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Indian data scientists prefer learning from YouTube over IIT’s online courses

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  • Ananya Bhattacharya
By Ananya Bhattacharya

Tech reporter

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

YouTube isn’t all about entertainment. It’s also a learning tool for techies.

Most data scientists in India—76% of them—turn to YouTube to keep themselves updated with new skills, according to a recent study by Analytics India Magazine (AIM) and ed-tech firm Great Learning.

AIM surveyed hundreds of tech professionals across all designations, from entry-level to C-suite level employees.

“Because of the ease and simplicity, YouTube has encouraged thousands of publishers and content providers to publish their video content online,” Anil Nagar, CEO and founder of ed-tech firm Adda247, told Quartz. “Because of the sheer volume of the content, (learners) can get all kind of content in all kind of formats, related to any topic.”

Moreover, this content is for free, giving it an edge over several other online and offline learning options that often come with a heavy fee.

Less than half of the survey respondents used massive open online courses (MOOCs), which are made available to a large number of people at no cost. The web-based method is still in its nascent stage in India and lacks infrastructure, investment, and quality courses.


“Since, in India, people have just started treating online learning seriously…companies should be cautious about the cost and should run proper awareness campaigns highlighting the various advantages of online learning,” Nagar said.

Platforms like Udacity and Coursera—both created by professors at the prestigious Stanford University in California—are making strides in India’s e-learning market, which is slated to reach nearly $1.96 billion by 2021. At home, the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) offered by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISC) lists free-of-cost online courses.

MOOCs are more of a hit among Indian students. But they tend to fall short in corporate learning.

“We see that the need for many of the enterprises in India is around achieving specific outcomes that directly impacts the business effectiveness in the long run. These could be in the form of fresher onboarding effectiveness training or mass-upskilling of the corporate employees and this can only be achieved with a high engagement, outcome-centric solution approach,” Krishna Kumar, founder and CEO of online certification training company Simplilearn, told Quartz. “This is where MOOCs have not been able to succeed since the inherent flexibility of the programs is lower and it relies on the learners to take the initiative and complete these courses.”

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