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Go back to school to earn

twitter-logo Manu Kaushik        Print Edition: July 10, 2011

With private players, foreign funds and government institutions pitching in, the education sector in India is expanding fast, throwing open a host of new job opportunities. The education deals that have been signed are many and varied.

Since January 2010, a total of 48 deals worth $448.65 million (Rs 2,019 crore) have been sealed in this space, estimates VCCEdge, the financial research platform of investment data outfit VCCircle.

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Players ranging from housing finance major HDFC to British publishing giant Pearson have all stepped in.

While HDFC is funding Kaizen Equity, India's first education-focused private equity fund, and has also invested in Career Launcher, which runs the Indus World School chain, Pearson has taken over online tutorial services provider TutorVista.

"Be it trainers, teachers, product and content developers or business development executives, the need for talent is being felt across the entire value chain of the sector," says Sangeeta Sabharwal, Senior Partner at search firm Transearch India.

The sector will add 107,000 jobs in 2011, says a study by human resources service provider Ma Foi Randstad. Already, poaching has begun.

Last year, Tata McGraw Hill Education India roped in Atul Negi, National Head of Sales and Operations at Manipal Education to head its education services business. In April, Pearson Education India signed on Ranu Kawatra, Chief Advocacy Advisor at education entrepreneurial venture iDiscoveri as CEO.

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Of the two broad segments in this sector - the formal and the non-formal - it is the latter that is drawing more investments, thanks to the comparatively relaxed norms. The formal segment comprises schools and colleges, while the non-formal, nursery schools, vocational training, e-learning et al.

"Getting the right talent is the key," says M.S. Venkatesh, HR Head at education solutions major Educomp Solutions, which plans to hire 2,500 people in the next year. "There are not enough trained people to fill the vacancies, be it in teaching or in business development."

But they are beginning to trickle in. People from sectors like telecom, financial services and fast moving consumer goods are switching to education.

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"Even though salary in education is currently lower than in these boom sectors by about 15-25 per cent, people are moving here as they think education has immense growth potential," says Venkatesh.

How do these new education-related jobs pay? Junior level entrants can expect to earn around Rs 4 to 15 lakh a year, mid-level ones between Rs 20 and 50 lakh.

At top levels, salaries are in the range of Rs 60 lakh to 2 crore. A curious offshoot of the recent demand has been an increase in the salaries of formal school teachers in the private sector as well.

Big players enter education sector with big money

Primary teachers now start at around Rs 1.8 lakh per annum, trained teachers who are graduates get around Rs 3 to 3.6 lakh, post graduate teachers earn between Rs 4.2 to 4.8 lakh, while principals get between Rs 6 and 9.6 lakh.

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