Research Outline

Student Degree Preferences


Determine the similarities and differences between students in the US versus students in India in terms of choosing undergraduate and graduate degrees for both online and offline courses. Obtain information also on the type of university, program, price, services, and faculty engagement that would be effective when bringing courses from the U.S. or U.K to students in India. Determine also the factors that students (and/or their families) are considering when choosing schools/programs and the prioritization of each factor. The information will be used to determine the viability of bringing online degrees from the UK or the US to students in India at market-appropriate pricing.

Early Findings

Student Degree Preferences

Indian Students' Course Preferences

  • Based on the findings of the Pearson India Study of Adult Learners in six countries, Indians were the "least price sensitive" among the nationalities included in the survey when selecting a course. However, they are more concerned in ensuring that the course is credible.
  • The six countries involved in the survey include Australia, India, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. The survey respondents are between the 18 – 65 years old.
  • Around 36% of Indian students view price as a limitation. Meanwhile, 47% of these students opt to attend courses while being engaged in other endeavors.
  • The survey also revealed that most of the students in India are interested in short courses. Around 23% of students also opt for certifications that are given by professional entities.
  • Around 27% of Indian students are also enrolled already in short-term courses. Meanwhile, 28% of Indian adult students are aiming to enroll in single-subject short term programs that come with a one-time payment.
  • Around 46% of Indian students are planning to pursue post-graduate degrees. Meanwhile, around 39% are enrolled in BA degree courses.
  • Indian professionals are also now more interested in short courses as they are now more aware of the need to enhance their skills.
  • Adult students also prefer the notion of integrating the convenience of passive online courses with the perceived quality of active face-to-face learning.
  • Around 32% of adult students opt for comprehensive online courses.
  • Meanwhile, the demand for blended courses is rising significantly as 49% of adult students are showing a preference for this integrated alternative.
  • Around 22% of students are also opting for online courses that feature video lessons.
  • Despite the rise of e-learning, around 32% of students in India are still opting for classroom sessions that are run by teachers. This option is followed by self-directed learning at 26%.
  • For Indian students, their main motivations to pursue continuing education are career advancement and knowledge enhancement.
  • Around 56% of Indians enroll in courses to have access to better job opportunities. Those who enroll in courses to increase their knowledge follows a close second (55%).
  • Advances in technology and new market forces are pushing 44% of students to finish a course that can help them level-up their professional credentials.
  • Meanwhile, 38% of students aim to complete these courses to enhance their knowledge and expertise that they can use in everyday settings.
  • Around 27% of Indian students are finding it challenging to select a credible course from the list of courses offered.
  • Indian students mostly prefer to study information technology (45%), Management and Commerce (39%), and Society and Culture (37%).

U.S. Students' Course Preferences

  • Based on The Ellucian survey, college students that mostly belong to the Gen Z group are finding it hard to select a course. This struggle lengthens the associated expenses and duration that are tied to earning a degree.
  • Most of the incoming students are not sure of their career journey and around 2/3 of the respondents experience being overwhelmed when trying to choose a course. These factors usually result in quick decisions to change majors without evaluating the consequences. These students are also more prone to attend unnecessary subjects that could prolong their stay in school.
  • Around 59% of students mentioned that lumping majors into categories or meta majors, instead of having individual majors for their freshman to sophomore years is helpful for them.
  • Based on a survey from Best Colleges, around 26% of graduate students are open to changing their majors to follow their passion.
  • Approximately 30% of millennials are also open to changing their majors if they can avail of better career opportunities.
  • Around 82% of U.S. students mentioned that their degree was a "good financial investment."
  • More than 40% of U.S. students consider gaining soft skills as the most valuable benefit of getting a college degree.

Summary of Findings

Our one hour of research provided some insights on how students in India and in the U.S. are choosing undergraduate and graduate degrees.