Googling across India for education courses and choices

It is still engineering and IT-related courses that are on top of the mind of Indian students,a study by Google has revealed

Written by Anubhuti Vishnoi | New Delhi | Published:August 9, 2012 3:48 am

It is still engineering and IT-related courses that are on top of the mind of Indian students,a study by Google has revealed. More interestingly,a low-profile government education digital channel,NPTEL —National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning — that hosts course-ware and over 800 lectures on YouTube,gets the most hits from Indian students at 7.9 million,leaving MIT Stanford and UC Berkely behind.

Ranking second in the world in terms of education-related queries on the commonest of search engines,India’s students are increasingly relying on the internet to make critical career decisions,the Google study says.

“Students on the Web: A Google India Study” shows that 44 per cent of the most searched courses are vocational (mainly computer),40 per cent are bachelor’s courses (mainly engineering) and 16 per cent are at master’s level,predominately MBA.

A Google-TNS Students Online Study 2012 that examines education choices and the role of the internet shows students ended up researching a particular career choice and institute for a good six months before taking a final decision. Analysis of what helped students finally decide on a course shows that placement rate was on top of their minds,followed by faculty quality,course content,overall reputation and fees.

Rajan Anandan,VP and managing director,Google India,said the exponential growth in the number of internet users and education related searches on Google inspired them to conduct the study. “In 2008,India ranked eighth in the world in terms of education-related searches…. within four years it has jumped to the second place. There are as many as 70 million mobile internet users in India now and 54 per cent internet users are in the 18-35 age group. From the time when students chose a career and institute after discussion with family and friends,today it is the internet that plays a key role in this decision making,” Anandan said.

Over 66 per cent students said they use mobiles to access theWeb. Video content also rated high with 46 per cent respondents saying they rely on it. Students wanted to watch videos on career options/placements (56 per cent),of the faculty (44),of existing students and alumni (29) and of classroom sessions (27).

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