Online education in India
Online education in IndiaWikimedia Commons

The next few years are looking extremely promising for the online education industry in India. Internet search giant Google, along with KPMG, released a joint report on the status of India's online education in the years to come.

The report, titled "Online Education in India: 2021", was released on Tuesday, and offers some interesting insights on the prospect of online education in the country where education is plagued with challenges like corruption, rote learning methods and lack of ambition. But the latest market analysis reveals that the increased use of internet is going to have a direct impact on the education industry.

Google and KPMG together concluded that online education is expected to grow eight times in the next four years. That remarkable growth rate will establish a stable $1.9 billion worth (Rs. 12,669 crore) industry.

"The online education segment is set to become a multi-billion dollar opportunity in India. There are many factors driving this growth including the perceived convenience, increased reach and personalisation offered by online channels," Nitin Bawankule, Google India's industry director, said in a statement.

"It is also interesting to note, that high growth in education search queries is now coming in from Tier 2 and 3 cities such as Patna, Guwahati, Aligarh and Kota — which points to the opportunities that growing penetration of smartphones and improving quality of internet have opened up," he added.

Deeper analysis based on market trends

With terabytes of information at its disposal, Google has witnessed an upward trend in online education. According to the study, online searches for education have doubled, and searches from a mobile device have tripled over the last two years. YouTube has also played a key role in the education sector, witnessing a 4X growth in consumption of education-related content in the last one year.

The market survey, based on 3,600 respondents across 27 geographies and different paths of life, also revealed that the paid user base will grow exponentially from 1.6 million users in 2016 to 9.6 million in 2021. Online certification courses are expected to witness the highest growth, with a net value of $463 million by 2021.

Google and KPMG also noted that the primary and secondary supplementary education will have a massive user base of 260 million, and it is expected to reach $773 million by 2021. Finally, the smallest segment of test preparation is also expected to grow handsomely to reach $515 million in the next four years.