With a drastic change in the education landscape in the past few years and coronavirus lockdown being a catalyst, companies and educational institutions have started to modify their offerings & techniques, whereas learners have started to realize the importance of “what, when, and how” exactly do they want to learn.
Five of the major megatrends re-shaping the industry are below:
- Focus on a more holistic view of Education spends rather than on tuition fees
Previously the focus was on getting into tuition and coaching centres based on financial capability, course package, quality of teachers, and location accessibility. In 2020, with internet penetration reaching nearly 700M people and increasing accessibility to online education, some EdTech players have brought freelance teachers on class management software. This has enabled learners to leverage select individual courses, flexible timings, and competitive prices, with the option of one-to-one interaction with the tutor. The increasing awareness of individuals for the need and option to only invest in what they want has helped in making a better choice for the type of investment in courses, be it for higher education or upskilling.
- NEP has signalled for a new vision of classroom education with self-paced learning
Fixed curriculum, in terms of the course content and duration, is now available to learners to go through any course, and at their own pace. With digitization, tutors and educators’ recorded videos are accessible online for free as well as paid versions. Major EdTech companies such as BYJU’s, Toppr, etc. provide self-paced courses and have received total funding of ~US$2.5B in 2020. This is also being adopted by schools and universities to relieve tutors and learners to be available at the same time, providing learners with the flexibility to pursue any time and at convenience. With the NEP 2020 in the picture now, the Education sector witnessed budget estimates of US$13.45B for FY20-21, a huge chunk of which is expected to boost online Education. Apart from K-12 to higher education, working professionals are also at ease now as they can undertake courses at their own time and pace.
- A transition from ‘fear of missing out’ spend to active learning approaches from a wide selection of tools and educational aids
In a country like India, with many people competing for the same profile, it is important to have unique skills and be agile to have a competitive edge. Spends on courses and skills too common in the market – is common. Increasing use of educational tools in teaching such as AR/VR for immersive learning, gamified learning, etc. is becoming a distinguishing factor in providing quality education.
- Embracing continuous learning spanning 45 yrs+ rather than the traditional Education system as an 18-21 year phase of life
As mentioned earlier, agility is most important today. With continuous technological advancements everywhere, it is important to stay updated and relevant to one’s profile. The continued learning segment has received US$142M funding in 2020, up from US$58M in 2019. Multi-disciplinary, IT, and Management have been the key business models for major EdTech players in India.
Age is just a number, as even professionals with vast experience need to stay updated with the technological advancements to maintain their position, across all sectors and industries.
- Uniform democratic access for all learners and 24/7 unhindered, anywhere, anytime access
Geographic limitations had been one of the prime barriers in the accessibility of quality learning. For learners with financial constraints and personal responsibilities, and with high-quality teachers concentrated in mainly tier-1 regions, access was difficult. Indian EdTech has raised US$4B in the last five years and companies have started to tie-up with premium universities and renowned educators to provide the same quality content, which is accessible to all, at affordable prices online. Infrastructural and technological developments across tier-2 and below regions have seen an increasing number of enrolments in courses and will only rise.
India is one of the largest markets for Education with 360M learners in 2020. EdTech companies are constantly monitoring and evolving their strategies based on consumer demand and market trends. Learner’s expectations increase day by day and proper market research are very much essential to capture their minds and grab the opportunity at the right time. Both the Government and private players in the Education industry have a lot to do in re-shaping this landscape.
Practice Leader – Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship
Praxis Global Alliance