Technological advancements have changed the way we perceive things. We are living at a time where we don’t have to refer to books for our queries, go out to find cabs, or visit a bank to transfer money. All of this and many other tasks are accomplished online within a matter of seconds. What has fueled this trend is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As countries across the world were forced to shut down its operation, going online seemed to be the only viable solution. The education sector followed suit. With millions of learners forced to sit at home and universities shut, people switched to online learning means to continue their education.
The edtech industry had been witnessing steady growth, but the COVID-19 pandemic intensified its growth rate significantly in 2020. Popular eLearning providers like Vedantu, Simplilearn, Coursera, Khan Academy, and more saw their customer base hugely expanding in these few months. As mentioned in one of the CNBC articles, the education app downloads worldwide surged 90% in March (when WHO declared COVID-19 as a pandemic) compared to the weekly average in the fourth quarter of 2019. Learners enrolled in different kinds of programs like self-paced learning, instructor-led learning, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and paid courses as well.
While it was obvious for students to look out for an online training program, a growing interest was also noticed among professionals willing to upskill themselves. Professionals who had a secured job understood what impact could the current scenario create on the corporate sector and thus wished to gain new skills. On the other hand, those who lost their jobs realized the need to gain in-demand digital skills and survive in these unpredictable times.
This understanding is in tune with the prediction of the World Economic Forum that over half of the employees would require significant upskilling or reskilling to do their jobs. And this prediction was made even before the start of the COVID-19 situation. That said, online courses are the best way employees can upskill themselves. Courses like ITIL 4 Foundation training online, PMP training, data science course, and digital marketing certification are some of the most sought-after programs among professionals.
Now, seeing a huge upsurge in the number of online learners, those in the edtech industry need to ensure that their mobile applications and desktop websites have advanced features that make learning quite accessible. Though not completely like a physical classroom experience, eLearning providers can try to offer benefits like doubt clearing sessions, interactive quizzes, explanations through animations, gamification, performance tracking, and notes taking during live class. The course material should also be updated and the trainers should be highly qualified.
A new trend is also being noticed due to the ongoing popularity of eLearning. With a sudden spike in active users, eLearning providers required more tutors for live sessions. It created opportunities for freelancers and part-time workers who could dedicate some hours daily in taking online classes. Interest is particularly noticed in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities instead of metros to fill the supply gap of tutors. As such, people can make use of this opportunity and add it as a source of additional income.
The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely compelled enterprises to rethink their business strategies. Though the situation may improve in some time, the future of eLearning looks bright. The pandemic has only highlighted the need of digital transformation in the education sector. Apart from students, professionals would also become comfortable incorporating an upskill program in their work schedule. Updating the skills which has long been ignored would become a priority in the time to come. So, if you still haven’t explored the edtech platforms yet, it’s time to give it a try. You’ll definitely find a course based on your interests.