Ed-Tech Market Grows More Than 5 Percent, Industry Association Reports

Associate Editor


New York

Education businesses sold nearly $8.4 billion in digital products into the U.S. pre-K-12 market in 2012-13, according to preliminary survey results released here Wednesday by the Software & Information Industry Association’s education division at its 2014 Business Education Forum.

That represents a 5 percent increase over the $7.97 billion reported in 2011-12, according to John Richards, founder and president of Consulting Services for Education, Inc., the Newton, Mass.-based firm that conducted the study on behalf of the SIIA. The largest gains were seen among those producing online courses, which tripled in sales, contributing about $700 million to the total, he said. 

For this report, 144 companies responded with their data. Richards extrapolated from their reported revenues to come up with total market figures. Two-thirds of the companies that provided data last year and this year reported increases in revenues, he said.

Graph from SIIA on Market Report.png

These results, released in advance of the full SIIA education market survey, were among many data points discussed when about 350 entrepreneurs, executives, venture capitalists, and consultants gathered here for the past two days to network and learn from one another. 

Attendees learned that:

  • There are about 1.5 billion students in K-12 around the world, according to Mike Fisher, head of business electronics at Futuresource Consulting, a United Kingdom-based research and forecasting firm.
  • In Germany, only about 10 percent of classrooms have interactive displays, and only about 2 percent to 3 percent have computers, he said.
  • One measure of the importance of career and technical education is the fact that 81 percent of high school dropouts would have stayed in high school if they had relevant, real-world opportunities, said Dawn Gerrain, a senior vice president and general manager at Cengage Learning. 
  •  The testing and assessment market grew 57 percent over a three-year period, rising to an estimated $2.5 billion, according to Richards’ research, conducted on behalf of the SIIA.
  •  In the 2013-14 school year, 3.75 million students were taught in 7,324 international schools around the world, providing English-speaking education for more students than ever before. Families paid $41.6 billion in tuition fees alone for these schools, according to the International School Consultancy Group, which is based in the U.K.

Besides attending panels and interviews with featured speakers, the SIIA asked participants to vote for the most promising products from a field of 10 finalists in the annual “innovation incubator” program, which is designed to identify and support entrepreneurs in their development and distribution of innovative learning technologies.

Two companies tied as winners of “Most Likely to Succeed”—Cogent Education, and Listen Current. Cogent also won for “Most Innovative” and a “Faculty Choice” award.

Cogent Education makes interactive cases to allow students to act like scientists and solve real-world problems. Teachers can see in real-time how their students are progressing, identify pain points, and intervene immediately.

Listen Current curates the public radio programming to keep teaching connected to the real world and build student listening skills at the same time.

Educators voted Crack the Books, from the Mobile Education Store, to receive the “Educators’ Choice Award.” Crack the Books is a digital interactive book series designed to foster reading comprehension and student engagement through adjustable reading levels and hundreds of interactive elements. 

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Chart provided by the SIIA.

Correction: The original post contained an incorrect statistic for the number of K-12 students worldwide. The correct number is 1.5 billion.

2 thoughts on “Ed-Tech Market Grows More Than 5 Percent, Industry Association Reports

  1. Hello Michele, I am enjoying reading your reports for my company as I have recently read this report as well as “International Ed Tech Opportunities…”. I would like to point out an inaccurate fact you have regarding number of students/ teachers around the globe, according to Mike Fisher. In this report it is stated that there are 14.4 billion students in K-12 around the globe. However, in the other latter, it states that there only 1.5 billion students and teachers around the globe in K-12. If this is a typo, I am happy to bring this to to your attention. Otherwise, I would like to ask if you have the accurate numbers as I am doing research for the company I currently work with. Thank you

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