By David S. Bernstein and Sarah Auerbach

Reality is finally catching up with speculation. For the past two years, training professionals have been talking about one thing: shifting from traditional classroom training to new methods of delivery. Well, here it comes.

This year, companies expect to do, on average, almost two-thirds of their training in the classroom. Next year, that figure plummets to barely half.

In large part, that’s due to an increase in training via LANs, intranets, and the Internet, which together will grow from 16 to 22 percent of all instruction. But it’s not all high-tech across-the-wires WBT picking up the classroom slack—respondents also say they’ll return to old-fashioned methods, such as videotapes.

The move away from the classroom is just one of the findings of this year’s Inside Technology Training Industry Survey. The Web-based survey of 1,400 technology training professionals reveals much about how organizations conduct their technology training.
This article originally appeared in the June issue of Inside Technology Training Magazine and appears on TechRepublic under a special arrangement with the publisher. This is the first of three installments of the original article.This survey was intended to gauge how companies provide for their own training needs. As such, the survey did not include providers of training products and services.We invited more than 26,000 readers of Inside Technology Training to participate in the Web-based survey, and 1,401 of them did—a response rate of slightly more than 5 percent.A third of the respondents were IT/IS trainers or training managers. Another 17 percent were trainers or training managers not specifically devoted to IT, and 22 percent were instructional designers, program developers, CBT or multimedia designers, or managers of those processes. The rest were split among various other roles.The top industries represented were higher education (16 percent), manufacturing (15 percent), finance and legal (12 percent), computer software (10 percent), and federal government and military (10 percent). Respondents came from all over the United States and Canada.Nearly half (46 percent) of respondents work at the corporate/headquarters level of their organizations; 29 percent work in a department or regional office; and 25 percent are in a line of business or division.Male respondents outnumbered women, 53 percent to 47 percent.

D.S. Bernstein

Top findings

  • Classroom training will decrease to just over one-half of all technology training in 2000.
  • Proprietary systems, Office 97, Windows NT, and soft skills are the training topics in highest demand.
  • This year, more companies are paying for certification training and testing.
  • IT training budgets rose an average of 13 percent from 1998 to 1999.
  • IT trainers report in roughly equal numbers to the business unit, the IT department, and corporate HR.
  • The top issues you face are budget constraints, technology-delivered training, and staffing.

Much to do
You’re responsible for even more clients or users than you were a year ago, and you want to keep tight control over training development. Outsourcing of the design and delivery of instructor-led training won’t change at all from this year to next, holding steady at just 28 percent of all of your ILT. This year and next, you’ll buy, on average, one-fifth of your CBT or WBT off-the-shelf. The portion you outsource for custom design or delivery will actually drop slightly, from 39 percent to 36 percent.

So, you’re training more people, using a wider variety of delivery methods, and keeping as much or more of your development in-house. Fortunately, you’re getting more money to do it.

You’re currently working with a median 1999 IT training budget of $365,000—$152,000 for staff salaries and $213,000 for everything else. That budget is on the rise, though. The average estimated budget change from 1998 to 1999 is a 13 percent increase.



Much to train on
The software skills screaming loudest for your attention are company proprietary software, Office 97, and Windows NT. Also in high demand are leadership, interpersonal communication, project management, and computer security training.

Training is increasing for high-end Internet skills, such as Java, electronic commerce, and Web-server administration, as well as for advanced networking topics, such as ATM and gigabit Ethernet. And although Y2K training peaks this year, 14 percent of you expect to still deliver training on Y2K conversion after Jan. 1, 2000.

Training Topics


David S. Bernstein is a senior editor of Inside Technology Training. Sarah Auerbach is a senior associate editor of Inside Technology Training.

We’d like to know what you think the training trends will be in 2000. Please post your comments at the bottom of this page or send us a note .