Once schools open, what will be the future of digital and online learning? Is it going to be the way forward?

The covid-19 pandemic has resulted in nearly 1.2 billion students being forced to stay at home as classrooms across the world remain closed. The direct result of this has been that millions of students have now gotten used to digital learning as an alternative form of education. Online classes have existed for years, but it’s the past year that has seen their popularity explode as they have gone from a supplemental tool to a critical way of learning. Nearly every organisation across the world is getting into edtech. From self-learning apps to video tutoring, we are learning online at a greater rate than ever before. And in all likelihood, the emergence of digital learning is here to stay. The future will definitely include variants of hybrid learning, as digital education is here for good. However, it’s important to be cognisant that this may exacerbate our societal divides. And if the students are extremely young, there is evidence showing that virtual learning may not fully replace classrooms as younger students tend to get distracted easily.

Is it going to be harder for students to find a good job in the next few years due to the new state of the economy?

While it may be too soon to know the full impact of covid-19, the pandemic has changed the present work environment and the prism through which we look at the future has been redefined. Today, we can only make some predictions on future job scenarios. The technology industry continues to be a world-leading industry, as remote work wouldn’t be possible without the advent of products, including Zoom and Microsoft Teams. With tech, health and allied services have risen in prominence. People will have gotten used to working from home and there will be less commuting to work. There will be an increased demand in upgrading our hardware and telecommunication networks. The demand for engineers and computer science graduates will grow along with an increased interest in artificial intelligence and robotics as we try to remove human interaction in many areas of our economies. Online shopping will become the norm, leading to more growth in e-commerce and delivery companies. There will be a renewed demand for those who study and specialise in supply chain management due to this increase in warehousing and logistics. There will also be an increased demand for microbiologists, doctors and students specialising in health sciences.