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India: ‘uptick’ in computer science interest – survey

Computer science has now become “the second most preferred subject” after engineering for Indian students, a survey has suggested.

INTO says the pandemic has led to a shift, where students have become “more interested in advanced technologies, such as robotics and artificial intelligence”. Photo: pexels.

Despite the impacts from Covid-19, international education remains a top priority.

Shortly following these subjects are studies in business, health care, environment and climate change.

Results from the INTO University Partnerships survey of over 1,250 Indian students showed that over 78% of students believe the pandemic has “influenced” career aspirations and subject choices when considering studying abroad.

Some 10% of students also wished to pursue “new-age courses, such as data science, cybersecurity, eco-technology” and “urban planning design”.

Diwakar Chandiok, recruitment director at INTO, said “changing aspirations combined with increased student interest in computer science signifies a very positive trend”.

The Dell Technologies Index 2020 reflects a testament to “the rising interest in learning advanced technologies”, INTO noted. Around 95% of organisations have “fast-tracked digital transformation projects across sectors due to the pandemic”, it said

Yet despite the impacts from Covid-19, international education remains a top priority.

“Changing aspirations combined with increased student interest in computer science signifies a very positive trend”

“International exposure allows students to learn and bring back new skills, language, cultural intelligence and diversity, which eventually helps in expanding their portfolio and staying at part with their global counterparts,” Olivia Streatfeild, CEO of INTO, said.

According to the survey, the US continues to be the top destination for Indian students with 31% of students saying so, followed by Canada (23%) and the UK (17%).

Some 12% of students also consider Asia, whereas “Australia and New Zealand saw a reduced student interest” due to recent border closures and travel restrictions.

When considering a location to study overseas, 35% of students report choosing a “destination based on the job prospects in that country”.

A total of 33% of students reported choosing countries for their “higher quality of education”, with a further 32% preferring “to get the right study experience, exposure and expertise”.

Students were also more likely “to invest in education if they feel that the long term benefits are worth it”, it found.

This is contrary to India being typically viewed “as a price-sensitive market”, with students also more likely to consider immigration pathways compared with Chinese students, INTO added.

“Our survey findings indicate that Indian students today are outcome-oriented, with the aim of gaining the right skills, living in another country, meeting new people and leveraging global opportunities” said Streatfeild.

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