Amazon looks to tap into India’s education sector with its ‘Future Engineer’ program

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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American eCommerce giant Amazon is preparing to expand its ‘Future Engineer’ computer science program to India, displaying its increasing interest in the education space of the second largest internet market in the world.

In a job recruitment post, the company said that initial research for Amazon Future Engineer, through which it aims to bring computer science education to underserved and underrepresented children and young adults in India is “currently underway” and the chosen candidate would be tasked with working with local nonprofits and government officials.

The company said in the post that it plans to launch the program in India in 2021. The childhood-to-career program is currently operational in the United States, where the company serves more than 5,000 schools and 550,000 students with computer science coursework, it said in a press release earlier this week.

“Amazon India has a specific focus on equipping children and young adults from underserved and underprivileged communities to build better futures for themselves,” the company said in the description.

Increasing focus on India

The world’s largest eCommerce company, which has invested more than $6.5 billion in India so far, has been exploring the education space in the country for a few years. Last year, it launched ‘JEE Ready,’ an app aimed at helping students who are preparing for entry into India’s prestigious technology institutes. JEE Ready, which has since been rebranded as Amazon Academy, offers free online classes and analyzes students’ performance in mock tests.

Amazon is not the only American company that is paying attention to the rising education market in India, where more than 260 million children go to school and education is seen by most of the population as a path to economic progress and a better life.

Earlier this year, social media company Facebook partnered with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), a government body that oversees education in private and public schools in India, to launch a certified curriculum on digital safety and online well-being, and augmented reality for students and educators.

Facebook has also invested in Unacademy, an Indian startup that offers online learning classes. The multinational technology giant Google, which invested in Indian edtech startup Cuemath this year, has also partnered with CBSE to train more than 1 million teachers in India and offer a range of free tools such as G Suite for Education, Google Classroom and YouTube to help digitize the education experience in the nation.

Microsoft, the software company, has also collaborated with several Indian government and industry bodies including National Skill Development Corporation, and Nasscom (National Association of Software and Service Companies) to help more than 1 million people upskill themselves. Nasscom is a trade association of Indian Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing companies.