Brief of Online education in India and its advantages:
The online education started in the 1840s when the legendary Isaac Pitman taught his students shorthand via correspondence! This early form of distance learning helped transform the way education was perceived by students. Over the years, distance learning went through different avatars before online education was finally introduced in 1999. With the development of technology, India has witnessed an enhanced acceptance of online education over a period of a few years. Many students and working professionals have joined different e-learning platforms in the past few years in order to enhance their skills. And, looking at trends, the number of people adopting online education platforms is expected to increase significantly in the near future.
As of March 2017, 462.12 million Indians use the Internet, second only to China! This indicates the opportunities waiting to be explored in the field of online education. Many universities have already joined the bandwagon and are offering online courses on a wide range of topics. It’s time for more Indian students to embrace the world of opportunities online courses offer. Students numbers for online platforms for different test preparation is expected to increase. The different online platforms could either act as a substitute or complement to the existing offline test prep market to provide coaching to students for various exams such as JEE Main, NEET, CAT, Bank PO, and CLAT. It is projected that the category of test prep will grow at a CAGR of 64% in 2021.
Many new players have emerged in the online test prep market which are launching exam-specific mobile applications for students. Apart from that, the lack of good faculty in tier 2 and 3 cities is also driving candidates from these areas to adopt online platforms for exam preparation. In nutshell it provides the following:
- Choice-based course from the comfort of home
- Lower costs involved
- Convenient interaction with Online Tutors (OTs)
- Hurdle-less career growth
- Test Prep through Online Education
- Emerging Trends in Indian Online Higher Education System (30% credits)
- Improvement in computer-based skills
- Test Prep through Online Education
Ways in which online education helps candidates prepare efficiently for different competitive exams are as follows:
- Webinar: A seminar conducted in the online mode is referred to as a webinar. These days many online players conduct webinars that help candidates in conceptual clarity.
- Mock tests: Mock tests are emerging as a popular course component for students wherein they participate in a series of tests and get a comparative assessment (with other students) of their performance. With mock tests, candidates also get to know their areas of improvement as well as test pattern of the competitive exam they are planning to appear for.
- Videos: Videos are helpful for candidates in solving exam papers and other problem areas.
- Counselling: As a differentiator, players in online test prep market have also started offering course and career counselling services to students.
As per KPMG report, there are many reasons why students and working professionals are moving towards e-learning/ online education. Have a look at some such reasons below:
- Internet penetration: India has an internet penetration of about 31% today, which means 409 million internet users. It is predicted that by 2021, there will be nearly 735 million internet users in India, which will lead to the actual increase in traffic for online education players.
- Smartphone penetration: Currently, there are 290 million smartphone users in India and the user base is expected to grow with the addition of another 180 million new users by 2021.
- The Flexibility of time: This is specifically true for working professionals who have time constraints in pursuing an offline course. Pursuing a course in online mode allows a person to multi-task with other work and family commitments.
- Quality education: There are areas in India where there is a lack of quality offline education. For instance, states such Bihar, Kerala and Jammu & Kashmir account for about four lakh distance education enrolments, states KPMG report.
- Immediate results: Online education allows candidates to get immediate results for any test that they appear for. This further helps them in preparing for exams more efficiently.
- Study material: A variety of online study material in the form of videos and texts are encouraging students to adopt online education platforms.
- Affordability: Online courses joined at UG or PG level are much more affordable than traditional programmes as depicted in the image below.
The Indian market for Online system:
As per a report released by KPMG India and Google, Online Education in India: 2021, the market for online education in India is expected to witness a magnificent growth of eight times in three years, i.e., from USD 247 million in 2016 to USD 1.96 billion in 2021. Such high growth in online education market is projected to be the outcome of the increased number of paid online education users from 1.57 million in 2016 to 9.5 million in 2021.
So, as the market for e-learning is predicted to grow multiple times in the coming years, let us see some emerging trends in Indian online higher education system.
Govt’s responding the call of Time & Technology for Higher Education:
India has one of the largest higher education systems in the world. It mainly consists of three parts – university, college, and courses. And, all parts of the higher education system are governed by the UGC, AICTE, BCI, MCE etc and its professional councils. Government’s recent initiatives of MOOCs such as SWAYAM, e-Basta, and Digital India is expected to strengthen the infrastructure needed by students to pursue higher education in online mode.
The online higher education in India is at an early stage of development and has witnessed the emergence of different private universities offering UG and PG e-learning courses to students. However, as compared to graduation and diploma courses, the demand for online higher education is dominated by post-graduation courses such as MBA and MCA (as evident in the graph below). It is projected that the category of test prep will grow at a CAGR of 64% in 2021.
Course wise preference of online Higher Education
MBA/PGDBM MCA MTech/MS BEd/M.Ed/NTT
North 33 % 28% 19% 09%
West 39 % 34% 13% 07%
East 64 % 24% 04% 02%
South 36 % 24% 13% 17%
Q.4. What kind of courses are adopted by students and working professionals in tier-1 and tier-2 cities.
No of users adopting online Courses Tier-1 Tier-2
MBA/PGDBM 36 % 48%
MCA 19% 38%
MTech/MS 18% 06%
BEd/M.Ed/NTT 14% 04%
LLB/LLM 03% 01%
MA/MCoom/MSc 06% 03%
MD/MDS 01% 01%
Others 04% 00%
Courses emerging as preferred by the online system:
Many new players have emerged in the online test prep market which are launching exam-specific mobile applications for students. Apart from that, the lack of good faculty in tier 2 and 3 cities is also driving candidates from these areas to adopt online platforms for exam preparation.
Nos adopting Test Preparation Courses Tier-1 Tier-2
Engg 32 26%
Medical 23% 13%
BA/BSc/BBA 17% 13%
LAw 16% 06%
Civil Services 20% 17%
GMAT/MBA 11% 16%
CA 10% 09%
GOVT. Services 32% 35%
Bank PO 23% 30%
Source: KPMG Report: Online Education in India: 2021
Future Prospects of Online Education:
Looking at the current trends, it is expected that online higher education market will witness considerable growth in the next five years and aid in distance learning programmes. However, since these courses are limited to theoretical content currently, adoption of virtual classroom concepts could bring a practical component in the online medium.
A Hybrid model is expected to gain traction in future, where online players are expected to open offline centres to provide classroom-like experience to students. Also, gamification, the approach of introducing fun elements like video game design in learning, is likely to gain popularity in India. As per the report, some players have already started entering the space in order to enhance the engagement of learners.