Trends in the College Student Market: Upskilling, Internships, Job & Placement Prep & More

With the advent of digital technologies, the corporate world is fast-changing, resulting in high demand and skills shortages. As industries and vocations change, students and institutions must acquire new skills through online courses, study groups, job fairs, and other means.

As the labour market contracts amidst the pandemic, more and more firms are using cutting-edge learning and development (L&D) strategies to maintain their workforces' competitiveness, skill, and productivity while also ensuring recovery from the pandemic.

The need for college up-skilling, career preparation, internships, and other opportunities is unavoidable. To address the same, EdTechReview, in collaboration with AWS EdStart, recently hosted a webinar titled "The Trends in College Student Market: Up-skilling, Job and Placement Prep, Internships, and More".

The panel of leading founders and investors in this webinar focused on:

  • Education-Employability Skills Gap and Opportunity
  • Demand for quality internships, career guidance, job and placement preparation
  • Demand of skilling, reskilling & upskilling
  • EdTech's role in supporting students, educational institutions & recruiters
  • Investors' view on this segment and what they find interesting
  • Future of skilling, upskilling, internships, job & placement, prep market & more.

 

About the Speakers:

ravish agarwal

Ravish Agrawal, Co-Founder & CEO of Able Jobs, is an IIT Kanpur graduate. He has worked primarily in the ed-tech industry. During his college, he co-founded a start-up focused on solving school admissions. Ravish is currently building Able Jobs, which helps students prepare for interviews and get dream jobs and companies to hire deployable entry-level non-tech talent faster. Able Jobs is backed by marquee investors like Y Combinator and Elevation Capital.

ankit aggarwal

Through his start-up, Ankit Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Dare2Compete, aims to build the best global community engagement platform for learning, interaction, and hiring through gamification. Ankit Aggarwal is also a TEDx Speaker and enlisted in Top 100 Great People Managers in Forbes-GMI.

manish advani

Manish Advani, Associate V.P., Elevation Capital, focuses on early-stage edtech and recruitment investments at Elevation. Before this, Manish pursued his MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, where he was awarded the Gold Medal for academic excellence.

mohammed zeeshan

Mohammed Zeeshan, Co-Founder & CEO, MyCaptain, is shaping the future of work by creating a career discovery and skilling platform for 100M+ Indians who'd be launching their careers in the digital economy over the next decade. Backed by Ankur Capital, Zeeshan also features in Forbes 30 u 30 India list as a special mention in Education.

About AWS EdStart:

AWS EdStart, the AWS educational technology (EdTech) start-up accelerator, is designed to help entrepreneurs build the next generation of online learning, analytics, and campus management solutions in the AWS Cloud. The program is designed with specially tailored benefits to enable EdTech start-ups to move faster. Read more about the program here.

Here are some highlights and extracts from the webinar:

Utkarsh Lokesh, the moderator (CEO & Editor, EdTechReview), began the webinar by asking Manish Advani, Elevation Capital, his views on the Indian college student market and landscape, what opportunities he saw from his lens? And how does he compare it to some of the global markets?

Sharing his views, Manish said, "If I take a broad view of the collegiate space, I believe there are many untapped potentials that have yet to be addressed. Most EdTech businesses that have produced significant results in India are either K-12 or an upskilling platform. The latter's outcomes are based on professional upskilling.

Recalling his college days, Mr. Manish claimed that today's education system isn't as up to date as it should be in terms of market developments, and that's where many edtech companies can assist. He also looked into the many possibilities or chances accessible to pupils based on their preferences. "From enabling college students to understand what career options are out there in terms of hobbies and more," Mr. Manish said, "to educational platforms that help with upskilling and interview prep, to co-branded programmes in colleges, [edtech companies] help with up-gradation, and more.

Mr. Manish went on to say, "Although most institutions have now implemented some form of LMS or ERP system in the aftermath of the pandemic, that area in India is fairly fractured and up for grabs. As a result, these are some of the areas where there are significant prospects."

Moving on, Mr. Ravish, Able Jobs, shared his journey, answering how he came up with the idea of Able Jobs and what pivotal moments in the journey helped evolve the product?

Mr Ravish stated that the whole idea was to help IGNOU students in the first place. Later, it was discovered that many individuals were doing degrees to complete the minimum requirements to land a good job. He also explained that the skills gap prevents them from getting a good job even with a degree. "That's when we embarked on our journey to create Able Jobs," Ravish added. He also spoke of 2-3 critical moments:

  • They got their first student placed within two weeks of his training during the initial stage. The student was a B.A. Graduate, searching for a job. That felt like a magical and pivotal moment to him. 
  • Having students enquire about the interview schedules, hiring companies, and other requirements to get placed, etc. He also added that pushing students to finish the course as early as possible to participate in the upcoming employment opportunities. That's when they realised that students were motivated to study to sit in interviews. Fundamentally, it helped shape what they at Able Jobs are building. 

In this discussion, Mr. Ravish also spoke of the idea of Able Jobs, i.e., to build the largest vocational university that the world has ever seen and help non-tech graduates out there to get a job.

Later, Mr Zeeshan, MyCaptain, stressed the Education-Employability Skills Gap in India, its reasons and the associated enormous opportunities.

According to him, "There is an urgent need for firms to assist those who want to pursue occupations other than engineering, law, medicine, or the traditional professions, i.e., give them chances to up-skill in these alternative developing careers of the future. We witnessed ourselves, as well as students around us, struggling with these issues, which fueled our desire to create MyCaptain." In addition, there are a variety of legacy occupations in different nations, such as medical and engineering in India, applied sciences in Bangladesh, and so on. This eventually leads to a significant employability gap where the supply exceeds the need.

Mr. Zeeshan also discussed a variety of job mismatches caused by the legacy careers perspective, the industry-academia gap or mismatch, and the focus on extending the employability space centre established careers for non-techs, among other topics.

Using the community involvement platform, Mr. Ankit from Dare2Compete talked about Dare2Compete's strategy to address this issue throughout the ecosystem. "At Dare2Compete, we largely focus on interactions and recruiting." He explains the three segments: learning, interaction, and hiring. Watch the webinar recording to learn more.

Mr. Ankit went on to say that for those who want to study at their speed, Dare2Compete has introduced various courses that are as good as the top courses in the market but concentrate more on resume development, interviews, and industry reporting. He focused on the interaction and hiring process that distinguishes Dare2Compete from the competition and how it assists students and recruiters in finding the ideal applicant for a particular position.

The panelists also answered the following questions:

  • What are some of the traits you look for in an edtech start-up? What are some of the key criteria of evaluating edtech companies while making investments at Elevation Capital?
  • Which are some of the exciting edtech start-ups and business models within your portfolio or otherwise you have come across in India in the last 12 months that we all can learn from?
  • Help us better understand your business model. How do you acquire students? What are the different types of courses?
  • Where do you think the college student market is headed? (across the tech and non-tech career approach) What are your plans to mainly differentiate and capture that at Able?
  • Tell us more about how you are gamifying the engagements with all your stakeholders?
  • What, according to you, are the key challenges facing an edtech company irrespective of its size today?
  • What was your way to gauge college students' demand or mainly paying capacity for career discovery, internships, job, and placement preparation?
  • What role does 'tech of EdTech' play in achieving what we spoke about?

Watch the detailed panel discussion as the speakers responded to the moderator's and the audience's questions. Get access to the insights, webinar polls & stats, questions, and key takeaways.

The AWS EdStart program supported this webinar.

Become an AWS EdStart member or Become an AWS EdStart Innovator

If you would like to host a webinar with EdTechReview, please get in touch with us on sales[at]EdTechreview[dot]in

About the Author
Author: Saniya Khan
Saniya Khan I am Saniya Khan, Copy-Editor at EdTechReview - India’s leading edtech media. As a part of the group, my aim is to spread awareness on the growing edtech market by guiding all educational stakeholders on latest and quality news, information and resources. A voraciously curious writer with a dedication to excellence creates interesting yet informational pieces, playing with words since 2016.

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