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Laptops Expected To Be Biggest Higher Ed Tech Expense in 2015

IT spending by colleges and universities in the United States is expected to hit $6.6 billion for 2015. The biggest single area for technology spending will be laptop computers at $1.3 billion, which will consume about 20 percent of the total outlay.

Those estimates come out of a new IT spending pivot table from IDC Government Insights, which provides estimates and forecasts for the entire U.S. education sector, encompassing higher ed, K–12 and "other" education. According to the analyst firm, the guidance will be published bi-annually. The report will include details on education level, individual states, education functional areas, enrollment levels and technology segments.

The current spending guide also offered these findings:

  • California leads in overall education IT spending at $2.3 billion for 2015, followed by Texas ($1.2 billion) and New York ($1.1 billion);
  • Tablets and e-readers will grow by eight percent across all education levels and types by the end of 2015, for a total of $522 million. Spending for that category in higher ed will reach $270 million, about 52 percent of the total, growth that's driven, according to Research Director Shawn McCarthy, by a "general rise in interest for reading and studying"; and
  • Spending on notebook computers peaked in 2014 at just over $4 billion across all education levels and types. That's expected to decline by nearly seven percent this year.

"IT growth among educational institutions has been spurred by a recovering economy, recovering tax bases, and an increase in the number of government education grants," said McCarthy. "While the drop in PC spending was a bit surprising last year, we expect tablet computers to have a bright future in education, particularly for use in science classes and for one-off training via apps."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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