While the year 2021 saw disruption in most academic courses due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, several online courses offered by Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and other institutes and platforms. Years were trending. With classes in colleges and universities being remote, students have enrolled in online courses for their easy accessibility and easy course format.
Considering the growth in the last five years and unprecedented COVID times, there has been a definite growth in courses related to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cyber Security, Data related to Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cyber Security, according to Amrita Gulati, Academic Head, Institute of International Career and College Counseling (IC3). Science, Digital Marketing, Business Analytics and Health Care.
“In particular, interesting is the increase in courses in entrepreneurship and innovation across different levels of education, also embedded in some well-established, traditional programs of study. Another noticeable trend is more broad-based, inter- and multi- Thematic courses are tilted towards – T-shaped education with depth or expertise in one or two domains as well as breadth of all subjects,” said the IC3 Institute academic head.
Also, the second wave of COVID, which hit the country during the beginning of the year, made medical professionals and healthcare officials delve into courses to know what the virus is and how to contact affected patients.
With the year coming to an end, let us take a look at the emerging courses in 2021.
Academic Writing Course is one of the emerging self certificate courses which aims to bridge the gap by providing knowledge for effective and result-oriented academic writing. The curriculum is a foundation-level course and learning depends on how a learner conducts his/her research on a specific area. Students can avail themselves of academic writing courses. The duration of the course is 15 weeks and the curriculum is in line with the pre-PhD courses work of the higher education regulator, University Grants Commission.
With the increase in the reach of the Internet and online activity, the scope of digital marketing has also expanded. Digital marketing includes topics such as content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), social media and marketing analytics.
Peace and Conflict Management
The course in Peace and Conflict Management is one of the Swayamvar online courses that attempt to teach the concept of peace and the role of peace in human development. The curriculum in Peace and Conflict Management also attempts to teach learners the principles and types of conflict, methods of conflict management, and contemporary initiatives for peace.
Blockchain courses are designed to help technical and non-technical learners with key concepts. Kerala Blockchain Academy, under the state-run Digital University of Kerala, offered two free fundamental programs in Blockchain technology.
Robotics curriculum was also trending in 2021. Course in Robotics is one of the SWAYAM free online courses offered by Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore and is designed for Electrical/ Mechanical Engineer and PhD and Master students in Computer Science. Students belonging to all disciplines of engineering, researchers and practicing engineers can take courses in robotics on their own. The Robotics course in the SWAYAM platform is an eight-week course.
covid-19 contract tracing
The course on COVID-19 contract tracing is for physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals. This course helps the learners to have an integrated and evidence-based approach to save the lives of patients affected by COVID.
With students and professionals working remotely during 2021, many learners enroll for languages courses. A study published in the journal Scientific Reports also found that learning a foreign language increases the brain’s elasticity and ability to code information.
Data science courses have been in hype in 2021. Data science courses will help a student to analyze data or information from different sources and gain maximum insight. Data Science courses are offered by Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) including Delhi and Madras.
Introduced in 2020, the BSc in Programming and Data Science from IIT Madras is the first online degree program offered by an IIT.
Digital transformation has really paved the way in 2021 and full-stack software and product engineering, cloud computing, data science, and other technologies have been key proponents of driving this transformation, said Abhishek Arora, EVP and Business Head, Kaushal and Career Business, NIIT Limited said.
Stating that NIIT is in the process of developing free content for its learners and prospective learners and aims to make them future ready, Mr Arora further added that: “With Industry 4.0, there is a general inclination towards courses. Which focuses on Automation, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and a learner equipped with in-demand skills gives an edge among recruiters. Besides enabling better job opportunities, they also have an edge over the competition like Equipped with knowledge on real life projects etc.