Coaching Industry…Where is it going?

A search for ‘Coaches’ world-wide over LinkedIn as of April 2020, gives over 6,280,000 results.

A survey by ICF from 2009 estimated about 47,500 coaches worldwide which represent over 132 times (13,200%) growth in volume over the past decade.

Interesting, given how short the industry has been discovered.

Coaching first appeared on the scene approximately 20 years ago, gained considerable popularity in the last decade, and is now something that the majority of organisations are pursuing, particularly for their top talent.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the coaching supplier network is over-booming as well with an ocean of potential customers. So to succeed as a Coach nowadays, you need to know your market and its requirements well to know what to focus on, what to invest in as well as where your future lies — what are the growing trends to help you develop your brand.

And as a coaching client, it’s good to have an awareness of all these aspects to ensure you’re looking for and working with the most suitable people for yourself.

Fast forward to 2020/2021, and there are five International Coaching Federation Chapters in cities across India.

What’s more, there are approximately 4,500 trained coaches across India and several Indian and International coaching courses as well. India has hosted a few local, national and global coaching conferences to create awareness of coaching as well.

The pressure to perform, be agile and innovative, develop and empower teams, and a desire to experience life, is clearly making it imperative for leaders to build self-awareness. The reflective presence of a coach helps the client to develop self-awareness and facilitates the client to act relevantly and collaboratively.

Globally speaking, according to the International Coach Federation, in 2011 there were 53,300 coaches, up from 47,500 part-time and full-time coaches worldwide.

About 92 percent of them are active. Of these, 33 percent operate in the United States – a total of 17,500 coaches. It is expected the market value to reach USD 1.34 billion by 2022 – or a 6.7 percent average yearly growth rate from 2016 to 2022.

The biggest challenge faced in  coaching today is that untrained and incompetent coaches are damaging the reputation of the industry.

Over the last few years, however, coaching has been used to develop people who are transitioning roles, changing careers. Even leaders who realize that they need external support to understand their thought patterns and triggers and become more productive and successful are opting for it.

Coaching appeared on the scene about 20 years ago, gained a fair degree of popularity within the last 10 years and now is something most organizations are moving towards especially for their top talent.

Furthermore, professionals have become keen to explore life beyond the dimensions of the corporate world, and having a trusted mentor is always helpful.

Many working professionals have realized that self-awareness is not limited to leadership roles but is an essential ingredient to living life with happiness. Hence, several individuals have started engaging coaches on a personal basis. To serve this growing need, coaches offer services in different niches like career coaching, wellness coaching, leadership coaching, happiness coaching, etc. Coaching is no-longer perceived as an expense but an investment into personal development and growth.

While a few years ago people were largely looking to change careers and become coaches, now a lot are attending formal coaching training not to change profession, but to add meta skills to their existing profession (e.g. lawyers, music business professionals, HR professionals, project managers, sales managers, etc).

The estimated market size of the Coaching Industry is $15 billion in 2019 with a total of $7.5 billion worth market value in the US alone.

It is expected the market value to reach $20 billion by 2022 with a 6.7% average yearly growth rate from 2019 to 2022. Moreover, according to PwC, the Coaching Industry was the second fastest growing sector in the world.

It is estimated that there are currently 5,86,292 coaches worldwide in 2019. About 92% of these are active. Of these, 42% operate in the United States — a total of 2,88,500 coaches.

Having difficult conversations is an art, and sometimes emotions and perceptions inhibit the effectiveness of such conversations.

To develop the next generation of leaders and ease succession, while maintaining family relationships, mid-sized companies have started seeking the support of external coaches as well. Also, with increasing choices and competitiveness, students and young professionals who are seeking career change connect with coaches to change gears in their careers.

The demand for life coaches is still trending upwards and the industry is expected to keep growing at about a 5.4% growth rate.

With the surge in supply of coaches and increasing demand for coaches, the corporate world has become more discerning in selecting coaches.

Now, several businesses offer a panel of coaches to their executives to ensure that the relatability and trust enhance the effectiveness of coaching. Also, there is an increasing appreciation that a coach is different from an advisor or mentor and is essentially, a resource that partners to support the process of self-discovery.

Hence, organizations are keen to get coaches who practice this distinction in their coaching sessions.

The only problem with the coaching industry presently is the lack of industry regulation.

The biggest challenge facing coaches today is that untrained and incompetent Coaches are damaging the reputation of the industry.

The coaching field is unregulated. No license is required. Consequently, anyone can call themselves a Coach.

The profession is painfully aware that inept coaching makes the field look bad. Currently, there are more than 500 training and “certification” programs worldwide, and many of them will certify you if you simply pay them a fee.

This is not a mere increase in the expansion of the market of supply and demand, but also the increase in the number of learning opportunities for coaches, and the exchange of seasoned international coaches as well.

Above all, since coaching helps to identify the observer within, coaching is being recognized as a tool for being better at work and life.