- According to an AECC Global research, 44% of Indian students studying in the UK major in management and business.
- Math and computer science are the STEM areas that Indian students are most interested in, making up 35% of all Indian students in 2020–21.
- The importance of climatology and energy management programs has increased as people’s knowledge of climate change and other environmental challenges has grown.
Global education is continuously thriving. Given the increasing number of applications and enrollments, it is appropriate to look at the subjects of study that these students are considering when pursuing international education. This will also help guide institutions on what programs international students are looking for.
The Economic Times report revealed that there are around 1,324,954 Indian students currently enrolled in 79 countries, making up one of the largest abroad diasporas in the world. In addition, it showed that the most popular courses are widely categorized into STEM courses, finance, and business from the viewpoint of students from India.
Additionally, an OECD survey showed that in 2017–18, approximately 50% of overseas students studying in the United States were doing so in the STEM fields, with a proportion of around 79 percent for Indian students.
Most popular courses for Indian students
According to the study conducted by Economic Times, the most popular course among Indian students who want to study abroad is the Master in Business Administration program or MBA. Business studies encompass a variety of subfields, including managerial economics, marketing, finance, investment banking, and business law and ethics.
This is also evident in the UK, where admission was granted to 50,000 Indian students.
According to a HESA report, the majority of Indian immigrants go to the UK to get their undergraduate degrees in business, management, math, or computer science, with 44% of them concentrating on management and business.
Additionally, the number of Indian students studying business increased by 5% in 2019–2020.
Growing popularity of healthcare, environment-related courses
The pandemic has impacted students’ decision-making. The need for healthcare professionals is expanding as a result of continuous drug trials and research on fatal diseases. Thus, among Indian students, courses in nursing, medicine, and healthcare management are becoming more and more popular.
This is also clear given the rising public concern over climate change and global warming. Courses in climatology, environmental sustainability, and energy management have garnered a lot of attention from Indian students.
Technology, engineering programs are still favorites
With the emergence of new technologies like the Metaverse, Blockchain, and other AI-induced technologies, courses related to robotics and artificial intelligence are becoming more and more prevalent among Indian students, with about 24% of those who were surveyed choosing the aforementioned specialization.
Finally, engineering continues to rank among the top five most sought-after majors globally. A few programs that have a strong global market and provide students with greater possibilities and competitive incomes are bioengineering, web technology, and computer science engineering (electrical, civil, and mechanical).
It is worth pointing out that STEM subjects are well-liked by students from other countries. Over 77% of Indian students studying in the US during the 2020–21 school year majored in STEM. Math and computer science are the STEM areas that Indian students are most interested in, making up 35% of all Indian students in 2020–21.
Additionally, these courses allow students to benefit from OPT extension. This extension is two years longer than what graduates of non-STEM programs receive.
STEM and business degrees are among the most popular choices for aspirant international students in India, but majors like Business Analytics, Data Analytics, Cybersecurity, Digital Marketing, and Ecotechnology are increasingly becoming more attractive.
With this, international education leaders and solution providers must continuously improve and broaden their schools’ program options while accurately matching them to the needs of potential students.
Furthermore, global education leaders must succeed in building relationships between colleges and universities that will support these specialties. Particularly now that international students are looking beyond Ivy League colleges, as discussed in the “Education Overseas An Evolving Journey” report.
Ranking and reputation of universities are becoming less important to take into account when making a decision, claims the report. Better teaching practices receive the highest priority (70%) but only 44% of students give the university’s reputation importance when choosing a school. (SUNEETHA QURESHI)
Suneetha has worked for 15 years in the international education sector and 25 years overall for her work for other industries. As president of MSM, she fortifies its business development outreach globally, particularly in the face of MSM’s foray into edtech-based recruitment via MSM Unify. She preserves the premium, value-adding services provided to each MSM partner institute, including dedicated teams on the ground, agent management, lead generation and inquiry management, application prescreening, and student and parent support through pioneering pre-departure briefing sessions.
She has an impeccable track record of successfully launching the representative offices in Asia and Africa of many North American and European higher education institutions. Her key strengths include hiring, training, and developing teams as evidenced by the successful results of the dedicated in-country college and university client teams.
Suneetha also has taken the lead in developing several initiatives at MSM, including building robust standard operating procedures, the Rise ‘n Shine team engagement platform, and the organization’s data analytics and audit segments.
- 2022. A Deep Dive into the Number of Indians Studying Abroad (2022 Statistics). Oxford International. Retrieved from https://oidigitalinstitute.com/news/indian-students-abroad/
- 2022. Indians represent the second-largest cohort of international students in OECD countries. Indian Express. Retrieved from https://indianexpress.com/article/education/study-abroad/indians-represent-the-second-largest-cohort-of-international-students-in-the-oecd-countries-8213096/
- 2022. Courses that top the list for Indian students planning to study abroad. The Economic Times. Retrieved from https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/nri/study/courses-that-top-the-list-for-indian-students-planning-to-study-abroad/articleshow/95176790.cms?from=mdr
- 2022. Courses that top the list for Indian students planning to study abroad. India Today. Retrieved from. https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/study-abroad/story/why-us-is-a-popular-destination-for-indian-students-1991013-2022-08-22
- 2021. Education Overseas An Evolving Journey. Western Union. Retrieved from https://corporate.westernunion-microsites.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/WU_Report_Summary_Education_Overseas_An_Evolving_Journey.pdf
- 2021. Study in UK for Indian Students after 12th. AECC. Retrieved from https://www.aeccglobal.in/blog/study-in-uk-for-indian-students-after-12th