The Impact of Udemy for Business: Higher Productivity, Time Savings, and an 869% Return on Investment

Darren Shimkus

GM of Udemy for Business

March 5, 2019

In the next 50, years human capital will be measured with as much attention as financial capital has been over the last 50 years. While most organizations believe their future depends on attracting, motivating, upskilling, and reskilling top talent (what we think of as “human capital”), very few organizations are able to rigorously measure their success here. Given the accelerating pace of workplace transformation across every industry, the need to launch and measure the value of learning initiatives is growing exponentially.

As the GM of Udemy for Business, I have the privilege of seeing the impact of learning on our customers and their employees every day. But I’m also aware that proving the ROI of learning and development (L&D) to stakeholders and across the organization has historically been difficult.

To better understand the business impact of workplace learning, we partnered with analyst firm IDC to help quantify the value of having a strategic learning partner like Udemy for Business. After in-depth conversations with our customers and analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data, IDC determined the return on investment that organizations can realize by using our platform. The results confirmed and quantified the value our customers experience every day.

Translating learning into dollars and cents

IDC found that for every dollar spent on Udemy for Business, organizations could realize an 869% return on investment in three years, or nearly 9 incremental or saved dollars for every dollar invested in Udemy for Business solutions.

The report also revealed that interviewed customers with an internal L&D strategy in place will break even on their investment within two months of deploying Udemy for Business and experience a 10% increase in employee satisfaction rates.

In total, IDC calculated that Udemy for Business customers will achieve annual benefits worth $4.32 million per organization per year or $5,191 per employee trained by:

  • Increasing Reach: Cost-effective licensing allows our customers to offer learning globally and reach more employees with relevant content

  • Offering Time-Efficient Content: Targeted, relevant, and engaging content allows employees to learn the right skills in real time and derive more value

  • Improving Performance: High-quality content taught by real-world experts enables employees to perform better at their jobs

  • Onboarding New Employees More Effectively: Internal training content and additional skills development courses help employees onboard faster to reach full productivity

  • Supporting the Business: Effective content, including for employees seeking certification, helps organizations attain core business metrics, including generating more revenue

IDC’s findings make it clear that not only is workplace learning critical for employee productivity, innovation, and engagement; but the right learning solution can also deliver real business value. The report’s validating metrics and figures were gratifying, but the icing on the cake was hearing customer feedback on our content.

When asked why they chose Udemy for Business, one interviewed customer shared, “We can give employees the skills the next day rather than by the time the skill has moved on.” Another customer said, “[they] like how agile and scrappy the content on Udemy for Business is. If there’s a topic that’s hot in the industry, Udemy for Business is going to have courses on it.”

Our unique marketplace models allows us to offer the freshest content to keep up with quickly changing workplace needs and on-demand skills. By curating the most business-relevant topics from Udemy’s marketplace of 100,000 courses, we ensure our customers and their employees are learning from the highest-quality content as soon as they need it.

With rapidly transforming workplaces and the constant need for upskilling, the smartest companies are prioritizing employee learning and development. With clear evidence that learning ties directly to revenue and has very compelling ROI, we believe that every organization can elevate workplace learning to a business requirement and reap learning’s significant benefits.

To read the full IDC White Paper, sponsored by Udemy for Business, The ROI and Value of Corporate Learning from Udemy for Business, February 2019, click here.

Learn why leading organizations are already partnering with Udemy for Business as their platform for employee learning here.

About the author:

Darren Shimkus has witnessed the business value of lifelong learning and continuous upskilling firsthand over the past two decades spent building and growing high-performing sales, marketing, and product management teams. As general manager of Udemy for Business, Darren is dedicated to helping customers evolve their learning and development strategies to stay ahead of rapidly changing workplace demands and evolve with modern innovation. Darren began his career in corporate education at the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) in Washington D.C. and London and, more recently, built and grew several technology companies.

About Udemy for Business:

Udemy for Business is a learning platform that helps companies stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing workplace by offering fresh, relevant on-demand learning content, curated from the Udemy marketplace. Our mission is to help employees do whatever comes next—whether that’s the next project to do, skill to learn, or role to master. We’d love to partner with you on your employee development needs. Get in touch with us at

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