“The demand for upskilling programs has increased significantly in the last couple of months. Our programs are job-oriented and once these learners are upskilled, they will have an edge in terms of finding opportunities," said Gaurav Vohra, co-founder and CEO, Jigsaw Academy, a training provider of emerging technologies.
Jigsaw witnessed a 70-80% average rise in the number of people interested in their courses since the covid-19 outbreak in March.
“While pre-planned training programs are being put on hold, many companies are opting for specific need-based training, often to do with a specific emerging technology, so as to equip their employees to complete a certain project or add value to customers," Vohra said.
Similarly, online learning platform Udemy has seen a 200% growth in overall enrolments for courses in India. In technical categories, web development and data science have shown strong growth, up 60% and 58% respectively.
“There has been a significant growth in course creation as well. For IT and software there has been a surge of 77% growth in courses being created on Udemy," said Irwin Anand, managing director, Udemy India.
In April, professional learning company Great Learning launched its Corporate Academy to enable companies make the most of the downtime during the lockdown.
“In the last 30 days, 25% of active users have already completed at least one course, each of them spending an average of 2 hours per day on the platform. There has been a 200% increase in app installs in the last 60 days," said Mohan Lakhamraju, founder & CEO, Great Learning.
With massive layoffs in the IT industry, a few learning companies are also helping people, who are currently without jobs but are actively looking at reskilling, for better career prospects.
Enterprise training provider SpringPeople is providing free access to its self-paced training courses through its enterprise learning platform.
“This will help in enhancing their skills and prepare them for jobs of the future. These courses on our learning platform ‘LnDCloud’ are bundled with video-based learning, capstone projects, assignments etc. User engagement has doubled on our platform since lockdown," said Ravi Kaklasaria, cofounder and CEO, SpringPeople.
Most enterprise training providers have seen maximum traction from emerging technologies such as cloud, data science, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and cyber security.
At Jigsaw Academy, the demand for AI and cloud shot up by 250% since the lockdown began. At SpringPeople, there has been an increase in demand of almost 40% in popular courses like cloud, DevOps, and ML.
Analysts said as the drive for automation is expected to increase, the demand for related skills will also rise.
“We will see the demand for automation-related competencies will go up. In addition, we are seeing traction for cyber security as well which has gained renewed interests as remote work has increased," said D.D. Mishra, senior research director, Gartner.
While traditionally, a significant part of the B2B training used to be a blend of both online and offline modes, today this has inevitably moved to online-only.
At Jigsaw Academy, learners had to traditionally pre-read content that was available online, followed by face-to-face workshops that concluded with post-program work in online mode. “The only change that we have seen for the time being is the shift of face-to-face sessions to virtual instructor-led ones," said Vohra.