Pandemic means new chances for EdTech
Coronavirus has accelerated the digital transformation of business. Innovative educational companies might seize the opportunity. Today, almost all social and economic life has moved to the Internet and new challenges regarding remote work arise.
If before the outbreak of the pandemic there were still entrepreneurs left who did not appreciate the importance of new technologies in business, then surely the events of recent weeks have forced them to change their minds. The coronavirus has driven entire societies into a domestic quarantine and made us more dependent on the internet and new technologies than ever.
Today, almost all social and economic life has moved to the Internet. Business owners have been put against the wall, having the choice of either quickly switching their business to online or saying goodbye to their existing business. Not everyone was given such a comfort – because in some sectors (e.g. food service) quarantine simply means a death sentence for companies, or at least the necessity of a long-term suspension of business.
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New challenges await those who had to enter the path (or rather a motorway) to a forced digitization. First of all, existing services and products have to be remodelled so that they could be distributed online. Then, reformulated offer requires the adaptation of the marketing message, and often even the development of completely different ways of contact with the customer. These fundamental challenges are even more difficult to carry out in the remote working conditions.
“The revolution in shaping products and services, work organization and marketing strategy means an increase in the importance of IT in business. It strengthens the demand for digital skills. It is not just about specialists, responsible for implementing solutions at the tactical level. IT qualifications will increasingly be required from managers, because without them managers will not be able to set out strategies and create paths for the company’s development. It will be difficult for them to even understand the reality around us” says Marcin Tchórzewski, CEO of Coders Lab of the IT School, the biggest coding bootcamp in the CEE region with franchised branches in Romania and Indonesia.
When the dust settles, the world will no longer be the same. The changes that we are now implementing ‘ASAP’, thinking that these are only temporary, anti-crisis solutions, will permanently fit into the market landscape and quickly start to set trends in business. The demand for employees with technological background will only grow. At the same time, the automation of processes in companies will continue, additionally accelerating the liquidation of traditional positions.
According to the McKinsey Global Institute study, due to the progressive automation, digitalization and development of artificial intelligence, by 2030 at least 375 million employees (about 14%) will have to re-design or significantly increase their qualifications. Moreover, an analysis of the World Economic Forum shows that by 2022 one in four of all employees will occupy a completely new position – one that is not yet present in the company.
In the face of these trends, investing in retraining and improving the qualifications of current employees will soon become one of the most important business priorities for global companies. This trend is also observed by the employees themselves. They are looking for ways to increase their qualifications on their own and to gain new knowledge during the period of home quarantine. For EdTech companies, especially those offering courses aimed at raising the digital skills, it might be a big chance. If they can use it, depends on how they can adjust to the current circumstances.
“We introduced online courses to our offer over a year ago. However, due to the current state of epidemiological threat, we decided to move all our classes to remote mode. The students meet with their lecturers in a virtual classroom format and rework the same range of material as in a traditional, stationary course. The tools that we use at Coders Lab allow free access to presentations and exercises, and also make it easier to learn on your own” explains Marcin Tchórzewski, CEO of Coders Lab.
Improving one’s digital skills and learning how to code seems to be a doubly good idea these days. On the one hand, it allows us to spend time productively, which, for epidemiological reasons, we cannot use for our favorite outside activities. On the other hand, it also allows us to gain qualifications which may prove extremely valuable in the post-crisis market landscape.
No one knows how long the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus will last and how much damage it will cause to the labor market. The profession of a programmer, however, cannot complain about the lack of demand from employers even during the slowdown. In addition, that kind of job is exceptionally compatible with the remote mode of work. The latter advantage has become particularly important today.