IT and vocational courses are at the top of the priority list of Indian students. According to Google, in terms of types of courses being searched for on Google, IT/Vocational (44 percent) courses were the most searched courses, followed by a strong demand for engineering courses (40 percent) and institutes, followed by postgraduate courses with MBA (16 percent).
Interestingly, according to media reports, a low-profile government education digital channel, National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), that hosts over 800 Technology-related lectures on YouTube gets the most hits from Indian students at 7.9 million, leaving MIT Stanford and UC Berkeley behind.
In a study tilted "Students on the web" compiled by Google India, Google reveals that with over half of the Indian Internet population in the age bracket of 18-35, India has raced to the number 2 spot globally when it comes to absolute volume of search queries related to Education on Google Search.Indiawas ranked number 8 in 2008 and is now second only to the US.
In terms of wish list, students highlighted the need for educational institutes to have more mobile friendly websites as over 66 percent said they use their mobile phones to access the content. Video content also rated high with the students and they highlighted the need to have more video content on institution websites. Also, 46 percent respondents said that they choose to watch videos as part of their research. Students also wanted videos on career options/placements (56 percent), videos of the faculty (44 percent), videos of existing students and alumni (29 percent) and videos of classroom sessions (27 percent) to help them take more informed decisions.
Rajan Anandan, VP and Managing Director of GoogleIndia, said to media, "With over 60 million Internet users inIndiabeing in age group of 18-35, education-related search queries are exploding on Google. Our core objective behind compiling this study was to understand the impact Internet is having on this young population with regard to education related decision making by the students. With more and more users getting online everyday, Internet today is the biggest catchments area for youth, and we hope this study will help advertisers realize the potential of the digital medium."
This study is also a wake-up call for Indian educational institutions. Gone are the days when word-of-mouth and brochures alone were sufficient advertising. Today's tech-savvy and mobile youth need to be approached and engaged in their own territory if you wish to make headway with them. Would Indian educational institutions rise to the challenge?