The techie's road to higher learning
Those keen on pursuing higher education usually face two problems — time management and access to academically excellent support. Anand Kannan offers some solutions
Ashok Rao (name changed) is a techie. Employed at an IT major in Whitefield, Bangalore for the last two years, he had taken up the first job that he had got on campus, an NIT on the west coast. Over the last few months, he has been thinking about his next career move.
Ashok realised that taking up a job in a campus interview had cut short his learning needs and desire to specialise deeper. The best way to do this would be to pursue a Master’s degree in his field of choice — computer science. Like Ashok, many techies in the industry as well as budding ones still in college have career-related learning goals which they need to pursue while still fully engaged and successful in their primary occupation.
Time management and access to academically excellent support are the two biggest problems facing a techie, especially one who nurses multiple ambitions — doing well at college or work and preparing for further qualification and opportunities. With the many deadlines and exams and professional obligations, it is difficult to allocate time for a higher level of preparation. At the same time, good help and academic support is scattered and hard to get.
Dr Rajeev Shorey, until recently a resident of Bangalore and president of NIIT University, a private university functioning since 2009, says: “In today’s knowledge society, 24x7 learning is an essential component for a successful and productive career. No single institute or organisation can provide expertise in more than a select number of areas. The best way to ensure continuous learning is to tap thought leaders across the globe and this can be achieved via online learning or distance education. Online learning is cost-effective, efficient and minimises overheads.”
Students or IT professionals have to resolve time and access issues by discovering their own online programmes for their learning needs. Let us look at some of the new options available.
For a student like Ashok or Divya wanting to pursue higher studies in the US, strong verbal and quantitative skills to get a high score in GRE or GMAT is essential. This comes from intense preparation and practice. A bouquet of skills and speed of problem solving must be cultivated concurrently. An advanced online programme like GREedge.com, which uses unique technology and way of teaching is of help here.
Imagine a good teacher, face-to-face with you, trying to teach you a new concept. As she tries to teach you the meaning of the word, she would carefully observe your reactions and behaviour. Based on her understanding of how well you know this concept and your predisposition to learn it, she would adapt her style and level of teaching the new concept. She could talk about recent advances. She could even decide that you are not ready for it yet.
Such adaptation of teaching to the specific level, style, pace and needs of the learner is what makes for good learning. The most critical piece of such adaptation to the individual learner is the observation of behaviour or the measurement of learning. Once the teacher has the ability to continuously observe your learning behaviour and correlate it with the past and present of what you have learnt, she can personalise learning — and deliver greatly enhanced value to you as a learner.
GREedge samples a student’s interactions with online lessons and other online activities every few milliseconds. Advanced analytics-based algorithms, that have been empirically and experimentally derived and benchmarked over a period of time, crunch this data and arrive at meaningful conclusions and recommendations for improvement in Verbal & Quantitative Reasoning Skills.
Oracle, Microsoft, Red Hat Linux & other IT skills
ELA (Everonn Learning Academy), an initiative of Everonn Education Limited, is recognised for its premium educational and training programmes. ELA offers programmes that range from skill enhancement courses to job-oriented and industry-sponsored ones through Everonn’s online interactive learning (VSAT) platform and a blend of traditional and modern teaching methodologies.
ELA sets up hi-tech classrooms in colleges, where a blended mode of education delivery is executed, which includes VSAT training, Internet-based personalised learning and direct expert coaching at colleges and universities.
Everonn’s programmes are available in colleges and universities that have tied up with Everonn to set up a virtual classroom on their premises. Courses in partnership with best-known organisations in their respective verticals such as Oracle, Microsoft, Red Hat enhance and impart IT skills.
Expert faculty addresses the students over V-SAT and provides instructions using a flexible, blended delivery model. Everonn enables students to access the country’s best teachers and instructors from the convenience of one’s own college.
MTech in educational technology
NIIT University is one of the first to offer an MTech programme in educational technology. This programme is offered in an online learning format. It is targeted at professionals in content development, e-learning, teaching, media, corporate training and educational research.
The programme is designed with the four core principles of NIIT University, namely Industry-linked, Research-driven, Technology-based and Seamless. It offers a unique opportunity to interested candidates to get an additional degree.
While this is only a small list with some really unique programmes, electronically-driven distance learning or online learning is a rapidly growing industry which is solving common problems in time management and good academic access faced by many students. For a techie in a fast growing city like Bangalore, these are options to be considered actively.