As a college student, you’re dealing with a new environment, new people, a fresh slate of subjects, and are often commuting, budgeting and managing your own schedule for the first time. There’s pressure to prove your potential and prepare for job offers and a career. It can feel like a constant struggle just to keep up.
Typically, education startups have responded to this by offering counselling, chat services, gamified approaches to syllabus problems. Now, a few are going a step further and inviting students to create, ideate, try their hand at something new—whether 3D printing or entrepreneurship. They’re offering e-lessons in money management and decoding the stock market.
Hyderabad-based Metamorphosis helps students who want to be entrepreneurs get some practice brainstorming and building on ideas. Karkhana in Bhubaneswar runs a makers space where students, particularly of engineering, can create. And LearnApp has video courses on banking, stock markets, finance and investment, delivered by industry experts, aimed at the young adult.
“Start-ups in education have a crucial role today,” says education counsellor Karan Gupta. “They can leverage technology to plug holes in our syllabuses, work with students on everything from improving confidence through body language of students and soft skills to learning how specific aspects of the real world work.”
LESSONS FROM VETERANS
On YouTube, most how-I-did-it and quick-guide videos by industry leaders are geared towards professionals and mid-career viewers. LearnApp curates short video courses on topics such as stock markets, taxes, banking and finance, delivered by industry veterans.
There are videos on how capital markets work by Ashish Chauhan, CEO of the Bombay Stock Exchange; on principles of management, by R Gopalakrishnan, executive director of Tata Sons. “These courses don’t earn you certificates, but the lessons from these experts make students understand and acquire real-world skills,” says Prateek Singh, founder of LearnApp.
Parth Patel, who is pursuing an MBA in investment banking, says the lectures bridged an important gap for him. “I know the basics and have even worked in the stock market,” he says. “But I wanted to really know how it works. Trading courses are expensive, even online. Students who don’t have the time or money for separate courses can really learn here.”
For students who have the drive, energy and creativity for entrepreneurship but often no contacts or understanding of real-world issues, Hyderabad-based Metamorphosis acts as a connector. The two-year-old company identifies problems within the industries of cyber security, IT and consumer products, and passes them on to college students who might be able to find solutions.
Metamorphosis’s research team collates case studies, conducts surveys and interviews, and comes up with ideas for what needs to be done. The students put their heads together and try to make it possible. “About 6,000 students from engineering colleges in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have signed up,” says founder Pavan Allena.