What is the ROI on Virtual Reality Training

The potential of Virtual Reality (VR) in learning and training has sparked significant interest among businesses and educational institutions.

Implementing VR in learning programmes offers an immersive and engaging experience, which could lead to better retention of skills and improved outcomes.

However, one crucial factor in evaluating the efficacy of VR learning is determining its Return on Investment (ROI).

The ROI on VR learning is bolstered by the rapidly decreasing costs of VR headsets, with the average price currently around $300 according to Strivr.

Moreover, studies and reports, such as one conducted by PwC in 2022, have highlighted the benefits of VR learning in terms of accelerated training time, increased confidence, and a higher emotional connection to the material, as compared to traditional learning method.

To optimise the ROI on VR learning, it is essential to consider the initial investment, ongoing costs, and the quantitative and qualitative impact on learners.

Evaluating VR learning programmes in terms of their ability to enhance skill acquisition, reduce training time, and improve overall performance can help organisations better understand the value of implementing such immersive technologies in their training strategies.

Defining ROI in VR Learning

Return on Investment (ROI) is a crucial performance metric that evaluates the efficiency of an investment. In the context of Virtual Reality (VR) learning, it is essential to understand both the costs and benefits associated with implementing VR training in an organisation.

A positive ROI implies that the benefits outweigh the costs, making VR learning a valuable investment for the organisation.

The costs associated with VR learning primarily involve the hardware (such as headsets) and software (such as training programmes). As technology advances, the price of VR headsets is decreasing rapidly, making it more accessible for a wider range of organisations.

Software development costs, however, may vary depending on the complexity and customisation required for specific training needs.

To assess the benefits of VR learning, it is essential to consider several factors:

  1. Retention rate: Studies have shown that VR learning can yield an 80% retention rate one year after training, compared to traditional training, which drops to as low as 20% after just one week.
  2. Engagement rate: Gamified immersive learning tends to be more ‘sticky’, meaning learners are more engaged and invested in their training. PWC’s research endorsed VR learning by comparing the costs of classroom, e-learning and VR learning, showing that the latter achieved higher engagement rates.
  3. Freedom to fail: Mistakes made in virtual reality are mistakes not made in reality. VR learning allows users to practice without concern for real-world consequences, thereby fostering faster and more confident skills development.

To calculate the ROI of VR learning, organisations can compare the financial gains derived from VR training against the investment made in implementing and maintaining it.

Different organisations will have varying ROI outcomes depending on factors such as training requirements, scale of investment, and the overall effectiveness of their VR training programmes.

Investment Components for VR Learning

Hardware Costs

The initial investment for VR learning typically includes hardware costs. This encompasses VR headsets and controllers, as well as computing equipment powerful enough to support the high-quality graphics and real-time interactions common in virtual reality environments.

Costs may vary depending on the specific devices and technology selected, but businesses should consider how many headsets, controllers, and computers they require to provide adequate access to their workforce.

Software Development

The software development component is vital for a successful VR learning program. This typically involves designing and programming customised applications tailored to an organisation’s specific training needs.

Depending on their programming expertise and resources available, businesses may choose to develop their own VR software or partner with external development companies that offer design expertise and analytics capabilities.

Content Creation

Content creation for VR learning requires the development of immersive, engaging, and interactive 3D environments and scenarios that facilitate the desired learning outcomes.

Businesses can choose to create their own content internally or engage external parties with the necessary content creation expertise.

Factors to consider when developing content include the quality of the 3D models, textures, and animations, as well as ensuring that the content is accessible and easily understood by the end user.

Training and Support

To maximise the benefits of VR learning, organisations should plan for appropriate training and support resources. This may involve initial training for employees to effectively use the VR technology, as well as ongoing support with hardware maintenance, software updates, and troubleshooting as necessary.

Additionally, businesses should consider how they will monitor and assess the learning outcomes of their VR learners to optimise the effectiveness of the program and ensure a positive return on investment.

Benefits of VR Learning

Enhanced Learning Outcomes

One of the primary benefits of VR learning is the enhanced learning outcomes it provides. As compared to traditional learning methods, VR enables experiential learning, which follows the 70/20/10 model for learning and development.

This approach claims that 70% of what people learn is experiential, 20% is learned from others, and 10% through formal learning. By allowing learners to immerse themselves in realistic 3D environments, they can gain hands-on experience, which helps them grasp complex concepts more effectively.

Increased Engagement

Another advantage of VR learning is the increased engagement it offers. Virtual reality technology can create an immersive experience that captures the attention of learners, leading to better engagement with the training content.

This enhanced level of engagement not only encourages learners to actively participate in training sessions but also helps keep them motivated and interested in the learning material.

Improved Retention Rates

VR learning also significantly impacts the retention rates of the training material. Studies have shown that VR learning experiences lead to a higher retention rate of up to 80%, even a year after the training has taken place.

In comparison, traditional training methods may result in retention rates as low as 20% after just one week.

The immersive and interactive nature of VR learning contributes to better memory recall and, ultimately, improved retention rates.

In summary, VR learning offers several benefits, including enhanced learning outcomes, increased engagement, and improved retention rates. These advantages combine to make VR learning an effective and attractive training solution for a wide range of industries and sectors.

Measuring ROI of VR Education

Quantitative Metrics

Measuring the ROI of VR education involves a combination of quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative metrics focus on the numbers and statistics that indicate the effectiveness of VR training programs.

One way to evaluate this is by assessing the time spent in training. A study by PwC found that VR training significantly reduced the time spent in training compared to traditional classroom sessions.

User performance is another crucial metric to consider. Organisations should examine improvement in skills, accuracy, and efficiency of learners after participating in VR training sessions.

Additionally, learner engagement can be measured through metrics like the completion rate, frequency of use, and time spent on tasks. It is also worth noting the potential cost savings brought by VR education, such as lower travel expenses and reduced need for physical training spaces.

Qualitative Benefits

Aside from quantitative metrics, qualitative benefits contribute to the overall ROI of VR education. These benefits relate to the learners’ experience and perception of VR training.

For example, 94% of learners in a VR training program requested more VR-based training, as they found it more engaging and immersive than traditional methods.

Increased knowledge retention is another qualitative benefit of VR education. Due to the interactive nature of VR, learners are more likely to remember the material. This could have long-term effects on their learning trajectories, career paths, and lifelong learning.

Moreover, VR training can improve soft skills like communication, collaboration, and problem-solving by simulating realistic scenarios. This is particularly relevant in fields such as healthcare and safety training, where the ability to practise in a risk-free environment delivers invaluable experience.

In conclusion, measuring the ROI of VR education requires a combination of quantitative metrics and qualitative benefits.

By assessing these factors, organisations can gauge the effectiveness of their VR training programs and make informed decisions regarding future investments in VR education technology.

Case Studies: ROI of VR in Corporate Training

Several case studies demonstrate the effectiveness of Virtual Reality (VR) in corporate training, showing its potential for Return on Investment (ROI). For example, a study conducted by PwC found that for 1,950 learners, VR training achieved cost parity with e-learning. At 3,000 learners, VR costs became 52% less than classroom training.

Moreover, VR trainees completed training four times faster than those in classroom settings, while feeling 3.75 times more emotionally connected to the content.

Another case study from the healthcare industry highlights the use of VR for training radiographers. Due to the traditional challenges of expensive and scarce CT scanners, GE Healthcare turned to VR to train their staff. As a result, the company successfully reduced costs while maintaining a high level of competence for its radiographers.

In a retail-specific example, luxury brand FENDI benefited from incorporating VR into its training modules. The company experienced a significant ROI as mistakes made in virtual environments reduced the likelihood of mistakes on the shop floor, leading to better customer service and overall efficiency.

These case studies underline the versatility and effectiveness of VR in different industries. The cost savings, faster completion rates, and an increased emotional connection to the content all contribute to the promising ROI of VR in corporate training.

ROI Challenges and Considerations

Upfront Investment

One of the key challenges when considering the ROI on VR learning is the upfront investment required to implement such training programs. These include the costs of hardware, software, and content development. It is essential to carefully assess the potential benefits and returns against these initial expenses.

According to a Future Visual report, the ROI for VR learning is strong for enterprises. However, organisations should thoroughly evaluate their specific needs and resources before committing to this technology.

Technology Adoption

Another aspect to consider is technology adoption among employees and stakeholders. Not everyone may be comfortable with using VR technology, which could lead to resistance or reluctance in utilising VR training courses.

Consequently, companies might need to invest additional time and resources in user training and change management for seamless technology adoption.

A survey by GTI Energy revealed that leadership support and internal resource knowledge ranked high as challenges for VR training technology adoption.

Long-Term Viability

Lastly, it is vital to assess the long-term viability of VR learning programs within the organisation. Factors to consider include:

  • The rate at which VR technology is evolving and its potential impact on the relevance of the training content
  • Maintenance and upgrades of hardware and software
  • Integration with other learning management systems

While it is undeniable that VR learning programs offer unique benefits and opportunities, organisations should be mindful of these challenges and considerations to ensure a maximum positive ROI.

By understanding and addressing potential hurdles, businesses can develop a solid foundation for their VR learning journey.

Comparative Analysis: VR vs Traditional Learning

A comprehensive examination of the benefits and practical aspects of virtual reality (VR) and traditional training methods is crucial to determining their return on investment (ROI). Each method presents unique advantages, depending on the specific application and learning objectives.

When it comes to cost-effectiveness, a study initially found that VR training was marginally more expensive than traditional training ($327.78 per person vs. $229.79). However, when the costs were extrapolated over a three-year period, VR training became substantially more economical at $115.43 per person.

Additionally, learner engagement is a crucial factor in training effectiveness. Traditional learning methods can lead to disconnection from the training material, as learners may struggle to engage with the content.

In contrast, VR training offers a more engaging and immersive learning experience, enabling learners to interact with the material and practice their skills in a much more realistic and relevant way.

A systematic review of the literature on VR and traditional learning methods found that VR could be compared with various learning modes, such as reading, watching presentations, on-site training or watching videos. The study concluded that the effectiveness of each method largely depends on the specific learning objectives and application.

In terms of pass rates, a case-control study analysed pass rates for students in VR and traditional education groups. The odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were utilised to present the statistical values derived from the efficacy analysis. This offers a quantitative aspect to comparing the two methods.

To sum up the comparative analysis between VR and traditional learning:

  • Cost-effectiveness: Initial advantage to traditional learning; long-term advantage to VR
  • Learner engagement: Clear advantage to VR training
  • Learning modes: Comparable, depending on learning objectives and application
  • Pass rates: More research needed for a definitive conclusion

The world of training and learning continues to evolve, and a deeper understanding of the impact of both VR and traditional learning can help organisations make more informed decisions when choosing the most appropriate methods to meet their objectives.

Future Outlook for VR Learning ROI

The future of VR learning is promising, with a strong outlook for its ROI. Companies are increasingly adopting this technology as an effective way to train their workforce. The PWC report reveals a strong case for VR learning, providing a higher return on investment compared to traditional classroom-based and e-learning methods.

There are several factors contributing to the success of VR learning. One of the key aspects is its immersive nature, which allows for realistic simulations and real-time feedback. This enhances the learning experience and improves retention, leading to better performance and reduced training costs.

Additionally, VR learning provides a more engaging environment, enabling learners to visualize complex concepts, scenarios, and procedures.

By adopting VR learning, organisations can achieve a high ROI in various ways. A notable example is the U.S. Navy, which reaped a $2.96 million return from a $1.28 million investment. This success can be attributed to improved resource allocation and increased efficiency in training sessions.

Some benefits of VR learning include:

  • Higher retention rates
  • Reduced training time
  • Lower travel and accommodation expenses
  • Increased safety measures during high-risk training

However, it is crucial for organisations to assess their specific needs before implementing VR learning. This will ensure they maximise their ROI and invest in the appropriate tools and infrastructure needed to support this technology.

In conclusion, the future outlook for VR learning ROI is optimistic, as more companies adopt this cutting-edge technology to enhance their training strategies.

By considering the unique requirements of their organisation and investing in the right resources, businesses can expect a healthy return on their investments in VR learning.


In the realm of corporate training and learning, Virtual Reality (VR) has proven to be a game-changer. The return on investment (ROI) for VR learning initiatives has outpaced traditional classroom and e-learning methods, with benefits spanning from cost savings to improved training efficiency.

Companies from various industries now recognise the value of embracing VR in their employee training and development programs.

Firstly, VR training saves time. Trainees can practise their skills in realistic, immersive environments, significantly reducing the time required to learn a task.

In addition, VR training dramatically cuts travel costs and eliminates the need for hiring external trainers or renting training facilities, hence further increasing the cost savings.

Another aspect contributing to the strong ROI of VR learning is the improved knowledge retention and skill performance among employees. Immersive VR experiences have a lasting impact on learners, leading to better comprehension of concepts and procedures. This directly translates into increased employee efficiency and productivity.

Finally, the customisability and scalability of VR training modules make them an excellent choice for businesses of all sizes. Companies can tailor VR training to their specific needs and easily scale it up as they grow and expand.

In conclusion, the adoption of VR learning leads to substantial return on investment for businesses. Companies that integrate VR training into their learning programs are better equipped to tackle challenges, increase employee efficiency, and remain competitive in the ever-evolving corporate landscape.

Picture of Phil


I’m the resident head of comms and partnerships here at Draw & Code. I work on strategy, sales, marketing and other vital areas at a studio that was founded on a dream and has spent the intervening decade trying to make that dream come true. I believe that immersive and interactive technologies are impacting on our lives and being in the epicentre of this industry makes every day a thrill.

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