Online education across segments and students population is emerging as a popular option for individuals.
Across age groups, online education is getting adopted. A segment where we at UpGrad feel that online adoption will be rapid, is the working professional segment. And there are multiple reasons for the same – from their ability to pay, their willingness to move up in their career etc.
In this piece I want to touch upon a key trend that we are targeting – changing requirements of the industry and the need to continuously upgrade for working professionals. To give an example, a few decades ago – a farmer’s son would be a farmer; a carpenter’s son would be a carpenter. Things changed over time, and a farmer’s son started becoming an engineer. And in today’s world, an engineer goes through 5+ career shifts in his/her career span.
Marketing is not the way it used to be 10 years back. Payment is not the way it used to be 5 years back. Data analysis has undergone drastic changes. And in this digital age, the rate of this change is going to further accelerate. Industry will evolve rapidly, and as working professionals, each one of us has to keep up with this changing requirement. Industry is not going to wait for the individual to get upskilled or upgraded, and a large part of the onus will lie with the individual.
Further, the rate at which the needs of the industries are changing; our current university system is not able to cope up. Therefore, individuals have to look for alternate options to add relevant skills to their portfolio. This is where online education comes into the fore. Professionals today do not have the flexibility of leaving their jobs and going to a school to learn new skills. Online education platforms are great options for these professionals who are looking to continuously upgrade, while continuing to stay in their jobs. Unlike offline education, online medium provides the advantage of being able to update the program curriculum and content regularly, and keep it relevant to the industry needs. Online medium also allows real-life problems to come to working professionals learning, where an individual can actually live the real-life situations in the form of case studies.
In the digital age, each individual will have to continuously upskill himself/ herself to stay relevant, and that would provide a large opportunity for edtech startups to create scale platforms. EdTech startups will have to look for opportunities where there is a significant demand supply gap, and look at providing right education programs. The biggest challenge in this will be the ability of edtech startups to design the program content for digital medium, rather than replicate what is being covered in the offline programs. Taking advantage of the digital channel will be key here. So for all edtech startups, keep your ears on the ground, and look for areas and skills that will allow you to build scale learning platform.