‘Online Courses Have Become Very Popular In India’

In an email interview with BW Education, Gopal Devanahalli, Senior Vice President at Manipal Global Education talks about online education in India.

Can you brief us about Manipal’s Global Education Services?

Manipal Global Education is a leading player in the higher education and re-skilling space. We have 4 Universities outside of India. We have 3 academies in India – Manipal Academy of Banking, Manipal Global Academy of IT and Manipal Global Academy of Data Sciences. We also have Manipal Prolearn through which we offer courses online to learners.

Talking about the recent lay-offs, how will Manipal’s Pro Learn play a part in skill enhancement?

Manipal ProLearn courses are primarily focused on working professionals. The courses are offered in 4 broad categories – IT, Management, Finance and Data Science. Our courses help learners to up-skill themselves. The duration of our courses are conveniently designed to be between 3 to 6 months. We work with Industry professionals to prepare the courses. Some of our courses are designed with companies like Google, EY, ITC Infotech. Since courses are designed with the industry, the content, at any time, is most relevant to the market and hence drives the employability quotient up. Working professionals can study at their own pace online with the e-learning content. Some courses will also have live instructor led webinars. A couple of courses also have a classroom component to them which are conducted on weekends.

 How is the reception of online courses in India? What are its benefits over the general offline courses?

Online courses have become very popular in India. The benefits are – learn at your own pace; learn from home; get access to quality e-content including videos which can be referred to often. Another key benefit is that the courses gets updated frequently to be in synch with the industry requirements. Also the advances in technology is increasing the power of learning online – for example, we have launched a Mobile Learning Platform through which learners can access content while travellng from home to work on a bus!!

Manipal ProLearn focuses on ‘teaching what’s needed at a job’, do you think the teachings in our universities fail to do the same?

University education continues to be very important – as a student not only learns foundational concepts but also social and team skills. There are some concepts that do not change. However, the pace at which technology changes today is very rapid. It becomes very difficult for most institutions to keep aligning its academic curriculum to industry requirement – a technology today might be obsolete in 4 years from now. This is where Manipal ProLearn supplements university education. By providing the most relevant skill to get a job today, Manipal ProLearn continue to drive the employability quotient.

What are the new courses and skill sets in the service that is different than the universities?

Today, data science is the most sought after skill. Unfortunately, there is hardly 20 award programs in this field today – definitely not enough to meet the market demand. There is also growing requirement in digital marketing. Cybersecurity is another new area of interest.

Can you please give highlights on Prolearn- strategic direction of the business unit course completion ratio?

We have seen increased course completion ratios which are now in some courses in excess of 75%. We have a team which pro-actively engages with learners – through out the cycle – from enrolling to completion – to address any challenges that the learners have in doing the course.

Our strategy in Prolearn is to focus on creating new quality course offerings; ensure we offer a good & engaging learning experience through technology and focus on outcomes of the learners – new jobs or promotions.

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