After being laid-off by an information technology (IT) major in Chennai, Ashir Sharma (name changed) recently bagged a job at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), in Pune, after training himself in data analytics using the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL).
Sharma is part of a rising number of professionals in the layoffs-marred IT industry
who are turning to massive open online courses (MOOCs) platform NPTEL, which is run by seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), including IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Guwahati, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras, and IIT Roorkee, along with IISc Bangalore.
In fact, on the back of rising enrolments from job seekers and professionals, the takers for MOOCs
have grown from a cumulative one million in the past three years (2014, 2015, and 2016) to 500,000 in the first half of 2017 itself.
What's more, according to sources at NPTEL, the share of professionals taking MOOCs
has also grown to 20 per cent, with 65 per cent enrolments coming from students and the rest coming from faculty members.
"On one hand, while our collaboration with colleges has led to a rise in enrolments by students and faculty members, we are also seeing a growing number of job seekers self-training themselves in order to bag a better job. Layoffs
will only result in a further rise in such enrolments since the IIT-backed NPTEL
platform has been offering some of the latest industry-focused courses," said sources at NPTEL.
It's not just professionals looking for fresh jobs, but working executives are also making the most of the platform to cement their career within their existing organisations. NPTEL
has seen executives from companies
like TCS, L&T, Aricent, DRDO, ONGC, BPCL, Wipro, and even the Airport Authority of India enrol for varied courses. Courses on machine learning, artificial intelligence, data analytics, and internet of things have seen prominent enrolments across the board.
"What could further boost the job market is that not only are companies
coming to us seeking data on course takers in a particular subject for hiring requirements but also are being recommended by us to those who have completed such courses. What's more, companies
are also advertising about jobs
and internships on our platform in the hope of attracting the right talent," added NPTEL
The success of enrolments on NPTEL
can be gauged from the fact that of the total 520,000 people in the January to June period this year, 44,000, or nine per cent, have registered for exams as against a global average of two per cent on other similar platforms. Moreover, NPTEL
also boasts of a 15 per cent rate of course completion. NPTEL
exams are conducted at around 95 physical centres in collaboration with TCS iON. While the exam fee is around Rs 1000, NPTEL
is able to offer 50 per cent waiver to at least 35,000 students with the help of sponsors like Aricent.
To further ensure employability among course takers on the platform, NPTEL
is now also partnering with companies
for conducting practical sessions.
"While the content, prepared by IIT and other institutes' faculty members, is rich in itself, we are taking help of companies
to provide hands-on experience for course takers in the practicality of a subject. Hence, course takers could visit a particular company and see the principles learnt online being applied at the company's premises in practical," sources said at NPTEL, which is funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Similarly, international platforms like edX are also witnessing a rise in takers amid job layoffs.
"With the pace at which business scenarios are changing, having a future-fit workforce is becoming increasingly important for business. edX has received over 2 million enrolments for MicroMasters programmes and very strong traction for the recently launched Professional Certificates," said Anant Agarwal, CEO, edX.
In a recent survey of edX learners, the platform found that 47 per cent of edX learners listed their edX certificate on their LinkedIn profile or resume. "And, we have heard from many individual learners who say edX courses help them secure a job. As a response to the growing acceptance of MOOCs
among Indian corporates, in the last year, edX has made significant corporate and strategic advancements in India," Agarwal added.
About 1.1 million learners of the total 11 million on edX are from India. However, this came in January 2017 when edX crossed the 1 million learner mark with a 73 per cent growth in registered users from January 2016.