it For adUlt learning programmeS

- —KNM RAO CEO & Co-Founder, Quick Ride —VARUN DHAMIJA VP, Pearson Profession­al Programmes

Adults have increasing­ly begun to feel te need to re-skill and upgrade their skills in the profession­al arena nowadays. At the same time, with their work and family commitment­s, they are not able to attend regular courses. In such a scenario, online profession­al courses come handy to them, especially if they’re powered by the new-age platforms. Varun Dhamija, VP, Pearson Profession­al Programme shares details about such courses in an exclusive interactio­n with Datquest. Excerpts follow:

What are the trends among adult learners wanting to learn profession­al courses? Please give figure, statistics, charts etc if any.

With the advent of new technologi­es, job dynamics have undergone huge changes making re-skilling the key essence for better career option. Nurtured in an education-oriented culture, Indian profession­als realise the need and are pursuing or opening to the idea of short courses to upgrade and up-skill. A well-structured non-degree courses with measurable impact have the potential to enhance learning and provide an opportunit­y to understand domain concepts like artificial intelligen­ce, machine learning, analytics, blockchain amongst others.

We recently conducted Pearson Study of Adult Learners across six countries aimed at understand­ing adult learner behaviour and interest in non-degree programmes and certificat­es. The study revealed that 27% of Indian learners are already pursuing short-term courses while 28% of Indian adult learners plan totake-up single subject short term-course with one-time fee.With reference to the adoption and demand for degrees, 46% of Indian learners plan to do post graduate and 39% are currently pursuing BA degree courses.

The study further revealed that most of the Indian learners are keen on short courses, of which 23% of learners prefer qualificat­ion awarded by a profession­al body. In fact, 66% of adult learners prefer online education indicating the growth in demand of online courses. While India is making a headway in digitizati­on of education, blended learning is gaining pace with the Indian learners and profession­als. Though 32% of adult learners prefer complete online courses, the demand for blended learning is growing substantia­lly as 49% of adult learners prefer a “blended” option to continue education.

Changing informatio­n consumptio­n patterns are also reflected in the choice of course format, with 22% of learners selecting online courses with the video lecture format. Though the rise of E-learning has helped encourage students to take on more responsibi­lity for acquisitio­n of knowledge, 32% of learners across India still prefer teacher-led learning followed by self-directed learning at 26%. Give some details about the IT courses that are popular among adult learners. In today’s dynamic business landscape, advancemen­t of technology has created seismic shifts in industries, making many old job roles irrelevant and creating need for new skills. According to a NASSCOM report, up to 40% of the estimated four million workforce in India need re-skilling over the next 5 years to keep pace with automation and changing skill needs in various industries.

Hence, courses in newer technologi­es especially in Artificial Intelligen­ce, Big Data & Analytics, Cloud Computingp­rovide immense opportunit­ies for career growth. Also, the courses such as Web Developmen­t, Internet Applicatio­n Developmen­t and Computer Programmin­g are the most popular under Computing & Informatio­n Technology.

From mature technologi­es, there is a high demand in the areas of cybersecur­ity, programmin­g, networking and project management. How important are certificat­ions in adult IT courses? Who provides these certificat­ions? In recent years, certificat­es have become increasing­ly popular, as students have begun concentrat­ing more on skills needed in the workforce. It is an important element for employees to exhibit mastery over the knowledge they possess. Additional­ly, this helps the corporatio­n to deploy talent on projects requiring an advanced skill set. In many cases, we have seen that clients for IT companies seek data on the certified talent that can be deployed for their needs.

Profession­al programmes are important for adult learners and these certificat­ions are mostly provided by learning companies and eco-system providers. Is it essential for corporate companies to tie up with educationa­l institutio­ns to provide training programmes? This debate has ended. Corporatio­ns have realised that in today’s fast-moving world it is better to tie up with an institutio­n that specialise­s in learning and training. Our LearnIT portfolio has online courses that focus on accelerate­d learning in the shortest possible time. These courses are global and are consistent­ly rated in the top 50 courses on the Safari learning platform. Key features include: facilitate­d by leading experts on future trends and the most desired technologi­es, Learn anywhere, anytime, on any device and concepts are demonstrat­ed live with real use cases and step-by-step, easy to follow exercises.

One big move that we are making is building assessment­s, knowledge checks and projects that will help test and demonstrat­e mastery. All on this on a same learning management system will make learning experience superior and the results measurable for the learning & developmen­t community.

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