July 29, 2009

Urban students are digital natives, reveals TCS Generation Web 2.0 survey

Highlights:
  • 63 per cent of urban students spend over an hour online daily
  • 93 per cent are aware of social networking
  • Orkut and Facebook are most popular online destinations
  • 46 per cent use online sources to access news; TV, newspaper users at 25 per cent
  • 62 per cent have a personal computer at home
  • 1 in 4 students own laptops in metros; 2 of 3 own music players
  • IT and engineering remain overwhelming popular career choices
  • Media and Entertainment, Travel and Tourism are emerging careers
  • USA, UK top list of international destinations for higher studies
Mumbai: A new survey of India’s school children shows that ”The Web 2.0 Generation” are digital natives, with high technology savvy, global in terms of aspirations and outlook as well as being increasingly optimistic about India’s economic future. The survey, conducted by India’s largest IT solutions provider Tata Consultancy Services, is among the largest youth surveys in India, and was conducted across 14,000 high-school children between the ages of 12-18 in 12 cities across India during 2008-09. 
 
“Nearly one out of 10 people on the planet are under 25 years old and living in India.  That is the significance of India’s next generation and what they do, think and aspire to hold insights for all those who aim to engage with this Web 2.0 Generation,” said S Ramadorai, CEO and MD, TCS.  “The TCS Generation Web 2.0 survey confirms that today’s students are shifting their academic and social life online and embracing the digital world as true digital natives. This societal trend has important implications for parents, educators, policy makers, as future employers as well as companies and brands that want to sell to tomorrow’s generation.” 
 
Mr Ramadorai added, “The Web 2.0 Generation will shape the next phase of India’s growth and success. What this group does and how it interacts with others, its interests and aspiration need to be considered as we all plan for the future.  TCS plans to use some of the findings to understand the next generation better and it will help us not just to find the best potential employees for the future, but also guide us to engage and communicate with them more effectively.”
 
The TCS Generation Web 2.0 survey, conducted for the first time in 2008-09, highlights that urban school children in the metros and mini-metros are immersed online and have the technology at hand to access information through the net at all times. Over 80 per cent have access to mobile phones, find time for the internet alongside school, classes and extracurricular activities, and are starting to embrace Web 2.0 tools like blogs and social networking sites.
 
The desire to study abroad cuts across students nationwide with USA being the most preferred destination with nearly 40 per cent preferring to study there. For some students, physical proximity plays a part in the choice of overseas education destination, especially in the mini-metros. Singapore and Dubai are preferred by one in five students in Chennai and Cochin respectively as top choice for overseas education.
 
At a relatively young age, India's urban students are thinking about travel, learning new skills, experience and salary as when they consider future careers.
 
TCS has identified the youth in four categories -  
The Globetrotter: Today’s students continue to express a strong desire to be mobile like previous generations. The Globetrotter has global ambitions and wants to study and work abroad. However, a growing confidence in the economic future in India is also reflected in the survey as many students, though keen to study abroad and gain global exposure, are also keen to bring skills back to India and put them to use here. 

The Gadgetphile: Students from both metros and mini-metros who love gadgets and aspire to have the latest products available. The i-Pod Indian is more likely to be found with access to a web-enabled mobile, the latest gaming console, i-Pods and if he/she doesn’t have one, then aspires to own an i-Phone. 

The Nation-builder: The Indian student is focused on his/her career but is as much interested in the additional benefits that careers brings, such as travel, learning new skills, experience to be gained, interesting workplace, and salary.  This Career Kid is also starting to branch out of the traditional career choices and going for some new options like gaming and animation. The Nation-Builder is optimistic about Indian companies and favours them over the most popular international MNCs.

The Social Networker: A true digital native, the Social Networker is likely to have as many online friends as real ones and these friendships go beyond the traditional boundaries of gender, caste, and geographies.  The Social Youth communicates with anyone and everyone as long as they have the same interests. This child could mark the start of a new democracy where he/she reaches out to more people through social networks and is likely to be more socially active, willing to gather other like-minded youths or even form social network parties.

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