India in second position for education related search queries on the web: Google

Category: Education,  News Source: The Economic Times,  Updated-On: Aug 9 2012

New Delhi: With over half of the Indian internet population in the age bracket of 18-35, India has raced to the second position globally when it comes to absolute volume of search queries related to education. India was ranked eighth in 2008 and is now behind only to the US, according to a study by Google India on 'students on the web'.

The study was a combination of Google search query patterns and an offline research conducted by TNS Australia on behalf of Google India. The study revealed that over 60% Indian students, who have access to Internet, use it as their first source to research for information related to educational courses and institutes.

Education-related queries on Google in India are growing at over 46% year on year - highlighting the strong demand for information on institutes and courses that are available in the country. Out of all education related search queries on Google, over 40% of queries were for higher education courses and institutes.

Search queries coming from mobile phones have also grown considerably showing a growth of over 135% year on year and amounting to over 22% of all education related search queries.

Rajan Anandan, VP and MD, Google India said, "With over 60 million Internet user population in India being in age group of 18-35, educational related search queries are exploding on Google. Our core objective behind compiling this study was to understand the impact Internet is having on this young population with regard to education related decision making by the students.

With more and more users getting online every day, Internet today is the biggest catchment area for youth and we hope this study will help advertisers realize the potential of the digital medium." "As of now, educational institutes spent only 5% of their ad budget online. " he added.

In terms of types of courses being searched for on Google - IT/Vocational (44%) courses were the most searched courses, followed by a strong demand for engineering courses (40%) and institutes, followed by postgraduate courses with MBA (16%) being the most searched.

In the offline research, when quizzed on the criteria used for researching/selecting institutes/courses, students highlighted that placements (56%) is the most important criteria for selecting a institute and course, followed by faculty(49%), course content (48%), reputation of the institute (43%) & fees (41%). The study also found that students take anywhere close to 5-6 months on an average to research before finalising the institute and course.

A major finding was that students highlighted the need for educational institutes to have more mobile friendly websites as over 66% said they use their mobile phones to access the content. Video content also rated high with the students and they highlighted the need to have more video content on institution websites and other platforms with 46%respondents saying that they choose to watch videos as part of their research.

In terms of type of video content, students also wanted to watch videos on career options/placements (56%), videos of the faculty (44%), videos of existing students and alumni (29%) and videos of classroom sessions (27%) to help them take more informed decisions.

Among the most searched private institutes in the country, the study listed Lovely Professional University and Sharda University amongst the new players along with the most searched Sikkim Manipal University, Amity University and Nirma University.

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