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Business school degrees are a top draw in India with more than 200,000 candidates vying for 3,200 vacancies in local schools. Against this backdrop, one of India’s largest online higher education companies, upGrad has tied-up with global business schools like Deakin Business School, NMIMS Global Access, Liverpool Business School, BIMTECH, and Jindal Global School to deliver online MBA degrees. This will enable students to pursue MBAs from these top business schools in the comfort of their homes. The upGrad online course enables more to pursue online degrees with lower fees, and its partnerships with global institutes also offer optional intensive programmes at physical campuses.

An opportune time for online courses

In these uncertain times, with the threat of COVID-19 still lingering, the upGrad plan brings in flexibility for people to continue working while studying online. This will enable students to maintain their source of income amid tough times and also upgrade their educational profile. This falls in line with Mintel Trend, ‘Entrepreneurial Spirit’ which states that people are exploring flexible ways to earn and learn thanks to a more entrepreneurial mindset.

Additionally, being able to study from home would mean fewer disruptions and more confidence to complete one’s studies. The course fees, maintained in the lower end, will be an encouraging sign for more consumers of different financial backgrounds to take up higher studies and take a go at achieving their dreams.

This bodes well for two in five Indian consumers who say that if they had a bit of money left over after paying for necessities, they would spend it on education.

Lending a hand

Some financial institutions and organisations are doing their part to enable consumers to grab these education opportunities. For instance, Moneybounce, a start-up founded by students of University of Paris-Dauphine, enables students to take out fast and cheap loans. On the other hand, Amazon launched Machine Learning Summer School for engineering students to address the gap between demand and supply of skilled Machine Learning roles. In addition to this, popular Indian companies such as Swiggy, Oyo MullenLowe Lintas Group, Edelman India, to name a few, have begun adopting a four-day work week for their employees to help them cope with pandemic-related stress. 

What’s next

According to Mintel’s Surroundings Trend Driver, people will want to balance working, learning, raising families and resting flexibly. The mission would be to move towards value-adding, outcome oriented education that can result in employability and career progression, rather than just namesake certifications. Educational institutes and platforms will look at making their products future-proof. They will move to designing courses not only for students and young job seekers but also extend their offering to include mid-management professionals and business owners looking to up-skill themselves.