NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Drucker Points To Rise In Adult Education

May 5, 2000

Management expert Peter Drucker forecasts increasing demand for continuing adult education. Behind this growth, he says, is people's realization that they are just not keeping up with the fast-changing developments characteristic of today's society. They will use the Internet to upgrade their knowledge, says Drucker.

  • He estimates that Americans now spend $1 trillion on education and training.
  • Education in grades K-12 now commands 6 percent of Gross Domestic Product, colleges and universities consume 4 percent, and the current market for continuing education equals 6 percent of GDP -- and that sector is going to grow enormously, he believes.
  • With 40 percent of the total U.S. work force earning their livelihoods utilizing their knowledge rather than manual skills, there is a huge potential market for continuing adult education.
  • Online teaching will capture much of that market because it is time-efficient, cost-efficient and flexible enough that a student can replay the material if it is not comprehended right away.

Drucker says that online education will never replace traditional means of education. But it is a market worth potentially hundreds of billions of dollars.

Source: Peter Drucker (Claremont Graduate School), "Putting More Now Into Knowledge," Forbes, May 15, 2000.


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