A survey of India by INTO shows a shift in Indian students towards advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, with more than 78 percent revealing that the epidemic has affected their career choices.
According to an India study by INTO University Partnerships, computer science has emerged as the second most preferred subject for Indian students interested in studying abroad. In total, 12 percent of both Millennium and ZZ students say they are interested in computer science – second only to engineering (18 percent) and before business studies (11 percent).
More than 1,250 Indian students took part in a survey commissioned by INTO on how the epidemic has affected their career aspirations and led to a growing interest in topics such as advanced technology, health-related studies and climate change. According to the survey, more than 78 percent of students said the epidemic affected their decision to go abroad on any subject. In particular, 24 percent are more interested in advanced technologies, such as robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), 17 percent in healthcare and 16 percent in environment and climate change.
According to the Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index (DT Index) 2020, 94.7 per cent of companies in India had fast-tracking digital transformation projects across the sector due to the epidemic, and this is evidenced by the growing interest in learning advanced technologies.
Indians are enthusiastic about exploring new options in COVID-19 and international education is at the top of their list of priorities. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA), more than 2.6 million students studied abroad in 2020, despite the growing epidemic, and more than 5 million students in 2019. According to INTO’s India survey, the primary motivation for students to study abroad is high quality education. And the skills provided by the institution abroad (22 percent), then it is believed that studying abroad will increase the chances of living in the post-study host country (11 percent). Similarly, students cited advanced job prospects as the primary reason for studying abroad (11 percent).
In addition, the survey found that the United States continues to be the top destination for Indian students (31 percent), followed by Canada (23 percent) and the United Kingdom (17 percent). Looking at the proximity and economic return of these countries, a large proportion of students are also considering Asian (12 percent) institutions. Student interest has declined over the past two years due to the closure of Australia and New Zealand borders and travel bans. However, with the recent reopening of the border, that number could soon rise.
The results further reveal that 35 percent of students choose a country as their study destination based on job prospects in that country, indicating the critical importance of career success and a strong return on investment in their study decision making abroad. Meanwhile, 33 percent of students choose their destination country for their high quality education and 32 percent prefer to get the right study experience, exposure and skills for the field they want to pursue.
Indian students are more likely to look at immigration than students from China. Furthermore, although India is generally seen as a price-sensitive market, Indian students cannot afford to be among the top factors to consider when studying abroad. With this, one can easily guess that Indian students can invest in education if they think that long term benefits are worth it.
Highlights from the survey:
- 12 per cent of Indian students say they are interested in studying computer science, second only to engineering (18 per cent) and ahead in business studies (11 per cent).
- Seventy-eight per cent of Indian students said the epidemic affected the subjects they were interested in pursuing, with 24 per cent reporting more interest in advanced technology such as robotics and AI, 17 per cent in health-related issues and 16 per cent in environmental and climate change issues.
- For Indian students, the United States is the top destination for study abroad (31 percent), followed by Canada (23 percent) and the United Kingdom (17 percent). A large proportion is also considering Asian universities (12 percent). Australia and New Zealand have seen a decline in interest since the epidemic, with 8 per cent and 5 per cent of students aiming to move to the country, respectively.
- Job prospects are the main reason students choose a country as their study destination (35 percent), followed by quality of education (33 percent) and proper exposure to skills (32 percent).
- Acquiring quality education and acquiring the right skills is the primary reason for students’ desire to study abroad (22 percent), then students want to experience living abroad and meet new people (12 percent). 10 percent of students also want to study abroad because they want to take new age courses, such as data science, cybersecurity, eco-technology, urban planning, etc.