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Posted at: Jan 9, 2019, 7:51 AM; last updated: Jan 9, 2019, 7:51 AM (IST)

On a different course

Specialised and unconventional programmes are likely to be popular study abroad options in 2019
On a different course

Rohit Sethi

According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), more Indian students are now going abroad to pursue higher education. In fact, spending on tuition and hostel fees by Indians studying overseas has gone up by 44 per cent from $1.9 billion in 2013-14 to $2.8 billion in 2017-18. While the US, Canada and the UK remain the key destinations, students are now increasingly opting for Australia and EU countries as well. In a recent statement, Rod Hilton, Deputy High Commissioner of Australia in India, said that his country is now accommodating 68,000 Indian students. As we step into 2019, let’s have a look at the trends that will shape the overseas education industry this year:   

STEM courses

STEM courses (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) have always remained the top preferences for Indian students, and 2019 be no exception. From software engineering to computer programming and accounting to statistics, they will take up STEM subjects to get lucrative job opportunities following the completion of their degree. With several universities around the world tying up with industrial bodies make their curriculum more relevant to today's jobs, STEM courses will still be in high demand in next year. 

Indian students tread the unconventional turf

According to recent data provided by the 2018 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, Indian and other international students in the US are now showing a strong interest in off-beat courses like marine engineering, geophysics, game design and development. One main reason behind the shift  is that these interdisciplinary courses are not easily available in their home countries. Also, as parents in India become more supportive of their children’s career choices, students are no longer shying away from choosing the road less travelled. 

In 2019, unusual courses are expected to strike a chord with more Indians enrollingd in foreign universities. 

Rise of specialised courses

With the ongoing 4th industrial revolution and rapid progress in automation, machine learning and AI (artificial intelligence), traditional job roles are evolving and new jobs are coming up. In line with the changing times, modern employers are now lookout for people who are skilled in these specialised fields. This explains why some specialised courses such as Robotics, Automation and Mechatronics are likely to witness a demand in 2019. Other than that, disability programmes and infection control courses seem to gain popularity among Indian students heading abroad.  


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