India's Top 100 Digital Stars 2023

Coursera has nearly 2 crore registered learners in India. Can it help them find jobs?

Starting Thursday, the global edtech giant will pilot a hiring platform from India, one of its key markets, hoping, in a tight labour market, to match users with skill-based digital jobs that factor in the impact of Generative AI. Much of Coursera's growth in India is coming from non-urban areas, including Manipur, Andaman and Nicobar, and Bihar

Pankti Mehta Kadakia
Published: May 17, 2023 03:36:14 PM IST
Updated: May 17, 2023 05:17:50 PM IST

Coursera has nearly 2 crore registered learners in India. Can it help them find jobs?Ten-year-old Coursera is seeing India emerge as a key market, with 26 percent year-on-year growth. Image: Shutterstock

Of the total workforce, just 3 percent of Indians are professionally skilled—a number that stands at 52 percent in the US and 24 percent in China—according to data from Coursera. “This equation will not change in a linear fashion. You have to think of a breakthrough model. How can we enable skilling in massive volumes, but still, with relevant skills, and qualify these individuals for emerging jobs?” asks Shravan Goli, chief operating officer at Coursera, the US-based massive online open course provider, founded by two Stanford professors in 2012.

Starting May 18, the global edtech giant will launch Coursera Hiring Solutions, a recruitment portal. Here, learners can register profiles and choose target professions. So, if person A chooses to target a data analyst position, for instance, she or he will be shown a detailed job description, along with a bevy of skills required for it. Person A can gain all the skills needed for an entry-level job as a data analyst from the platform, certified by universities or by industry leaders that publish their courses on Coursera. This theoretical knowledge will typically take a few months to build, after which candidates will be given hands-on projects, which need working knowledge of the industry-standard software, to finish.

Also read: What are the so-called "mad skills" that have become desirable for recruiters?
Recruiters can then find such candidates and match them to open positions, with knowledge of which skills the candidate has acquired, and their proficiency level. Learners can also link their profile on other job portals.

Coursera has nearly 2 crore registered learners in India. Can it help them find jobs?Coursera's hiring solutions
This portal is piloting in India first globally, and Axis Bank is the first recruiter to have used the platform. The bank has hired three engineers from Dehradun using Coursera’s hiring solution, to start with.
Ten-year-old Coursera is seeing India emerge as a key market, with 26 percent year-on-year growth. About 4.2 million new learners registered on Coursera in 2022, bringing up the total number to 19.8 million, or nearly 2 crore people. The average age of the Indian learner is 29, younger than the global average of 33.

Also read: The great skill reset: How are companies hiring for marketing and brand roles these days?
“At this rate of growth, India alone will surpass all of Europe by the end of the year, in terms of our registered user base,” Goli says. Demographically, an estimated 183 million Indians will be added to the working age group (15 to 60 years) by 2050—that means that 22 percent of the global workforce will come from India.

Coursera has nearly 2 crore registered learners in India. Can it help them find jobs?Shravan Goli, Chief Operating Officer, Coursera
“This kind of growth means that there is tremendous opportunity for the whole ecosystem to develop,” Goli adds. “If we were having this conversation six months ago, for instance, we would not have mentioned Generative AI even once. Now, it’s here to change the job market entirely, and most of us will need to be re-skilled.”

Also read: 8 recommendations to help firms win the war for talent
Edtech in India has been through a rough patch, after a skyrocketing boom in 2020 and 2021, with layoffs seen across Byju’s, Unacademy and others, and a funding drop in the sector. Coursera’s Goli chalks this to a “normal, healthy rationalisation of the market” in some ways, and is optimistic that the time is right for a product with the right market fit.

Also read: There are 100 million Indians on LinkedIn. Here's how the Microsoft-owned platform cracked the India growth story
“The turbulence in the sector is more likely attributed to a post-pandemic course correction, a sort of blip that occurs in the cycle for any emerging market, and not necessarily a reflection of whether there is a market, and its future,” agrees Narayanan Ramaswamy, partner and head-education, KPMG in India. “Other developed markets have always had community colleges and further education that place the focus on jobs and employability. In India, we haven’t had a sharp focus on specific careers, other than a few vocational skills development institutes. India is a ripe market and still shows huge potential for edtech. It can help India lead the world.”

Post Your Comment
Required, will not be published
All comments are moderated