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Monday, January 24, 2022

Education Outlook 2022: Trends to look out for this year

The complete shutdown of educational institutions from offering physical sessions was a big dampener in the initial days of the lockdown in 2020. Institutes and students, however, are hopeful of a better 2022.

By: Education Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: January 2, 2022 9:46:23 am
New-age technology and consumer adoption has led to an exponential rise of learners opting for online learning in India. (Graphic: Abhishek Mitra)

After the impact caused by the complete lockdown of educational institutes in 2020 due to Covid-19, the education sector recovered slightly in 2021. However, the second wave of covid in April-May 2021 had an irreversible effect on many students and families.

The complete shutdown of educational institutions from offering physical sessions was a big dampener in the initial days of the lockdown, in 2020. Institutes and students, however, were able to adapt to online sessions fairly quickly. While physical sessions are ideal, students realised that to make the most of the time at hand, online classes are a decent medium.

Adapting to online education

“While physical sessions have been happening in a large way at many places across the country only over the last couple of months, we see this as a great momentum with which we will be entering the new year. Holding an optimistic outlook with no more Covid scares, we hope that 2022 should turn out to be a great year for education with things getting back to normal completely,” said Manek Daruvala, Founder & Director, Triumphant Institute of Management Education (T.I.M.E.).

India is a significant participant in the global education market and has one of the largest networks of higher education institutions globally. For the Indian education system, on the other hand, there is still room for improvement, and with NEP (National Education Policy), there is an infinite scope of evolution. Strengthening and implementing student-centred learning is critical for the future of education.

The watchword that governs the future trend of providing great education to students is flexibility in learning. Transitioning from a traditional to a modern form of education took a long time. Now that this shift has taken hold, students all around the world will benefit from advantages that will not only widen their knowledge base but also pave the way for the lucrative and well-paying jobs they seek.

“2021 changed the course of education across the world, but it has especially been a year of change for online learning. This year proved that blended learning, video classes and upskilling are not just temporary trends but will continue to grow and evolve in the years to come. The online learning industry in India is expected to reach $4 billion by 2025,” Aayur Kaul, Market Head, Skillshare India said.

Blended and hybrid learning

“As we know, blended and hybrid learning is undoubtedly here to stay. In terms of the first, incorporating digital aspects into daily lessons will surely provide students with a better and exciting experience. 3D animations, VFX (visual effects), and virtual reality can completely replace or adopt delivery methods so that classrooms that have already moved to the distance learning rooms continue to move into virtual reality for a more vibrant and realistic experience,” said Ashwani Awasthi, Managing Director, RICS School of Built Environment.

Viewing the current market situation, businesses across the spectrum are hiring fresh talents for new positions with a focus on advanced technologies such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, amongst others. In India, tech-based sectors like Fin-Tech, Agri-Tech, Health-Tech, Edu-Tech, Logi-tech and Travel-Tech are amongst those which are likely to hire more graduates within the coming year said Narayan Mahadevan, Founder, BridgeLabz.

“As we march in 2022, online education enters into the second year of the pandemic. The covid period has opened up several opportunities for tech talent and with several advancements and innovations coming to the fore; the sector is continuously striving to provide new opportunities for young talent, both in terms of realigned skill sets as well as completely new job roles. Technology is playing a large role in how we’re approaching education,” said Mahadevan.

Soft skills gaining prominence

Tech talent must opt for skill enhancement programs and also try to polish their soft skills as this helps in better communication and coordination with their counterparts at work. Companies are more and more looking for job-ready talent who can hit the road running from day one. The tech industry has been one of the major contributors in terms of employment and in terms of achieving the government mission in taking the economy to $5 trillion by 2024.

Sonya Hooja, Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder at Imarticus Learning, said that the introduction of new-age technology and consumer adoption has led to an exponential rise of learners opting for online learning in India.

Growing demand for industry-specific skills

“We’re seeing a staggering rise in course enrolments for our data analytics program by (30per cent), new-age banking programs by (60per cent), online MBAs by (20 per cent), and our IIT and IIM courses by a whopping (60 per cent). The EdTech industry in India is expected to grow at a 52 per cent CAGR which makes me confident that these numbers will continue to rise steadily. On the basis of these learnings, we plan to launch more programs to meet the growing demand for professionals with industry-specific skills,” Hooja said.

Ranga Karanam, Google Cloud Expert and Instructor, Udemy India, said, “With the emergence of the pandemic, today’s technology is evolving at a rapid speed. Cloud computing, cybersecurity, and data science are among the most in-demand emerging tech skills and going forward, the digitization at various workplaces will likely evolve rapidly.”

Accepting hybrid model 

For 2022, the EdTech funding may slow down as valuations are extremely high & dominant market players have been identified in each education sub-segment, said Akhil Shahani, Managing Director, Thadomal Shahani Centre for Management, Shahani Group.

“This is similar to funding trends in other tech sectors where the largest 2-3 players take up most funding. The pandemic changed our outlook towards education. Everything went online, yet not everyone could benefit from it. The states might start accepting hybrid learning & tech-oriented education models in core schools/colleges to overcome this challenge,: Shahani added.

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