At present, whenever the word "Outsourcing" pops up the next big word that comes into most people's mind is India. Because of its cheap highly skilled manpower the country has become a major destination for outsourcing. Along with IT another new outsourcing market is emerging and that is online tutoring.
Before talking about the reasons, I would provide some information about online tutoring.
What is online tutoring?
In simple words it is just another version of one to one teaching. A knowledgeable person on a particular subject teaches students of another country. This whole thing is done via internet. Through specially designed chatrooms, e-mails and websites the student interacts with his/her teacher. For this all it needs that the student and the teacher have a computer and access to internet.
Now, what is the beauty of this whole process? The reasons are:
• Easy access, convenient and cost effective. The student can study at his own time; he does not have to go to another place.
• Many students are shy; they do not talk or ask questions in the class in fear of being ridiculed. On the net, he is alone with his teacher. There is no one to make fun.
• One to one teaching is always very effective and online tutoring is all about that.
All these reasons have played a great role behind the rise of online tutoring.
Online Tutoring in USA:
• Online tutoring started in the late 90s and the market has grown ever since.
• Online tutoring in USA alone would grow by 90% to a $10 billion market in the next ten years.
• The size of the US tutoring market is $2.2 billion and online tutoring accounts for 6 percent of that market. At present, $132 million is spent in online tutoring by the American parents. 1.9 million students of the K-12 schools use online tutoring service.
• Parents have to pay from $40 to $100 for each hour for the teaching.
Online Tutoring and India:
Swati Arora is a tutor who works everyday at 5 a.m. with her students. The company she works in used to work in collaboration. Like Swati there are many others who are teaching students in American schools. India per year earns $5million from online teaching. Out of $132million, India takes away $20 to $25 million. So you can see that it is quite a big business in India. There are companies who hire professional and experienced teachers and train them on how to deal with American accent. Some companies allow teachers to work from their homes and some companies have their offices. At present, at least, six tutoring companies are based in India. Few companies are situated in abroad.
Below are given names of few Indian companies who provide online tutoring service.
Educomp Solutions Limited
Tutorvista: Headquartered in Bangalore, presently, this organization has 1400 students in UK. The company is planning to offer its service to native Chinese, Spanish and English speakers. At present, it has 2000 students and it is aiming to make it 5000 within the fall of 2007.
Growing Stars: Headquartered in Santa Clara, this company started in 2004. Now it has 400 students.
Why Indian tutors?
• First of all, they offer their service at a very cheap price. Although many of us think that America is not a very price sensitive countries but it is not entirely true. Education is very expensive in USA. Before the birth of a child, his or her parents start saving money for their kid's education. At present, parents have to pay $40 to $100 per hour to the American tutoring companies. On the other hand, Indian tutoring organizations charge less money. For example, Growing star charges $21 to $25 per hour. Tutorvista charges $20 for forty five minutes and unlimited hours for $100.
• Companies like Tutorvista and Growing stars hire teachers specialized in their fields and well experienced. The companies even train the teachers to understand American accents and student jargons. So language is not a big problem.
• Compared to other South Asian countries, India's education system gives more emphasis on English. English is India's second language.
• Online tutoring for American teachers may not be a very attractive job but it is a full time job for many Indians. Hence, they give more effort.
• Internet is the most important factor in online teaching. Outsourcing is one of major businesses in India; hence, the country already has very good internet infrastructure. So the student and teacher can communicate with each other very well.
Pakistan: the future rival of India:
Pakistan is gradually becoming a major rival of India in the field of online tutoring. Like India, Pakistan also has a good education system which emphasize on gaining competency in English. Aside from the education system, Pakistan has another advantage. The phonetic system of Urdu language matches very well with that of the American English. In future this country would be the major competitor of India.
A serious issue:
Outsourcing businesses are done through internet. Face to face interactions between clients and the company do not happen frequently. For this reason, good will and good image is very important in this business. The same goes for online tutoring as well. Earlier this month, the court of New York barred the city's Education department from hiring any online tutoring company. The company that the department hired, Socratic Learning Incorporation, is an online company run by Indians, concealed the fact that most of its teachers are Indians and it did not do any background check on the tutors. Education department paid the company 4.2 million dollars. When the department asked for the list of the tutors, it did not pay attention. Later, an investigation conducted by the education department official revealed that most of the teachers were Indians whose backgrounds were not checked. According to Federal law, the teachers are required screened fingerprints and background checks. This incident is a big hit for the Indian companies. Online tutoring is a very new thing and not all people believe that it is effective. At a situation like this, such incidents would have a serious effect in the long term business. Outsourcing is a very promising sector in India. In future many new markets would emerge and many more Indians will have jobs in this sector. So, I hope that the Indian government should take proper steps so that other companies who are working do not suffer from such mishaps in future.
Now, are you convinced that India is a better place that USA for online tutoring?
TutorVista's mission is to provide world class tutoring and high-quality content to students around the world. TutorVista is the premier online destination for affordable education-anytime, anywhere, in any subject. Students access TutorVista from the convenience of their home or in school and use TutorVista's comprehensive lessons and question bank to master any subject with access to a live tutor around the clock. The TutorVista idea: help students to excel in school and at competitive examinations. The management team consists of professionals from education, training and Internet fields whose expertise spans eLearning, instructional design, technology-based learning, professional services management, and Internet technologies. For more information, go to www.tutorvista.com.