Breaking the age-old perception divide of credibility associated with online learning, upGrad, India’s largest higher edtech enables over 1000 career transitions in 2020, thereby placing its learners across top national and international companies. In these times when the pandemic has created larger market setbacks and companies have closed doors to hiring talents, upGrad learners are finding recruiters acceptance and are making the cut with an average salary hike of 44%. upGrad’s arrival on the recruitment scene in a big way is indicative of how the divide between degrees received through online and offline mode is thawing. As per the learner survey done in Q2, 79 per cent of upGrad learners have attained meaningful career benefits among those looking for professional growth, transitions, promotion, upskilling & other career outcomes. 42% from this pool are now confident about their profile and improved candidacy in the future for a new role. The learners also reported various improvements, including quality of conversations, mentoring, and entrepreneurship.
Addressing the content accessibility challenge in the first phase of growth, upGrad delivered quality content and ensured maximum engagement, thus commanding a course completion rate of 80-90% (90% is for the corporate learners) which is unprecedented in the online education space worldwide, where the average completion rate is sub 10%. Now in its next phase of growth, upGrad is focusing on driving personalised career outcomes for its learners. “The curriculum for its practical knowledge that it offers, attracted me to sign up for the program. I believe it’s important to know how to apply what you may have learned in the books to give it real value. The mock-interview sessions also helped me gain the confidence to crack critical interviews,” upGrad learner Bhaswati Sarkar, who transitioned from a Project Manager at a tech giant to Assistant Vice President at a global MNC, with a salary hike of 82%. Similarly, Vaibhav Jain, who completed PG Diploma in Data Science with IIIT-B and switched fields from product to now an Associate Data Scientist with a salary hike of 75% with the leading Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning firm, who has recruited about 12 learners from the upGrad talent pool. Like Sarkar & Jain’s transition, all these transitions have been possible as the majority of the recruiters have accepted online education as a credible mainstream platform for accessible quality education. This inclination towards replacing conventional teaching with smart learning solution has facilitated the market expansion and incorporation of AI and ML to meet the growing demands. Within 6 months of program completion amongst those who transitioned to a new role in a new company (which is 75 percent) and those who moved to a new role in the same company (25 per cent), they got an average hike of about 44 per cent.
Talking about the career transitions, Ronnie Screwvala, Co-founder & chairman, upGrad said: “We design our programs keeping in mind the current market trends & skill sets that are making the cut to aid our learners with deep subject knowledge & industry-driven career outcomes. These efforts are in line with our core vision of making Bharat employable by adopting the mantra of LifeLong Learning.” Mayank Kumar, Co-founder & MD, upGrad, said “A large number of our learners have secured jobs with corporates including MNCs and startups which include bigwigs like Accenture, Amazon, E&Y, Fractal Analytics, and so on. This is indicative that we have been able to break the barrier in the acceptance of online as equally effective for deriving career outcomes.” Phalgun Kompalli, Co-founder, upGrad, said: “Our course completion rate of 90% and self-reported career outcomes for more than 80% learners is a testimony to our robust content, pedagogy and delivery infrastructure.
We have also been able to drive strong research outcomes, both in terms of PhD admissions & research publishing, in our Master’s programs.” The faster demand revival in semi-urban and rural areas together with the possibilities of working remotely and the willingness of candidates to invest in upgrading their skill sets are opening the possibilities of employers in recruiting from places other than the metros. upGrad online programs are specifically designed for freshers and seasoned professionals keeping in mind the market requirements and are taught by industry experts, which in turns, help learners attain meaningful career outcomes. “I wanted a course that was credible and fitted in my budget, and that’s where upGrad came into play. Three things I liked about the program: firstly the mentors, they actually call you on regular basis to check if you have done your assignments, secondly, is the kindly of group networking and peer-to-peer interaction that the program offers, and thirdly, the kind of assignments that they make you do – a few you have to do it yourself while others include group assignments that foster a thorough learning,” said Sonia Thakurani, an upGrad learner who completed PG Diploma in Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence with IIIT-B and is the Assistant Vice President at Ugam Solutions and is now enrolled for the M.Sc program with upGrad.