As of 2019, there are more than 4,000 edtech startups in India. Just like any other startup, edtech startups also face monetary constraints when it comes to marketing and advertising. Edtech startups mostly rely on digital marketing. In this post, we will tackle two issues – what happens behind the scenes of digital marketing within an edtech startup. Secondly, we will talk about careers in digital marketing after engineering.
Marketing in the EdTech Sector in India
Traditionally, education in India has been all about textbooks and classrooms. Technology in education, popularly known as ‘edtech’, with its range of tools, is making the learning process easier for students, as well as working professionals.
Marketing activities within the education domain are no doubt challenging. Let’s accept it – education is one of the biggest business verticals in India. Many people view the education sector as a boring vertical for employment. When we were looking for new recruits, several young folks opted out as they found the edtech domain simply boring. However, the education sector in India has to offer many exciting careers to interest millennials.
Finally, there is way too much online content in the education space. So, content marketing in the edtech space is no mean feat. You really need to be a rockstar in digital marketing to cater to the edtech space.
Careers in Digital Marketing after Engineering in India
India churns out around 15 – 20 lakhs of engineers every year. But, while many have difficulty finding jobs, few end up in jobs that they like. Then there is an acute shortage of core engineering jobs in India.
Behind the Scenes of EdTech Marketing and Careers in Digital Marketing after Engineering
Q&A With Purna Rao
Q. You are from Electronics & Communication Engineering background? What made you interested in Digital Marketing?
Ans: Being from a Tier-3 city without proper career guidance, I opted for B.Tech after Class 12. Later, I found that my true passion and area of interest in something else.
During my 3rd Sem, I attended a workshop on Digital Marketing and Design and this was a turning point in my career. Later I attended many other webinars, seminars, and workshops. With time, I realized that I am more inclined towards Digital Marketing, Branding, Content Development, and Visual Design.
Q. How did you utilize your college time to build the required skills to get into content development and content marketing?
Ans: During my semester breaks and holidays, I used to work as a freelance graphic designer and social media manager for a few educational institutes, restaurants, and various startups. I also worked with my college cultural committee on branding and social media promotions of various events like college fests and alumni events. I also interned with a few established firms and funded startups.
Q. Why did you opt to work with a startup over a large organization after B.Tech?
Ans: The best thing about startups is that a person can do multiple tasks. With time, this experience helps to figure out the areas of expertise and interests. I am still pretty early in my professional career. I believe the experience of working with a startup will help me in the long-term – be it higher studies or future jobs.
Q. Is Engineering overrated in India as a career option after 12th?
Ans: Yes, definitely.
According to my personal experience, I have never heard a parent (whether it’s my relative or other people) suggesting his/her kids opt for other career opportunities other than Govt/Engineering/Doctor. In Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, the majority of people don’t even know the unconventional college majors and other awesome career opportunities.
Read more about the top unconventional careers to explore in 2020.
Q. What would be your advice for the high school students who are considering engineering after Class 12?
Ans: As per my B.Tech experience, if you’re weak in Maths till your 12th Grade, then don’t pursue engineering. I have seen some of my friends/seniors who appeared for Re-Backlogs in subjects that involved math.
Ask yourself why do you want to study engineering? Is it because to get a high paying job? then you can opt for many other courses that are high paying and have a less competitive job market.
If you are really passionate about engineering and you are sure about your career path, I would suggest you pursue a Diploma after 10th and then go for B.Tech (through Lateral Entry). That would provide you mode edge in the job market later in your career.
Q. Have you got any tips for the engineering students and fresh engineering graduates?
Ans: As an engineer, you do need to understand technology. But, that doesn’t rule out the need for soft skills and functional expertise (understanding of business and customer needs).
Engineering graduates should avoid being stuck in a rigid job description for too long. Continuous professional development is extremely critical in the current job market. In today’s age of automation and the 4th industrial revolution, having a broad skill set can help you to remain competitive in the job market.
Here are a few more blog articles that you might find beneficial:
Q. Could you please share a few tips for the folks who want to make a career in graphic designing?
Ans: If you want to become a graphic designer then start your preparation by attending some basic lecture series on YouTube.
After you have understood WHAT, WHY, HOW in graphic designing, then try your hands on gaining some design experience for at least one month.
Then attend top online courses on Coursera or Udemy and enroll in the courses on Design Thinking, Drawing, Creating your own Design Portfolio, etc.
Here are a few top online courses to learn graphic design:
Q. What’s your opinion on the importance of career counselling in India? Do you think it is important or is it just overrated?
Ans: Career guidance counselling is very underrated in India, especially in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. Some students like me are figuring out their areas of career interest and passion (better late than never). But, there are a few students still unable to crack this and undergoing depression.
According to my opinion, Parents should work with career counselors to understand a child’s interests, strengths, and aspirations. Also, students should make informed decisions about their subject choices and career paths.
Q. What are your thoughts on higher education and online courses?
Higher Studies: Higher education allows you to pursue a career that interests and inspires you. When you have the freedom to choose your career, you’re more likely to enjoy it. With an advanced (or specialized) degree (e.g. MS, MBA or PhD), you’ll have better job satisfaction along with higher income, better employment benefits, and more lucrative career opportunities.
Online Courses: This is the next era of revolution in the education sector. It’s Effective, Feasible and Affordable. From students to working professionals, from Parents to Teachers, from an Entrepreneur to a fortune company CEO, anyone can learn anytime so that they can deliver their best in their area of expertise. Online courses are great tools to reskill and upskill – the need for the current job market in India.
Q. How about studying abroad?
Ans: Expensive, but Worth It. Study abroad experience helps you to learn new languages, appreciate other cultures, overcome challenges of living in another country, gain a greater understanding of the world, and of course, to create better career opportunities.
Q. Should Indian students (and parents) and working professionals really need to work with Counsellors to study abroad?
Ans: It’s always possible to manage the whole process of studying abroad on your own. In fact, applicants have conventionally preferred managing the entire application process on their own or at best reaching out to family and friends to review their application strategies.
However, with increasing competition at the top-tier foreign universities (say Top 100 – 200 in the World), applicants are reaching out to get professional help to improve their admission chances to their dream schools.
If you are looking for Tier-2 universities (say Top 500 in the World), you do not know how good or bad a foreign university is for your subject area. You are also not sure about the job prospects. More importantly, the overseas education management system in India is not too organized and/or transparent. There are too many dodgy study abroad counselors and agents in India. More often than not, they prioritize the needs of their partner universities rather than the need of the applicant.
There is a huge process behind study abroad preparation unless like the Indian College/University admission process where you just need to give an entrance examination (and attend the interview for a few premium institutes).
The foreign admission process includes Profile Building, Standardized Tests, SoP, LoR, Essays, CV, Financial Planning, Visa, Accommodation, etc. So, it’s very important to consult with the right career counselors before making any big career decisions and investing a lot of money.
Q. How has been your experience of working with Stoodnt so far?
Ans: Challenging and Interesting. It’s been 8 months since I joined Stoodnt. From day 1 to till date, I am continuously learning new skills whether it is video editing, blogging & content development, social media promotions, etc.
We are a bootstrapped startup. We don’t have the muscle power of spending on ads. We rely on organic traction. It’s pretty tough as the EdTech vertical is fiercely competitive and there is way too much content out there. Plus, we are a pretty small team. But, we have been growing steadily every month. It gives me immense satisfaction when we see the results.
In fact, we also helped several top educational institutes (from India and abroad) and other EdTech players with their content marketing and outreach efforts. Below is one of my recent creatives to attract more B2B EdTech players for Stoodnt.
Apart from professionals skills, working with Team Stoodnt also helped me to improve my Communication, Interpersonal, Adaptability and Time Management skills. I Consider this as a perfect place for freshers or entry-level candidates to kick start their career in marketing.
Q. According to you, what makes Stoodnt.com unique?
Ans: The one thing I like most about Stoodnt is the “Transparency” about counselors and services.
There are many counselling platforms out there. But, you never see much info about their profile like who they are and what they have done and also about the service charges.
But on stoodnt.com, you can find the whole history of any counselors from education credentials to work experience, etc. Also, the flexible timing and user flow to connect with any counselors are just amazing.
You can literally book a personalized “Online” session over Phone/Skype/WhatsApp with a Harvard, Oxford or IIM Alumni in just 5 easy steps that take just a couple of minutes. Isn’t that cool?
Q. Stoodnt’s counselling services are primarily delivered in the online mode. How effective is it to cater to candidates (and parents) who approach Stoodnt?
Ans: Online counselling is very effective. People would like to spend time at home rather than visiting any counselling office. In online mode, parents/students/professionals can connect with global counselors according to their convenient time. It would save the traveling cost and time as well. Sometimes, it is also very risky to carry documents to other places. So, online connectivity will help to overcome those issues.
In today’s globalized world, you can’t ignore the online mode.
Let’s take the study abroad process – admission officers and faculty members from top universities rely on the same process. They evaluate the applications and interview candidates in the online mode only. The majority of study abroad applicants don’t get to meet Adcom in-person.
Q. What are your next career plans?
Ans: My next career plans are to learn and get into User Interface and User Experience (UI/UX) Designing. I am also planning to launch my own website.
I believe that content strategy, development, and visual design are my key skills. These are the roots of any UI/UX Designer. So, that’s the reason why I’m interested in it. I’m attending a few online courses to get the basics along with that I’m working on my portfolio.
In the long-term, an MBA is also an option. But, that’s not confirmed yet.