While the corporate IT training and business skills training markets have recently been shaken by changing macroeconomic and geopolitical factors, IDC believes renewed growth is on the horizon, albeit at a slower pace. On a global basis, the IT education and training market will see modest compound annual growth (CAGR) of about 5 percent between 2002 and 2007. Over the same period, the U.S. corporate business skills training market will grow at a CAGR of 10.5 percent. E-learning will continue to shine in both markets, although not as brightly as in the recent past.

Shifts in spending priorities and buyers' requirements influenced the corporate IT training and business skills training markets in 2002. "Spending priorities have shifted from 'build for the future' to a priority of 'cost containment' and seeking maximum value with immediate payoff. This means training investments must be increasingly tied to strategic priorities to obtain funding," says Cushing Anderson, program director for IDC's Learning Services research.

"Buyers want to show tighter links between their employee development investments and bottom line results," added Michael Brennan, program manager for Corporate Learning and Performance research at IDC.

Corporate IT and business skills training vendors must be ready to take advantage of several key opportunities as they present themselves to prospective buyers. IDC believes key opportunities exist for IT training vendors in business applications training, custom curriculum design and course development, live e-learning technologies and customizable off-the-shelf courseware. Similarly, bright prospects will emerge for business skills vendors that align content, delivery and support offerings with clients' needs, can show ROI, focus on hot content areas and offer performance management services.

For more information about IDC's Learning Services research, please contact Virginia Lehr at 508-935-4188 or by email at vlehr@idc.com.

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