When you have very little time and monetary resources in hand but you have to gain skills to ace that job, you look for online courses. To make life easier for millennials there various online platforms to learn and acquire skills. One such platform is the government-run feature NPTEL.
What is it?
The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) is an online platform that offers free courses to brush up on topics like analog circuits and the principles of signals and systems.
Who made this?
It is a government-funded initiative by seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), NPTEL.
The online platform is free and open to all but you need to pay a nominal fee if you want to take an exam or get a certificate.
How does it help you?
With this course in place, you can learn anything and enhance your soft skills. This makes people employable in the long run. Take 25-year-old Lucky Gautam from Lucknow who secured 58th rank in GATE and landed a job in ONGC, after taking up courses in NPTEL. Sometimes books and a library just aren’t enough. With this platform, you could learn from the country’s top faculty at your own pace.
Importance of Online Courses
The formulaic framework of online courses or webinars can be a millennial’s best friend. “Millennials have an intrinsic trust and connect with technological tools and advances, adapting to new technology rapidly,” says Andrew Thangaraj, professor, electrical engineering department, IIT, Madras, and NPTEL coordinator .
Cognitive computing, automation and globalization are impacting the nature of jobs and the skills required. One needs to be a lifelong learner to stay relevant. “We can’t afford to stop learning and still expect to grow in our careers. Online platforms are the most accessible for this purpose,” says Raghav Gupta, director for the India and Asia-Pacific region, Coursera. Other than providing high-quality content in high-demand fields, online courses are affordable and flexible, and therefore easier to access.
“If you take an offline course, it costs Rs30,000-50,000 for enrolment and might not be the right one for you,” says Manisha Raghunath, a Bengaluru-based photographer, who says online courses usually are one-tenth the cost.
Other Online Forums & Their Utility
While paid online courses are one route, millennials are using several other channels to continue learning and grow. Whenever Bengaluru-based entrepreneur and former private equity manager Alphonse Reddy needs a solution, he heads to Google, where you can find “video tutorials on pretty much anything you can name,” says the 38-year-old. Reddy, who floated premium mattress start-up Sunday Mattress in 2015, had no knowledge of e-commerce or the mattress business. “I researched on Google regarding somnologists, mattress materials, trade fairs, etc,” he says.
Indore-based Jaydeep Hora turned to YouTube, as well as audio and video tutorials, to pursue his love for beatboxing. “I’m the most productive when I’m alone in a room, with the internet,” says the 24-year-old, who spent hours watching videos of beatboxers from across the world, slowing the videos down so he could practice.
From beatboxing, Hora has now moved into music production, having completed a formal course in Mumbai. “There are social media groups, forums and global music production start-ups that I follow on Twitter to keep my knowledge up to date,” he says.
But while social media networks help people to connect for knowledge and advice, the benefits of old-fashioned networking are not lost on this generation. Reddy, for instance, relies on the alumni network of his management school, Instead (European Institute of Business Administration), in Paris, for entrepreneurial advice.