Pearson India has released the findings of its first-ever Pearson Study of Adult Learners at understanding adult learner behaviour and interest in non-degree programmes and certificates. The survey was conducted across six countries — Australia, India, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom aged 18 – 65 years. The survey revealed that Indians were the least price sensitive while choosing a course.
The survey divulges that most of the Indian learners are keen on short courses, of which 23 per cent of learners prefer qualification awarded by a professional body. It highlights that 27 per cent of Indian learners are already pursuing short-term courses while 28 per cent of Indian adult learners plan to take-up single subject short term-course with one-time fee.
With reference to the adoption and demand for degrees, 46 per cent of Indian learners plan to do post graduate and 39 per cent are currently pursuing BA degree courses.
Demand of Blended learning
While India is making a headway in digitisation of education, blended learning is gaining pace with the Indian learners and professionals. Though 32 per cent of adult learners prefer complete online courses, the demand for blended learning is growing substantially as 49% of adult learners prefer a “blended” option.
During the survey, participants stressed upon the importance of social, emotional, and experiential learning to succeed in the job market and highlighted that they should be included in a hybrid/blended learning model. Changing information consumption patterns are also reflected in the choice of course format, with 22% of learners selecting online courses with the video lecture format. Though the rise of e-learning has helped encourage students to take on more responsibility for acquisition of knowledge, 32% of learners across India still prefer teacher-led learning followed by self-directed learning at 26%.
Motivations to continue education
The survey findings show that career improvement and knowledge are two prevailing motivations for Indian learners to continue education. 56% of Indians take courses to improve job/career possibilities, closely followed by 55% Indians who take courses as a gateway to gain knowledge. With the growth of technology and digitisation, jobs are also getting highly specialised. Evolving market dynamics and technology trends have also propelled 44% of learners to complete a course to advance their professional qualification. Additionally, 38% of the learners pursue these courses to get equipped with knowledge and skills that will be beneficial in day-to-day life.
- Cost, time, and concerns about life balance the biggest barriers to adult learning. Interestingly, Indian learners are less price conscious, yet more concerned about course credibility
- Only 36% Indian learners, consider price as a constraint, 47% of the learners prefer balancing courses with other commitments
- 27% of the Indian learners find difficulty in choosing a credible course from the available options— Information Technology (45%) is the most common area of study among Indian learners followed by Management & Commerce (39%) and Society and Culture (37%).