The scope of global education reaches far beyond the gray walls of the public school and university system. One of its many branches is the powerful and affluent tutoring and coaching sector. First, it is important to understand the difference between the two:
1. Tutor - focuses on more on building concrete and conventional academic skills and practices
2. Coach - focuses more on strategies/tactics for success and building the right attitude and mindset for development
You may use the words interchangeably, but as Dr. Varun Gupta, noted Education Advisor to the State of African Diaspora and Entrepreneur, puts it: "The most powerful insights are frequently found in the subtlest differences between similar things that lie before us."
What insights can we offer into this dynamic and important field?
It continues to grow despite many early predictions of its peaking
As early as 2008, The Telegraph newspaper in the UK was predicting the peak of tutoring and coaching growth. While it may have been facing some localized trouble in one or two countries and regions, it is still growing globally. In 2019, the US market was believed to be worth around $7 billion, and everywhere you look shows signs of growth. In India, for instance, with some 200 million young people to educate, the country more than ever relies on reputable tutoring and coaching franchises for support.
Covid-19 has brought a huge boon to online and distance learning, and by extension the tutoring/coaching sector
The global spread of Covid-19 presents unique challenges to education. It's not only public schools being shut down, but also private tutoring and training centers. Social distancing as a practice makes home tuition impossible. This has, on the other hand, created a huge opportunity for the online and distance-learning sectors, who have come into the spotlight in a very real way. One of the biggest developments recently has been a shift in attitude in favor of online learning, and working with private tutors to gain the attention and high-level of instruction that is largely unavailable in the public system.
An increase in remote working provides huge scope for adult learning
Another key insight brought on by Covid-19 is that much of the workforce is now working remotely. This presents an interesting opportunity for adults to embrace learning, too. With hours of commuting time saved each day, they can create space to grow their skill set and improve their future prospects.
Technology continues to have a huge and lasting impact, and more so than in the public education sector
Private coaching and tutoring as an industry is far more accepting and welcoming of new technology. That's why you see the latest education apps, web platforms and other online and high-tech learning infrastructure being designed by franchises and other private organizations, and not by the public sector. Who else makes such use of video-conferencing for classes; social media to spread learning materials and educational insight; sharing of databases filled with exciting and dynamic content to use when the user has time?
5. Computer Skills and Digital Literacy
Another impossibly practical thing that schools give you is a competency and literacy in all things digital, especially the use of computers. Even since the late 1980s, few offices are free from their grip. Being confident and knowledgeable with digital media is as basic a skill nowadays as literacy and numeracy.
With each passing day, especially in the wake of Covid-19, the tutoring and coaching sector proves itself a dynamic, adaptable and flexible professional sphere capable of meeting the new challenges that come its way. New technology will continue to emerge and be embraced by tutors and coaches as they learn to adapt to changing circumstances. At the same time, there seems a good chance that tutoring and coaching will be the new "norm", at least while we remain in the grip of Covid-19.