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Indians are looking to nail down two skills to advance their careers

India, Coursera
Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee
Class in progress.
By Suneera Tandon
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

When it comes to taking classes online, Indians are dedicated to technology and English lessons.

In 2016, most of the top 10 courses taken up by Indians on online learning platform Coursera were on technology and English grammar and conversation skills. India is Coursera’s second-largest market, after the US, with nearly 2 million users.

Coursera offers 1,670 courses in subjects such as business management, science, and the arts on its website, taught by faculty members from universities across the world, including Stanford University and Ivy League schools. Founded in 2011 by Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng from Stanford University, Coursera has emerged as one of the world’s largest providers of massive open online courses (MOOCs).

Here are the most popular Coursera courses in India:

Machine learning
Stanford University
Programming for everybody
University of Michigan
R programming
John Hopkins University
Learning how to learn: powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects
University of California, San Diego
The data scientist’s toolbox
John Hopkins University
Algorithms: design and analysis, part 1
Stanford University
Speak English professionally: In person, online and on the phone
Georgia Institute of Technology
Grammar and punctuation
University of California, Irvine
Mastering data analysis in Excel
Duke University
HTML, CSS and Javascript
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

The preference for courses in technology comes as no surprise, given India’s obsession with engineering degrees. Though the country’s technology boom has led to a proliferation of engineering institutes, which churn out millions of graduates, the quality of education on offer remains woefully sub-standard. That, combined with a growing youth population in Asia’s third-largest economy and the competitive job market, has resulted in many students scrambling to take better courses to stand out. And that’s where online education comes in. English courses are also popular in India for similar reasons: being fluent in the language is seen as an essential professional and social skill.

India’s technology capital, Bengaluru, topped the list for the most number of Coursera users, accounting for nearly 50% of all enrolments in the country.

Growing popularity

Coursera entered India in 2014 and has seen its user base soar since then.

This year, India trumped the UK to become Coursera’s second-largest revenue earner after the US. Currently, the company has 1.8 million registered users in India, accounting for 8.1% of its worldwide user base of 22 million.

In the past year alone, enrolments in the country jumped 50%, making India Coursera’s fastest-growing market.

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