-learning app development

Online learning by Cami

Top educational apps

In 2022, Duolingo was the most popular e-learning app in the world, with 98 million downloads. However, if we take the revenue, the results will be a bit different:

Educational app revenue statistics for several years

Chegg is an educational technology company that provides a variety of services and resources. The Chegg app is one of their offerings, and it helps students with their academic needs. The application has an interesting feature – textbook rentals. Using this option, the learners can rent textbooks and save money.

Educational apps market growth factors and hindrances

Technavio also highlights the increasing user interest in STEM apps and game-like learning. Other global factors worth noting are:

  • The universal acceleration in the use of mobile apps
  • The rising number of mobile users
  • Progressing usage of AR & VR applications and blended learning.

Some active factors are directly connected with the benefits of educational apps:

  • Affordable charges
  • Versatility of learning
  • Enhanced efficiency.

Factors that hinder the further development of the e-learning market include:

  • Issues with data security — the massive shift to remote learning that happened this year introduced new privacy questions.
  • Low connection speed and other issues like technology obsolescence are still some serious challenges in e-learning market development worldwide.
Market for educational apps

Mind Only – Courses App Onboarding 💡 by Pedro Gil

E-learning app market tendencies

The most prominent trend in educational mobile app development is the burgeoning use of wearable tech, as mentioned in multiple papers, the one by Maximize Market Research among them.
Wearable technology efficiently engages students making it easier for them to concentrate on the process. It further intensifies creativity and ingenuity letting students go beyond the usual limits and work closely with their surroundings. For example, with Autographer — a wearable digital camera — students can take photos of their teachers’ notes. Muse’s headband keeps track of students’ brain activity. Other examples of tech like smartwatches, GoPro, and Google Glass are more familiar to the wider audience.

What also stimulates the expansion of the education apps market is the wide use of smartphones and tablets for studying purposes. For example, 81% of US college students say that they owe the improvement of their grades to the advances in digital learning technologies.

The development of cloud and smart technologies for collecting and storing data leads to further ease of accessibility and cost savings, more secure data storage, and minimization of hardware requirements. With cloud storage and computing, there’s no need to invest in expensive PCs, hence the further e-learning mobile app development.

There’s also growth in microlearning. This technique allows condensing the most important information into small blocks of 3 to 15 minutes of audio or video materials, adapting to our ever-shortening attention spans.

AI integration in e-learning mobile apps offers numerous benefits, enhancing the learning experience for users and providing personalized, adaptive, and engaging content. For example, you can analyze user behavior, learning patterns, and preferences to create personalized learning paths. Thus you will deliver tailored content to meet specific learning needs. The same goes for smart assistants, which can evaluate people’s knowledge and answer their questions.

Another e-learning trend is gamification. It’s been around for a while, but mostly in apps for kids. Now you can integrate gamified elements to motivate adult learners using badges, rewards, and leaderboards. Powered by AI learning analytics, the teachers track their student’s performance and engagement. This way, they gain insights into learning patterns and identify areas for improvement.

Educational app development companies

Virtual reality by Serj Marco

Online learning market geography

A greater number of reports, including the one by Fortune Business Insights, predicts that North America will have the largest educational app market size in 2020-2025 because of stability in economic growth, rapid adoption of technological developments, and the rising penetration of smartphones across the region, mostly the USA and Canada. Other resources name the APAC (Asia Pacific) region as the one with the highest predicted augmentation due to the wide student base in India, China, and Japan and the implementation of the latest technologies in countries such as Australia and Singapore.

E-learning is the future

It’s a booming industry, as the above exciting e-learning business statistics clearly show. Many are finding that e-learning is not just a viable alternative, it’s a better one. Interactive and gaming technologies allow applications to communicate with us, adjust to our level of knowledge, and at the same time be entertaining. And the smartphone is always at hand, so you can learn something new anywhere and anytime.

If you are still in doubt, about whether it’s worth hiring an app developer for creating an educational app or not, then you should analyze the educational app market. Hope that the information above was helpful. Write us a few words and let’s discuss your educational app idea.

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Further reads on e-learning app development:

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Written by Kate Shokurova

September 09, 2020

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