Online coaching providers such as Byju’s, Adda247, Oliveboard, Testbook and ixamBee said there had been a huge increase in demand for coaching and courses that help crack exams for government jobs since the start of the pandemic. Offline coaching players such as Career Launcher are increasing their online presence to keep up with the demand.
In a recent survey conducted by Adda247, as much as 82% of 6,500 respondents aspiring for government employment had cited job security as the leading reason for their choice.
To be sure, the Covid-19 pandemic had affected recruitment for government jobs as well. Several state governments had also announced that they would cut salaries or stagger payments as their revenues had taken a hit and expenses increased. But there have been no job cuts in the government, even as private employers across sectors fired employees as the pandemic and the lockdown to contain its spread crippled their businesses.
“The shutdown of services and operations created considerable panic and urgency in the working class as umpteen numbers of professionals faced job cuts or were on the verge of facing one,” Adda247 cofounder Anil Nagar said. This has led to an increase in the demand for government jobs. Most of these job aspirants are targeting UPSC and bank tests, he said.
Byju’s chief operating officer Mrinal Mohit said, “We have witnessed an overwhelming response for our UPSC programme during the lockdown period. In the last 3-4 months, we have seen a 60% increase in programme enquiry as well as aspirants learning from us.”
At offline coaching leader Career Launcher, the demand for online UPSC classes has increased by two-and-a-half times compared with the quarter before the lockdown, said Himanshu Tyagi, its national head (government exam products). It recently launched online courses for bank tests as well.
“Our monthly enrolment rate has gone up twice than what we had earlier, during the last month. Students have realised that they should take advantage of the extra time at their disposal for preparations due to the lockdown,” Testbook chief executive Ashutosh Kumar said. “Even without exam notifications, we have filled multiple batches for banking exams.”
Due to the pandemic, bank tests have been postponed. Despite this, aspirants are flocking to study for these.
Oliveboard, another learning and assessment platform, recently launched free mock tests. “We have observed 15,000-20,000 students take the free live test every day, since the launch,” CEO Abhishek Patil said.
Industry players said aspirants from small towns, who would earlier prefer going to a physical centre near their home or in a large town, are now opting for online classes. For instance, two-thirds of the traffic at ixamBee comes from Tier 3-6 towns, CEO Chandraprakash Joshi said. The conversion rate of free users to paying users has also gone up three times compared with the earlier quarter, said Joshi.
Many professionals have also migrated to their hometowns and they too are now aspiring for government jobs, said Adda247’s Nagar.