U.S. companies with 100 or more employees spent a whopping $54 billion on training last year, according to projections in Training magazine's Industry Report 2000, released last fall.

This includes salaries and expenditures for both in-house and outside trainers. Of the total amount, 13 percent ($7 billion) represents spending on seminars and conferences.

The study broke down types of training by industry. The most popular types of training in the finance/insurance/banking category were:

  • Computer applications: 100%

  • Management skills/development: 98%

  • Customer service: 98%

  • Communications skills: 97%

  • Supervisory skills: 96%

  • Technical skills/knowledge: 94%

  • Computer systems/computer programming: 93%

  • Executive development: 92%

  • Personal growth: 90%

  • Sales: 79%

As for how that training was conducted, the study results showed that even technology training relies chiefly on live instruction. The finance/insurance/banking respondents weighed in with 74 percent using teacher-led classroom training, 5 percent using instructor-led training from a remote location, and 12 percent delivering training by computer (no instructor). Of the 12 percent who provide computer-delivered training, 41 percent use CD-ROMs, 33 percent use the Internet, and 26 percent use diskettes.