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Latest report on the top IT training providers shows a healthy IT training market

Latest report on the top IT training providers shows a healthy IT training market

The leading UK IT training research company, IT Skills Research, has published its ninth annual table of the top IT training providers in the UK – and it shows an industry which is doing well.

Filed in Work research

Although the IT training market has had its ups and downs, the figures from IT Skills Research show that the UK's IT training market is still worth around £450 million to the top fifty providers alone.

Last year's number one and number two training companies are now the same company, QA-IQ, following the acquisition of QA by Interquad - so it's no surprise to see this new company at the top of the table, by a more than comfortable margin. By virtue of these two companies combining, Learning Tree moves from its number three slot to be number two. We then see a couple of companies which we don't think of as typical IT training companies - SAP and IBM - which just shows how much systems training, usually on their own systems, that these companies are involved in. In SAP's case, they are handling most of the SAP training in the market, as it's closely tied to their own implementation projects.

Global Knowledge takes a strong leap forward at number five, from its rank of nineteen in the previous year, and Parity drops down from the number four slot to number six (in 2004, Parity was number one).

Xpertise continues to make steady progress, up two places to number eight - but is one of the few training companies where the revenue is actual and not estimated (QA-IQ is also actual, but it's not clear whether the revenues of the training business are accurately split from that of its overall business). Xpertise was number thirty-one in 2002, so its progress may be steady, but it's also strong.

The table isn't without some oddities - for example, The Matchett Group is at number twenty-three, but most of its training is in soft skills - as we understand it, only a small amount of its business is now in IT training.

All of the top fifteen earn more than £10 million, but even those at the bottom of the table show revenues in excess of £2 million - again, showing a reasonably healthy market.

While it's true that the IT market remains competitive, it's also a market that's maturing, as IT training providers expand their offerings to include soft-skills training - especially IT-related skills such as project management. It's also a market which is learning to change, and has room for companies which operate in significantly different ways - for example, Training Synergy (number fifteen) concentrates totally on outsourcing and large projects, using a massive base of associate trainers, and doesn't provide any of the usual technical IT training courses - the mainstay of many of the players on the list. Broadskill (number thirty-eight) operates in a similar way, but is closer to the model of trainer resourcing company.

All in all, the results are encouraging, showing a market that has regained its strength and has many significant players, with a wide range of offerings - a market that remains an interesting and exciting place to be.

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