How Ed-Tech Companies are Solving The Placement Problem
Do you know how they always taught us that real education lies outside the confines of books and classrooms? This was said, of course, when we were cramped within those four walls. Within the set curriculum, there was barely any breathing space to ‘upskill’. Or to go beyond what was set, whether that complemented our skill set or not. Enter ed-tech companies. Education technology: the force that polarised the firmer-than-firm Indian education system.
The year was 2012, Coursera was launched. It boasted of courses we had never heard of. But that wasn’t even the third-best part about it. These ed-tech courses were curated by the Ivy Leagues. They were open to all. They were free. The future was here. It was everything that challenged the status quo. Eight years later, we have over 4450 ed-tech start-ups in India itself. The giant, Byju’s, is raising funds at a $10B valuation as of May 2020.
We meant it when we said that the future is here. Technology in education has changed the way we study, what we study, and when we study. It has also now extended its scope to challenge the unchallenged — matching an open job with the best candidate, a candidate they nurtured. Before we move onto that, let’s discuss some of the more overt changes education technology has brought about.
Ed-Tech Companies: Jack of All Trades?
Education technology (and subsequently the placement they help with) start-ups in India fall into three broad categories. The first category deals with the K-12 segment. This is the biggest segment and is valued at around $20 billion. Start-ups within this category help students with curriculum-based learning. This is, unsurprisingly, the one that will disrupt the convention.
The second category comprises those who help students in competitive exams. The Indian test prep segment has got a market size of about $8 billion. This primarily covers the engineering, medical, law, and b-school band of applicants. This one is here to stay.
The third category gives career guidance to students and professionals and helps them get jobs. Currently, the career guidance and professional training segment are pegged at about $1 billion. This segment has maximum bandwidth and scalability. This is where job board software could be interwoven in the business model. This is where HR tech could be cashed in on.
Besides providing interactive and flexible training modules from top course providers, the technology in the education sector is mostly shifting to solve the issue of placement in India. They are helping the students in three ways — career guidance, skill upgrading, and professional development, and job placements.
Practical Learning Finally Trumps Theoretical Learning
The Indian workforce faces serious issues when it comes to specialized technical skills and soft skills. The theory rarely transfers well into a practical working space. There are several players in the HR tech and placement training space that help students with skill upgrading and career advancement. Most importantly, to get the right kickstart.
The EdTech platforms provide basic and advanced training courses on Computer Programming, Data Science, Analytics, Big Data, Mobile Computing, DevOps, Cloud Computing, Digital Marketing, Statistics (including short courses on R, Python & Excel), Robotics, Foreign Languages, Marketing, Finance, Logistics, Management, and Entrepreneurship.
These courses surpass your regular classroom lesson and are relevant to the times. They groom students and make them ready for placement. Alternative learning (or real learning, for all practical purposes) is bound to change the course of learning and placement thereafter as we know it.
The Two Other Sides of The Coin
As more and more people take to digital channels to further their education and learn new skills, the EdTech industry has grown like never before. Of course, for EdTech companies, that also means that there’s more competition for talent than ever before, too. Given the competition associated with recruiting in EdTech, they are also absorbing talent as is through active job board software.
The other business model in place is the pay-after-placement model. Though most business schools commit to campus placements, only a few see to it that the last student has secured a job. As a result, a good amount of money, hard work, and hopes, and dreams stand to get wasted. To put at rest such common fears of MBA and PGDM aspirants, education technology companies such as Sunstone Eduversity has come up with a unique proposition ‘Pay after Placement’.
Ed-Tech Companies are The Real Deal
Apart from career guidance and skill upgrading, there are few Edtech start-ups that are also helping students get jobs directly. Simplilearn, which started five years ago as a professional certification training provider, recently launched its value-added service called JobAssist. JobAssist connects the students with the top hiring companies for relevant job openings.
The Indian counterparts are catching up at an unprecedented pace. Playing a major role in bridging the gap between the job aspirations and the skill expectations of the recruiting companies, is the need of the hour.
Purple Squirrel Eduventures is a unique venture that aims to provide personalized industry training across all streams. The Mumbai-based EdTech start-up is targeting an under-served market by connecting students with industry partners. They arrange for industry visits, field trips, workshops, hands-on experiences, and projects.
Technology aided education help students pursue the best matched careers and courses. The platforms deploy machine learning, artificial intelligence, neuro-linguistic programming, and various algorithms along with job matching software, like the one provided by JobsPikr. These helping in finding the right fit for the right candidate. The one that fits like the coveted glass slipper.
The world as we know it today is truly our own oyster. Unemployment and the right placement have always been an issue we have grappled with.
With the money that is pumped into education technology, we are probably on the road to bridge that harrowing gap.
Baby steps. But we shall get there.
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