A recent report by Coursera, the online education provider, reveals a titbit of information that is likely to not only make Indian women rejoice, but also inspire them further to enter a field that still remains dominated by men, globally. The report suggests that more and more Indian women have chosen to enrol for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the enrolment of women in STEM courses was only 22 per cent in 2019, the percentage went up to 33 per cent in 2020, and is expected to rise.
The Coursera study was based on data collected from its own global ecosystem of 77 million learners, 4,000 campuses, 2,000 businesses, and 300 governments. The report collated performance and actual skill level data from the beginning of the pandemic, to analyse how the global event affected online learning, enrolments and skill development across nations.
The report ranked countries based on three parameters, including skills in business, technology and data science. The report reveals that compared to Asian countries like Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, India ranks low across all three of these parameters. It suggests that Indians have only 52 per cent proficiency in machine learning, and 54 per cent proficiency in mathematical skills.
When it comes to data analysis, the country’s proficiency stands at a low 25 per cent. However, the most meagre of proficiencies among Indians is with statistical programming, which the report says is at a measly 15 per cent. Clearly, while women’s enrolment in STEM courses is heartening, Indians need to work on the parameters where a shortfall in proficiency has been observed, including in data analysis and statistical programming.