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Tech Trend: Mid career online courses are a popular option

Tech professionals are looking to online tools for up-skilling  after  career breaks. We look at one company that has seen very rapid growth, catering to this burgeoning demand
By Anand Parthasarathy
Bangalore, February 22 2016: You’ve completed your IT degree, got picked up by a cool company thanks to the ultra-efficient placement cell of your college.  Within the first year of your employment, you get to hop continents and partake in offsite projects of your company. You come back after 18 months and are ‘benched’ till a new project comes along. Worse, you make a shocking  discovery: technologies – languages, frameworks, tools – have zoomed past you in the 18 months you’ve been away. Any hope of bagging that next project depends on having an edge over that fresher who is well-versed in new languages.
You are not alone. For millions of technology professionals worldwide, it is a constant challenge to keep abreast  of  changing technologies that emerge  faster than pimples on a teenager’s face. You might have joined as a Java professional, but now you have to learn Hadoop and handle an Android project tomorrow. The pressing need to address this challenge has led global   educational players  like Coursera, edX, Udemy, and Udacity,  to create niche learning tools  for working professionals to  stay updated .

Now, innovative  Indian startups are entering this space: Bangalore-based startup Edureka is one such company that aims to up-skill professionals all through their lives... with  88 odd courses in areas  like Cloud Computing, Big Data, System Engineering, Programming and Mobile Development.  They  must have struck a chord.  Edureka's  phenomenal growth saw it head  Deloitte's Fastest 50 Indian startup rankings in 2014.
Unlike  many  providers, Edureka  offers  live and interactive classes where the instructor is not a teacher, but a fairly senior member of the technology fraternity.  Says  co-founder,  37 year-old Lovleen Bhatia: “Edureka exists to help professionals stay updated about  cutting edge technologies that they use every day in their workplace. But there is another challenge– industry relevance.”
 He explains, “Quite often, students who pass out of colleges and join their first workplaces are shocked to find that most of the theory that was taught in classrooms  is of little  use. What is expected  of them,  is being able to use their learnings in real-life scenarios to solve business problems. Every new employee is an investment --  and returns are expected. Industry relevant learning ensures that professionals are able to apply theories in solving practical problems.” 
The concept of live online learning  is especially popular with  women who take family-related  career breaks. One year of maternity leave  may  leave you completely out of date with programming languages. Courses  cost between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 25,000 each and can be taken  over   weekends or  through early morning, late evening classes. Each course usually takes  between 2 to 6 weeks to finish, including the live project work and certification at the end of every course.
Since  inception in 2011, Edureka found that an increasing number of learners on its platform come from Indians settled abroad. In additions to professionals  from France, Singapore, Malaysia, etc, enrollments come  from smaller places like Nigeria, Mexico, Morocco, Jamaica and Nepal. 
Kapil Tyagi, co-founder  and like Lovleen,  an  IIT  alumnus  and ex-Infosys  guy says, “It is  great to find learners from across the globe, even non-English speaking countries, engaging with an Indian startup to help them upgrade their careers. This is our little contribution to Make in India.”
 Techies Choice
Some popular  mid-career courses  with Indian techies  and students:
·        Big Data and Hadoop
·         Data Science
·        Project Management Professional  Certification
·        Apache Spark
·        Linux Administration
·        Salesforce Administration