Post COVID Era: More Opportunities for Ed-tech Industry

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Situation:

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented calamity for everyone and we are completely unprepared. As there is no cure or vaccine found for this highly contagious virus till august, the only way to save people till the time the vaccine is found is, to break the chain of transmission of virus. The practical way to make this possible, all the non-essential activities were paused immediately.

As an impact of this, many educational institutions had to suspend attendance, delay examinations & close till an uncertain period of time. By the end of March, over 180 countries had closed down schools, which had a direct impact on over 1.5 billion (87.4%) learners overall. This hurried transition prompted educators around the globe to search for ways to ensure seamless learning and academic study for their students.

This has led them to move towards online teaching options. Even regulators and nearly every educational institute has moved to the online space to impart education under these unprecedented times. The Ed-tech, previously considered a competition to traditional schooling or a secondary option compared to traditional schooling and at most, a supplement to traditional methods of school learning now being considered as an option.

COVID-19 has also caused a negative economic impact on all the businesses. Many companies had to let go of their employees to cut the costs, so as to survive. This caused a major spike in unemployment across the world. On the other hand, it increased the downtime for employees due to work from home option.

Hence to become more compatible to the newer profiles or to be more efficient at traditional one’s many working professionals are looking forward to upskilling programmes Ed-Tech programmes are quiet equipped to help to achieve their objectives of mastering these skills and get job-ready for changing roles which will continue to be in-demand through these tough times. This situation made employees consider online upskilling programs as an essential upgradation tool.

Impact on Ed tech

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of Ed tech in a matter of a year or two, which otherwise would have taken a decade or more. Use of technology in support of remote learning, distance education and online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic is emerging and evolving quickly.

India saw the most number of searches for online courses post lockdown showing people’s growing interest in up-skilling. The companies like Bjyu’s, UpGrad, Vedantu, CL Educate, Imarticus Learning, Simplilearn and Toppr that have been around for the last four to five years in building Ed-Tech platforms even before this present pandemic have been benefited by the scenario. Right from the very first week of the lockdown in India, Numerous platforms have also been launched, re-advertised, upgraded swiftly to capitalize on the growth wave and it resulted in a spike in user registrations and time spent on online learning platforms.

As per SimilarWeb, based on top 35 online learning platforms, the Ed-Tech segment saw a 26% increase in user visits between April 2019 to March 2020, as compared to previous year. Further, in the first 28 days of lockdown, it was visited 128.8 Mn times as compared to an average 102.2 Mn between the same period last year.

However, The sector is undergoing a tactical shift in terms of demand. Post lockdown during the first 28 days, the traffic share has significantly shifted towards MOOC platforms like Udemy (17.81%) and Coursera (10.10%). Python and data science have been the two trending search topics during the lockdown compared to competitive exams preparation such as UPSC.

Another trend that we are seeing during the COVID situation is the growing partnerships between traditional education players and Ed-Tech companies. In the coming future, offline universities and colleges are planning to launch their online programs, delivered in partnership with ed-tech companies who will help them power their learning delivery.

The future of Ed-Tech industry:

Ed-Tech startups believe that online learning will be largely immune to the post-lockdown decline in digital adoption. The amount of education content that will be consumed through the use of Ed-Tech will be many times the learning that will happen on campus. The ease of access, the quality of teaching and comparatively low-cost investment in online learning will motivate people to stick with online alternatives even after the pandemic has passed.

With many different approaches being taken, the COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity with new policy to learn from each other and co-operate to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and maybe even “build back better”.

India can be a global destination for online learning as the country does not lack if compared to others. Post-COVID the education industry may double in terms of investment and consumption.

Technology is turning teacher-centric education to a more teacher-student setup. Smart classrooms are making teaching more transparent and equal for every student in a close to real classroom like experience.

‘Education on demand’ wherein students across the world can record their online classes (instead of attending it live) and watch at their own time and convenience. Due to the reduced personal touch for students.

Other opportunities emerged

The need for more interactive and engaging Ed-Tech solutions has arised for teachers themselves, to enable better learning outcomes in students. Tools which will allow people to map a student’s engagement level or able to read people’s faces to see how well they understand something can make Ed-Tech more effective.

This also translates into the demand for digitally skilled professionals who can continue to power the growth in these businesses. The volume of data created globally every month grew significantly. Obviously, there will be a need for qualified data scientists to make sense of this data.

All companies are investing in their cloud infrastructure as entire companies are working from home now. Again, this will translate into the need for cloud administrators, architects and so on. As people WFH, cyber-security is a major concern area for everyone.

In line with these requirements, there are other opportunities in areas such as data, cloud, cybersecurity and digital economy.

Conclusion

The trend accelerated because of COVID-19 pandemic is going to continue to help grow the Ed-Tech industry. The revised education policy will also help boost more Ed-Tech adoption as Ed-Tech companies have the opportunity to create wholesome content in line with the new regulation.

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