The following data was collected by a Toronto-based tutoring academy during the 2005/2006 school year and provides a summary of 169 students and what subjects they were being tutored in. This data provides a good summary of the relative demand for tutoring in different subjects in a large North American city. Although this is not a perfectly representative sample and that demand for different subjects may vary by city, it still provides information that may be useful in determining what subjects and grades to offer.
The split between male and female students is almost even, with 49% male and 51% female. Students are spread out amongst the different grade levels, with 25% in K-6, 15% in grades 7-8, 57% in grades 9-12, and less than 3% in college / university.
Below is a list of the most popular tutoring subjects and their relative incidence amongst this group.
Math … 77 students (45.6%)
English … 37 students (21.9%)
Math and English … 27 students (16.0%)
Math and Science … 18 students (10.7%)
Science … 7 students (4.1%)
French … 3 students (1.8%)
Math is by far the most popular subject, with 45.6% of students requiring tutoring in Math only, and another 26.7% requiring tutoring in Math and another subject.
English comes in second place, with almost 30% requiring tutoring in English and another 16% requiring tutoring in Math and English.
Science comes in at a distant third, with only 4.1% requiring tutoring in Science only, and another 10.7% requiring tutoring in Math and Science.
The demand for French tutoring is almost negligible, with less than 2% requiring tutoring in this subject.
What is the significance of this data?
This data may provide a useful example of the relative demand for tutoring subjects in a typical small / medium-sized North American tutoring academy. Anyone considering starting a tutoring academy should research the demand for subjects, as well as the grade level of tutoring students for their relevant market. You should carefully consider this information before deciding upon what subjects and grade levels you will offer with your tutoring service, so you can make the best use of a scarce resource … your tutors.
For example, if you choose to offer tutoring in all subjects and grades, you will need to have a lot more available tutors than if you just offer Math for grades 7-12. And based on the numbers, you could probably attract enough students to run a profitable academy by offering just Math for grades 7-12. On the other hand, an academy specializing in English tutoring for grades K-6 probably would not attract nearly as many students as the previous example.
The decision of what subjects to tutor is therefore a balance between what grades and subjects you can comfortably manage, and what you need to offer to sustain a profitable business.