Mr. Abhishek Ajmera, Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer, UNIVO Education
In the realm of education, a sweeping transformation unfolds as online learning takes centre stage. Its rising popularity and relevance mark a shift in how people perceive education. The statistics vividly portray this evolution: Statista’s market forecast projects a staggering 244 million online learners in India by the end of 2027, painting a picture of unprecedented growth and opportunity. However, beyond the numbers lies a narrative of profound impact—online education stands as the bridge across a wide skill gap, enhancing employability. India, abundant with eager minds seeking opportunities, grapples with the reality of insufficient skills for critical roles. Therefore, the rise of online education promises to be a beacon of hope, empowering individuals with essential skills for career development and advancement in an ever-changing job landscape. It’s a narrative of education breaking free from traditional bounds, promising a brighter, skill-enriched future for all.
For instance, a UNICEF survey found that 33% of employable youth in the country are not future-ready due to a lack of required skills. Online education, due to its reach, affordability, and effectiveness, can be a critical force in bridging this gap between education and employment. Here, Online education companies are actively addressing this skill gap by tailoring their courses and programs to align with industry needs and demands. Through collaboration with various industries and conducting market research, these companies identify the skills and knowledge that are in high demand. They then design their online courses to incorporate these essential skills, ensuring that the youth have access to relevant and up-to-date learning opportunities that can enhance their employability. Additionally, many online education platforms offer certification programs and badges, providing learners with tangible credentials to showcase their acquired skills to potential employers.
There is a great need for skill development and upskilling
As described before, the employment landscape has been changing at a fast pace. An individual must keep themselves updated with the latest factors. For instance, with the emergence and growth of new technologies, many companies are now looking for graduates with basic understanding of AI/ML and other disruptive technologies. Besides the international employers’ demands, such skills have also become quite important in the domestic job circuits. Online education can act as a catalyst to bridge the gap between existing and expected skill levels of young learners as well as experienced professionals.
Talking about experienced employees, it is important to mention the role of upskilling in career progression. In a modern, technology-driven business ecosystem, upskilling and reskilling have become critical aspects of a person’s career. Any individual looking for a career change or pivoting their career can benefit from upskilling opportunities provided by online education providers. There are customised and personalised plans for career progression offered by online institutes which is not quite possible in a traditional setting.
Online learning provides a greater level of flexibility to full-time workers
For a full-time worker, taking time, enrolling in a course and starting the learning journey is often impossible. Everything from lecture schedules, assignments, tests, and examinations are quite hard to manage, along with a full-time commitment to the employer. In this scenario, the role of online education providers could be pivotal in providing flexible learning opportunities to such workers. It is easier for learners to manage classes, lectures, assignments, and tests at their convenience. A greater and unmatched level of flexibility is available, ensuring that adding a skill or a specialised course to an individual’s portfolio is possible. Online education providers can collaborate with employers for specific skill-development courses. These learning platforms can also work closely with the career graph of an individual and suggest the kind of skill development they might need for progression.
Online learning is not restricted by traditional factors
As mentioned, online learning is not affected by geographies, teacher-student availability, logistics, and other factors influencing traditional learning. Besides tuition, traditional education costs involve transportation, meal plans, lab fees, housing, etc. These expenses are excluded from the costs of online education.
Hence, for a diverse and large country such as India, learners across can get equipped with the latest skills imparted by online courses. The cost of availing of such classes is also lower due to the factors mentioned. Hence, online education providers, in a way, tick all the right boxes that eventually help in facilitating skill and career growth.
Providing a professional circle and networking opportunities to learners
One of the most underrated impacts of online education is the fact that it helps in creating a community of learners. Networking and professional circle are critical in providing new opportunities to an individual looking for diversification and pivot. Such online courses help participants communicate on forums and platforms openly.
In addition to colleagues, it is possible to connect with prospective employers and business partners through these platforms. Networking also works as a wonderful tool for resolving problems related to work or other technical areas. It is also possible to exchange recommendations and gain valuable endorsements as the professional circle of an individual widens due to these courses.
Online education is extremely beneficial from an employer’s perspective
Online education offers myriad business benefits, notably enhanced employee morale, improved performance, innovative strategizing, and lower turnover rates. Additionally, it provides cost-effective alternatives to traditional training, especially for businesses employing an international workforce. Consider the scenario of an Indian firm with global staff; the expenses of on-site training or simultaneous programs are substantial. However, online learning allows employees to engage in coursework, communicate with instructors, and undertake assessments via a single cloud-based platform, regardless of their time zones and locations, translating to significant savings and increased convenience.
To sum up, there are different areas that online education providers cover that eventually help in bridging the gap between education and employment in the country. It addresses the need for skill development in a rapidly evolving job market and offers flexibility and affordability to learners across the nation, regardless of their geographic or time constraints. The inherent benefits of networking and cost-effective corporate training further underscore its value. As we embrace the digital age, India’s journey toward economic progress is intertwined with its ability to effectively leverage the potential of online education for career development and continued workforce upskilling.