The COVID-19 pandemic, a thing people never saw coming, forced businesses across the world to shut down their operations for a few months. Though the lockdowns were lifted, business conditions didn’t reach their pre-pandemic levels. Companies needed to accept the new normal and change their strategies to survive in such unprecedented times. From aviation, travel and hospitality, retail, to manufacturing and education, all the sectors were hit hard. Conversely, online businesses revived soon and some of them, in fact, saw a dramatic increase in their growth during the pandemic. One of those fortunate industries was the edtech sector.
Edtech or eLearning industry, as the name suggests, refers to the online mode of learning. A drastic push was given to this sector as the studies of millions of students were interrupted due to the indefinite close down of universities and other educational institutions. Left with no other choice, students switched to eLearning platforms to continue their academic studies. Talking particularly of India, the edtech sector didn’t have many active users before the pandemic. But, in 2020, their customer base increased dramatically and students started seeking instructor-led classes for various subjects.
There are two popular learning modes in eLearning – self-paced mode and instructor-led mode. The self-paced mode involves accessing pre-recorded videos on a Learning Management System (LMS) through a user account and following the material at a comfortable pace. The instructor-led mode is quite similar to a physical classroom experience where mentors and students connect via video conferencing and classes are taken live. Such a virtual class is quite interactive and students can also discuss their queries with the faculty.
Apart from students, eLearning also benefited professionals in many ways. As thousands of them lost their jobs and realized the need for learning more digital skills, eLearning provided them the ease of developing them remotely. Many training providers offer best-in-class learning experiences to help professionals prepare for the future of the workforce. Digital marketing, data science, blockchain, cloud computing, project management, and artificial intelligence are some of the most sought-after knowledge fields. For beginners, there are free online programs as well, like a free CAPM course for project management aspirants.
The edtech and smart classroom market has seen increased year-on-year growth due to the COVID-19 outbreak. These solutions have been widely adopted by K-12 schools and universities alike, and helped enhance the quality of teaching and learning across the world. Evidently, the global edtech and smart classroom market, which was worth USD 75.24 billion in 2019, is expected to reach USD 234.41 billion by the year 2027, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.3% from 2020 to 2027. The edtech market is attracting participation from renowned players like IBM Corporation, Cisco Systems, Apple Inc., SAP SE, D2L Corporation, SMART Technologies, and Oracle Corporation.
The education sector has long been behind in adopting smart technological solutions compared to other industries. The incorporation of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning in smart learning offers better advancements in this field and should be embraced by educational institutions in the future. If investments by government agencies are made towards eLearning solutions, then the edtech and smart classroom industry remuneration will be augmented.
Overall, edtech players can play a crucial role in improving the quality of higher education and making technical education more accessible. It can also facilitate the upskilling of working professionals, a move that kept on getting delayed due to lack of time. Though the inertia in relation to edtech is gradually fading away, governments need to work on multiple levels to catalyze the improvements being made in the kind and quality of skills imparted. If the existing workforce focuses more on upskilling themselves and gaining the in-demand digital skills, then they will soon stay afloat in this dynamic job market.
The changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic are here to stay and undergoing digital transformation will only benefit the education sector in the future. So, the eLearning industry has a long way to go, and you too should leverage it for your career growth. Enroll in an online course of your choice and learn from industry experts. The certification that you would get on completing it would demonstrate your knowledge of the subject.