Education

Future unlocked

First things first. Do universities need to revamp curricula and structures to build more links to great jobs? Yes. Will universities look different in the future? Yes.

Apart from this, it’s important to realise that what’s happening is short term and, at the same time, a glimpse into what the future could look like: blended programmes, with an internship year, mix of online and offline at different costs and so on. Today, in the second half 2020, there is a lot of apprehension, and rightfully so.

While lot remains to be done, new technologies have opened new ways of learning. Universities have made an effort to make this process as seamless as possible. All students get access to the university’s online resources, library catalogue, readings and research portals. Lectures are recorded and can be viewed according to one’s own convenience. This also means one can take up an online degree with a full-time course load and still retain a day job.

Upskilling

Today, students pursuing online degrees need to make sure that learning is accompanied with real-world industry skills for the endeavour to be meaningful. The success of learning well will always be to take the knowledge they have learnt at school to the industry, or further that in academia subsequently. New structures will support this transition even better, though customised.

More companies are on-board with recruiting individuals who have online degrees from reputed colleges. Employers want prospective candidates to have the right skill sets and knowledge for the job. In fact, many schools do not even mention if the degree earned is online or on-campus, owing to the intense coursework involved.

However, students must ensure they enroll at reputed universities for these online course, since there are many ‘diploma mills’ that provide certificates without actually having a legitimate plan of coursework.

In the post-COVID world, the most popular degrees and certifications that are Data Science and Data Analytics, followed by business. This reflects the growing demand for these skills. There may also be an increasing interest in healthcare, specifically in the area of Public Health. We were globally unprepared to face the wrath of this epidemic, and most states are expected to increase their spending on healthcare, and learn from this experience. That said, the growth in liberal arts will continue to — be it culinary arts, or nutrition, or acting. The world needs a little bit of everything, and universities, are now even more keen to ensure this.

The writer is Founder and CEO, Leverage Edu

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 1:23:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/is-pursuing-an-online-degree-from-a-foreign-university-worth-it/article32391198.ece

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