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Test prep firms scoop up new grads as faculty

Coaching institutes, which typically prepare students for various competitive exams, are also increasing teacher recruitment efforts to combat aggressive poaching.  (Photo: Mint)
Coaching institutes, which typically prepare students for various competitive exams, are also increasing teacher recruitment efforts to combat aggressive poaching. (Photo: Mint)

Summary

Demand for STEM teachers up as online platforms open physical classes

Competitive test preparation institutes are ramping up recruitment from universities to build an adequate pool of teachers and counter talent poaching.

For instance, Aakash Educational Services has initiated an extensive recruitment drive to train 1,200 fresh university graduates as teachers for its engineering, medical, and competitive exam coaching courses. Previously, the company hired 50-100 people annually.

Similarly, Allen Career Institute, backed by James Murdoch’s Bodhi Tree Systems, extended job offers to more than 500 university students to become coaching class teachers. The latest batch of hires is the largest campus recruitment drive for the institute. Meanwhile, Career Point aims to train 120 engineers to be coaches for batch 2023, after hiring 70 candidates for batch 2022.

Coaching institutes, which typically prepare students for various competitive exams, including engineering and medical entrance exams, are also increasing teacher recruitment efforts to combat aggressive poaching. The majority of new hires are from top Indian universities such as the Indian Institute of Technology, the National Institute of Technology, Delhi and Allahabad Universities, and other engineering colleges. Additionally, some edtech firms offer coaching for UPSC and other government jobs.

Unacademy, PhysicsWallah, Adda24X7 and Allen Career Institute have all shelled out crores of rupees to hire ‘star’ teachers from each other.

With online platforms like Unacademy and PhysicsWallah also opening physical coaching classes, the demand for STEM-focused (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teachers has surged.

“How much can we poach from others?" Abhishek Maheshwari, chief executive of Aakash Educational Services, owned by Byju’s, said. “We are trying to increase the supply of talent for the industry and give people a sustainable path to become teachers," he said.

Test prep institutes are now among the largest campus recruiters. Aakash is recruiting from smaller towns and includes a combination of MSc (Masters of Science), and PhD students focused on STEM subjects. It is also focused on hiring teachers for regional languages, such as Gujarati, as the space is seeing higher growth, Maheshwari added.

Allen is hiring engineers at 7.5 lakh and will train them to become teachers and instruct students on how to crack the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main and Advanced for engineering colleges and IITs, said a senior executive at the institute. Aakash offers around 8 lakh starting salaries, with a path towards 15 lakh per annum in three years.

CareerPoint also offers salaries around 7 lakh, founder Pramod Maheshwari said.

Meanwhile, Allen has more than 12,000 faculty and administrative staff and enrolled more than 300,000 students last year.

Aakash expanded to 200 new centres last year and expected to add around 30 more centres to begin with, this year, the firm said.

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