The education sector is witnessing a new and rising trend. Tech giants like Microsoft Google and Amazon are partnering with many educational institutions. This is being done to provide students with new-age courses and skills and also to increase their brand reach to the future of the world right from an early age.
This coupled with the rise in ed-tech during and post-COVID-19 pandemic, together is evolving the education sector globally. Where countries like India were heavily focused on classroom education, today the same nation is seeing its youth enrol for more online courses than ever.
To understand the impact technology and ed-tech firms are having on education, a report by KPMG shows that after the US, India has the second-largest market for online education. Identifying this trend and the need to educate and equip the future workforce with the required skillset, tech giants are taking aggressive steps to enter the education sector.
Recently, Amazon launched a unique computer education programme in India called the Amazon Future Engineer. This programme seeks to identify and train 1 lakh students keeping in mind future employability in its organisation. The programme offers students coding fundamentals and future-focused tech courses like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing (Voice Technology) in Indian languages. It is available to students in grades 6-12. In the near future, Amazon is also planning to extend its support to students of India through scholarships, internships, problem-solving hackathon events, and targeted mentorship programs by its employees.
Further, in 2019, Microsoft partnered with 10 institutes in India to launch Artificial Intelligence digital labs. These institutes include BITS Pilani, BML Munjal University, SRM Institute of Science & Technology, ISB, and KL University. It has been looking to partner with more institutes in India to build the AI infrastructure, curriculum, content, IoT hub, etc for the benefit of the students.
One of the tech giants, Google too has stepped into the market. In 2020, Google announced its plan to partner with CBSE or Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to digitise classrooms across the country. It aimed at developing a blended learning approach for the schools which involves combining the classroom learning method with online learning. It also provided the schools with software like G Suite for Education, Google Classroom, YouTube and more to bring about digitisation in the classrooms. Google has offered free education tools to a range of schools in India including Podar, Kendriya Vidyalaya, and Nehru World. Apart from this, Google has invested heavily in education and technology in India to help students receive a rich quality education.
Facebook too has partnered with CBSE and launched a certified curriculum on digital safety, online well-being and augmented reality for Indian students.
To accelerate advanced training and research in quantum computing, in 2021, IMB offered over-the-cloud access to its quantum systems for top-tier institutions of India.
By partnering with educational institutes, these tech giants mainly look to offer advanced infrastructure, and their expert tech services, develop newer certification programmes, create informative content, make education more easily accessible to all, and educate students about the new and upcoming jobs requiring newer skills. By partnering with educational institutes, the tech giants are also creating their lifelong brand fans and building a workforce which can be employed by them in the future.
The tech giants are not just joining hands with educational institutions in India, but also with major ed-tech platforms like Byjus. It is said that by 2026 the online education industry is set to grow by 11.6 billion. This is another major reason behind tech giants stepping into the ed-tech world as well.