(Startup Idea By: Archit Garg, CSE 1st Year, Bennett University)
Learn Alpha is a start-up which provides online education in the field of soft skills to students or working professionals. We are mainly focused on introducing these skills to students from the 6th grade onwards and to working professionals also. The current industry has changed and there is growing focus now on soft skills and leadership skills in addition to technical competency. The industry has realised that with the current demand and competition in India or around the world, technical skills are not the only skills that matter now. Soft skills are important to be a base with technical knowledge, both balancing each other out. Learn Alpha’s library will consist of courses provided by companies such as Coursera, Udemy, etc. We will also be opening the platform for various educators to allow them to teach through video classrooms and the company will be producing their own courses to remove dependencies on other companies’ libraries.
WHAT ARE SOFT SKILLS?
Soft skills are a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character or personality traits, attitudes, career attributes, social intelligence and emotional intelligence quotients, among others, that enable people to navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well, and achieve their goals with complementing hard skills. The Collins English Dictionary defines the term “soft skills” as “desirable qualities for certain forms of employment that do not depend on acquired knowledge: they include common sense, the ability to deal with people, and a positive flexible attitude.”
From communicating with clarity to being a team player with active listening skills, from adapting to change and being flexible in the need of the hour to displaying creativity in solving problems, from demonstrating time management skills to leading teams with humility — all these need soft skills!
According to data insights from Skill Survey, 77% of employers believe that soft skills are as important as hard skills and 67% of HR managers will hire candidates with strong soft skills even if their hard skills are weak.
As per the Annual Employability Survey 2019 by Aspiring Minds, an alarming 80% of Indian engineering graduates were unfit to be employed. One of the major reasons for this percentage was that the majority of them lacked sufficient soft skills. It is a shocking fact considering that India has the third-largest higher education system in the world.
The Future of Jobs Report suggests that skills such as creativity, people management, emotional intelligence and critical thinking account for half of the top 10 skills listed in the report.
Also, due the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the rise in popularity for work-from-home concept, this sudden switch to remote working is becoming more prominent across different verticals and has brought in changes to how the work is performed. As employees no longer interact with clients, team members and managers in person, they are now required to rely on their interpersonal skills, be more proactive and display a greater degree of empathy to increase levels of trust. Team members are relying on various soft skills to virtually collaborate with each other in digitally enabled work environments.
In short, the pandemic has exponentially raised the need of soft skills and has created a market with the potential to grow by USD 14.9 billion during 2020–2024 period. (SOURCE: India Today)
RELEVANT PRODUCTS IN THE MARKET
There are currently many companies in the market which provide a platform for online education. Some of these companies are:
· Vedantu, Byju’s, Unacademy, etc. only provide a platform for education in the field of science, mathematics, basically the usual subject required for engineering entrance exams.
· Coursera, Udemy, Skillsoft, etc. have plenty of courses in various fields including soft skills.
How Learn Alpha is different is that we are a startup that only focuses on the skills under soft skills. We will provide different ways of learning like self-assessment courses, video classroom courses, etc. Instead of just providing the courses we will analyse your progress and based on that you will be recommended to either improve yourself by repeating previous courses or you will be recommended to further advanced modules. This is the only platform which introduces AI expression behaviour analyses to improve your skills and confidence further. Only Learn Alpha provides live one-one video classroom courses.
Learn Alpha’s focus is on students from 6th grade onwards. That is the correct age to introduce soft skills as whatever they do from that point will have direct impact on their careers.
However, there are no constraints on the age group. Working professionals can also opt for courses or can be provided to them by the companies, as they are being introduced currently all over the world.
It is not necessary if you are a student or working professional, the vast number of courses available on Learn Alpha can be opted by anyone of any age.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE OR EXPERTISE
· Artificial Intelligence:
AI is required for speech recognition, facial recognition for expression detection to analyse the user’s interaction during video classes and suggest corrections.
AI can also be used to enhance the recommendation engine to suggest courses depending on the user’s progress.
AI can also be used to sort the best courses from the libraries of Coursera, Udemy, etc.
· Machine Learning:
ML is required so that the software becomes more accurate in predicting what is the course that is best for the user and how the user could improve themselves by suggesting courses.
Research into server and its maintenance for cloud storage and video streaming video any lag is upmost important. The server should be able to handle excess AI or ML computational processing.
The platform requires good programming languages like Python, Java, C++, HTML, etc. for development of apps, website, AI models, etc. Also, implementation of extensive User Interface (UI) is required to enhance the user’s experience. The platform should be cable of messaging, GPS tracking to know the region you are accessing the platform, etc.
· Privacy and Cyber Security:
If a user is trusting us with our content, they should be able to trust us with their data and personal details also.