Online Education In India – The Way Forward

NEET 2019

Although India has over 1 million registered schools and more than 18,000 higher education institutes, did you know 58% students don’t complete their primary school education, 90% don’t manage to complete secondary school and 90% never make it to college? Well, with India ranked now as the third largest online education market in the entire world, the future is starting to look rather bright. Here’s why –

  • There are over 290 million Smartphone users in India, and studies indicate another 180 million users will be added to this number by 2021
  • It is estimated that India will have more than 735 million Internet users by 2021
  • India’s online education market is projected to grow to 1.96 billion dollars by 2021 (KPMG India & Google, Online Education in India)
  • 9.5 million Indians will be enrolled in online learning courses by 20201 (KPMG India & Google, Online Education in India)


1. Affordability & Convenience

For the majority of the past few decades, many Indians cannot afford a top-notch learning experience due to financial constraints. And, when financial conditions do improve, many elder adults feel it is too late to obtain a formal education. However, not only is online education extremely affordable, easily accessible and rapidly improving in its quality, it can also integrate into anyone’s schedule at any stage in life, even if one is caught up in family commitments. It is never too late to learn!

2. User-Friendly For All Needs

Sadly, many learning institutions in India do not have measures in place to offer students suffering from mental and/or learning disabilities an education that is tailored to their individual needs. Online education is becoming sophisticated enough to function at each person’s pace. In fact, data analytics can gauge what a student’s weak spots and strengths are so challenges are addressed before moving to the next topic. This is something SpeedLab’s hybrid model has been implementing for years and the results have been wondrous.

3. Recognised By Employers

Not only do employers recognise online education programs, many encourage employees to fine-tune skills with special professional courses for mid-level professionals. Companies like Embibe, UpGrad and Simplilearn are some of the many online learning platforms that target working professionals with flexible programs relevant to their industry. Even an established player like Udacity has taken an interest in India with nano-degree programs customised to the market, including with discounted pricing.

4. Popular For Test Preparation

According to a report by KPMG India, more students will reap the benefits of online test preparation platforms for exams such as NEET, CAT, CLAT, JEE Main, Bank PO and more. It is estimated that this category will grow at a whopping CAGR of 60% in 2021! Some players in this domain will exclusively offer exam-specific mobile apps, which might appeal to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, in particular. Mock tests are already witnessing increased popularity so students can understand which areas to improve upon before the actual exam. At SpeedLabs, for example, we use AI and Big Data to uncover nuanced details about each student’s performance holistically so our seasoned coaches can groom them accordingly. In essence, a bespoke plan can be offered to students so they harness their full potential and perform to the best of their ability.

5. Shift Toward Hybrid Models

More online education platforms will shift toward a hybrid model, either through the incorporation of offline centres and/or on-ground events. This way, students will benefit from a human element, which often improves accountability, as well. This will especially hold true for those platforms that thrive on offering supplementary education, such as after-school coaching services. Nearly 2 crore students between grade 6-12 are projected to turn to such online tutoring forums to enhance their education with further help – for example, Webinars and Live Sessions are already picking up traction. We will witness more tier-2 and tier-3 cities also hopping on the bandwagon.

6. Government Backing

While we can already see initiatives such as Digital India, SWAYAM and e-Basta implemented by the government, it is likely even more campaigns to promote e-learning will roll out with each passing year so Indian students have a robust online education infrastructure in place that maintains international standards.

7. Hyper-Specialization

Online education will empower people to pursue the career of their dreams with education that is highly targeted. Whether a student is interested in “hot” subjects like computers, business analytics, digital marketing and big data or culinary management, cyber forensics or video editing, online education will open a wide variety of professional opportunities for many Indians.

Also published on Medium.

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