The main trends of the EdTech market in 2021

The main trends of the EdTech market in 2021

Author: Viktor Lebedinets

18 Feb 2021

The global EdTech market has soared during the pandemic and is expected to reach the evaluation of above $400 billion by 2025. To say more, EdTech startups secured more than $8.3 billion investments in 2020 and the numbers continue to grow. China and India have doubled the size of their EdTech initiatives and the westernized countries follow suit, with the US alone investing more than $1.66 billion in EdTech, which is already higher than the $1,2 billion venture investments obtained in 2016-2019.

Thus said, 2021 is a great time to hop on the hype wagon and build an EdTech product, as the demand remains largely unsatisfied. This article will explore the top EdTech market trends in 2021 to help you decide on the course of action.

The world has changed. The education also has to

While the main problem before the pandemic was to attract the learners from offline to online, the lockdowns forced all schools, colleges, universities, and corporate education centers to switch the delivery model to online. The situation is not going to change in the foreseeable future, at least until the COVID-19 is officially defeated globally. Therefore, the crucial challenge now is not about how to attract learners — it is how to retain and entertain them, to turn them into life-long education consumers and monetize them.

Besides, the ongoing digitization of various industries will make as much as 50% of skills currently in use utterly obsolete in 10-15 years, which means the corporate sector has to invest heavily in digital education to ensure their personnel remains productive and competitive in the years to come. Thus said, all EdTech branches (schools-universities, self-education MOOCs, and corporate education) have to introduce new and evolve their existing features that maximize the value they deliver to the learners.

EdTech trends to follow in 2021

In short, the most prominent EdTech trends for 2021 are as follows:

  1. Global standardization of education, leading in the surge of numbers of product helping prepare to various exams
  2. The growing importance of soft skills, resulting in an increased number of courses and products helping discover and improve each person’s potential
  3. Life-long learning to hone your hard skills and remain competitive
  4. Ad-hoc corporate learning to gain the info needed to solve a particular task in the nick of time
  5. Bite-sized mobile learning enabling people to consume 5-7 minute long knowledge nuggets whenever and wherever they can
  6. Edutainment, to turn tedious learning into an entertaining and interesting adventure using interactive elements
  7. Learning personalization using Big Data analytics to provide customized learning paths based on an individual learner’s background.

Let’s now take a closer look at each of them.

Global standardization of education

With smartphones conquering new markets and 5G coverage growing across the globe, more and more people prefer to work remotely. Global lockdowns boosted the growth of the distributed economy when people live in one country while working in another. In its turn, it means that they should sometimes pass the exams and obtain the certifications their curriculum did not prepare them for.

Elearning solves this challenge by providing a common learning environment for people across the globe. However, to be effective, the certifications people get should comply with the regulatory requirements of the countries they intend to work in. This is why more and more EdTech unicorns concentrate on standardizing the education outcomes globally.

Soft skills education

Self-management and team management, time management and planning, negotiations and compromises instead of coercion, anger management, and self-expression through art — courses like these are steadily growing in popularity. After all, you can gather superstars with superb hard skills, but you need soft skills to make a team out of them (especially when the team is distributed). Thus, leadership training and all the other soft skill education becomes even more essential than in pre-pandemic times.

Life-long learning

While soft skills do matter, it is hard skills that earn people their money, and in the ever-changing business landscape of 2021 a diploma received 5 years ago can mean quite a little. Professionals should invest in continuously honing their skills to remain competitive — and they lack time to monitor all the advances in their niche. Thus, products that track the news of any industry and allow getting the gist of all the updates in an easy-to-consume manner can be in great demand soon. Alternatively, this can help stay on top of developments in your hobby — as people still need to relax to avoid burnout.

Ad-hoc corporate learning

With the inability to ask a colleague across the desk for help, keeping the teams productive when working remotely becomes harder. Corporate training has understood the importance of ad-hoc learning long ago — when an employee can access a huge database of knowledge regarding their responsibilities and quickly find exactly the data he/she needs to complete the task. Such solutions become even more important now, just like the example of the modern e-Learning platform case study shows.

Spintech helped the customer build a personalized learning platform that enabled the users to achieve a 20% increase in overall productivity, 50% increase in Day 1 productivity, 40% better top-performer onboarding and retention, 2x faster upskilling and reskilling, and 50% reduction of expenses on unused content subscriptions.

Bite-sized learning

People prefer to consume information in small nuggets, like short videos or texts with interactive quizzes and real-time situation emulations. Such type of knowledge delivery is much more resource-efficient, as compared to long lectures or reading behemoth articles. Many educational institutions and enterprise businesses are looking for products that would allow them to align their expertise delivery methods with the needs of their training consumers.


People prefer to play games rather than to study. Information perceived through practical application sticks better than pure theory as serious games have proven time and again. At the same time, various means of learner entertainment (scoreboards, achievement badges, interactive quizzes, group communication channels, etc.) — turn education into an interesting adventure, which provides positive learning outcomes. The edutainment market is predicted to grow with an 8.5% CAGR from 2020 to 2027.

Personalized learning

Learners are not created equal, as they all have different backgrounds and skill gaps. Thus, one size fits all courses are not too efficient, and leading higher educators use tools like IBM Watson and Microsoft Azure-based products to provide personalized learning that combines the power of Big Data analytics and AI algorithms to tailor custom learning journeys for every student.


2021 might not be the year we defeated the pandemic, but it definitely will be the year when we adapted to the situation. The demand for remote education is still largely unfulfilled, so any bold entrepreneur can disrupt the market with an innovative product, as investors are eager to help new EdTech unicorns rise to prominence. Should you be able to implement the features catering to the aforementioned needs and trends — the chance of making it become much better.

In case you need to gain access to EdTech-specific expertise to achieve such goals — Spintech is ready to assist! Contact us and let’s see how we can help you!