How technology is enabling Indian students to choose suitable career paths at an early stage

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Most students and learners in India struggle to identify a career of their choice even at the college level.  How can technology companies help in this regard?

Raj Mruthyunjayappa, President-India, Anthology Inc.

Indian learners and their parents have traditionally adopted a conventional stance when it came to career choices. With greater exposure to global education standards, parents and learners are now able to have a wide view of the career opportunities in front of them and make informed decisions.

The advancement of technology is playing a critical role in this changed approach. Over the past two years, hundreds of EdTech start-ups have mushroomed across the country, providing greater visibility for learners as far career choices are concerned through increased access to technology. EdTech has also helped showcase the necessary tools required for learners to upskill and reskill themselves.

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EdTech has empowered learners to have a better hold on subjects, connect with their tutors efficiently and receive knowledge about a wide variety of subjects easily. So, you can see that there is a revolution in knowledge sharing. But what about informed career choices? Or for that matter job opportunities? Can technology play a better role in these matters of great significance? Let’s look at some of the market numbers to get a fairer idea of the ecosystem.

The Indian education market was estimated to be worth $100 billion according to a KPMG study done in 2016. The market has swelled further north in subsequent years. According to a report released by Aspire Circle, a not-for-profit forum, India’s education and skills market will grow to $313 billion in 2030. The report had pegged the sector at $180 billion for year 2020. The burgeoning market has placed greater emphasis on career guidance and professional training, which is another fast growing slice of the pie.

In this connection, EdTech platforms are trying to help learners to do their own bit of self-discovery. Earlier, students went largely by what their parents or teachers suggested, with less dependency on their own research. The EdTech firms are bringing about a great deal of change in this regard.

Let’s examine how some of these changes are being brought about. The EdTech platforms are using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) as well as neuro linguistic programming (NLP) to help learners choose their career paths. Various tests and assessments are carried out in this regard, to arrive at better informed choices. The various tests include goal analysis and psychometric analysis during which learners are tested on their aptitude, reasoning and logical ability that enable them to recognise their strengths and weaknesses and unique tastes if any. 

For example, Anthology’s Career and Program Explorer helps learners in understanding career demand by enabling them to assess their own skills and preparedness required for in-demand careers. It also helps them to access searchable and updated active job postings from various platforms. 

The key is to choose a career that aligns not only with one’s skills but also one’s personality. Hence it is imperative to understand the personality traits. This has never been done before. Anthology’s Occupation Insight provides new opportunities for learners to receive appropriate advice on how to match their interest and skills with employment options early in their college journey and career.

It’s comparatively easier to identify one’s skills and then pick a career. That’s the norm. But it’s important to give weightage to the character and behavioural traits too. For example, it doesn’t pay to become a scientist if you are not endowed with a high degree of patience. It’s better not to become an entrepreneur if your risk appetite is low. These are the elements that one needs to look into. The other aspect is the nature of the goals and objectives. A professional in the healthcare sector has to have a service orientation. This will be very different from one who wants to operate in the financial or capital markets sector, which is profit oriented.  

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Anthology believes in blending career preparation into the learner experience, leveraging data to create personalized career insights for students. Learners need to be empowered to prepare for post-graduation by infusing career exploration and preparation throughout their time at the institution through easy-to-understand visualizations and having ready-made information. Besides, advisors need to be enabled to help learners see how the skills they acquired will prepare them for the careers they want. 

Knowing one’s career path and some of the objectives and goals early enough can greatly reduce pain points in one’s career. Technology is playing a great role today to help one achieve that and companies like Anthology are in the forefront of helping learners get that clarity.

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