India was ranked 8 in 2008, and is now behind only to the US, reveals a study titled 'Students on the web' compiled by Google India.
The study was compiled by combining Google search query patterns and an offline research conducted by TNS Australia on behalf of Google India. Over 60 percent Indian students, who have access to Internet, use it as their first source to research for information related to educational courses and institutes, the study reveals.
"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," Google India Vice President and Managing Director Rajan Anandan said.
Education related queries on Google in India are growing at over 46 percent year on year, that highlights 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 percent of queries were for higher education courses and institutes.
Search queries from mobile phones have considerably grown showing a growth of over 135 percent and amounting to over 22 percent of all education related search queries.Among the courses being searched for on Google, IT or Vocational accounts for 44 percent followed by engineering courses (40 percent) and institutes, postgraduate courses with MBA (16 percent).
In the offline research, when quizzed on the criteria used for researching, selecting institutes or courses, students highlighted that placements (56 percent) is the most important criteria for selecting a institute and course, followed by faculty (49 percent), course content (48 percent),reputation of the institute (43 percent) and fees (41 percent), it points out.
The study also found that students take anywhere close to 5-6 months on an average to research before finalising the institute and course.
In terms of wish list, students highlighted the need for educational institutes to have more mobile friendly websites as over 66 percent 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 percent 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 or placements (56 percent), videos of the faculty (44 percent), videos of existing students and alumni (29 percent) and videos of classroom sessions (27 percent) to help them take more informed decisions.