Published: 25th August 2021
This Udemy instructor shares why being a teacher on an EdTech platform can be a multifarious boon
With an extensive reach and a flexible work environment, EdTech teaching seems to have been the perfect choice for chartered accountant-turned-teacher N Raja
The EdTech boom has most definitely left an impact on how teaching and learning methods are evolving. Platforms crop up overnight and they have teachers on board willing to create content to make studying as convenient as can be for students. However, your laptop might be your classroom and a Google Drive folder might be your textbook, but we still cannot dilute the value that a good session of teaching can bring to education. N Raja is a former chartered accountant who always had his heart set on teaching. Now a Udemy instructor, he teaches Financial Management and Strategic Financial Management for Banking Executives, Finance Executives and Finance Professional Courses such as CA, CMA, CS, ACCA and CIMA. In an interview, he tells us what moved him to start teaching and why he has taken a liking to the EdTech ways of the profession.
Excerpts from the conversation:
What made you shift from being a chartered accountant to a teacher?
I started my career as a banker after completing the CA Program. Even in my banking period, in every year's annual review, I used to make a request to post me as a faculty member in the Training Academy. But that didn’t happen. After a four-year stint in a Public Sector Bank, I quit and started my CA practice after moving to a city where I didn’t have any base. Initially, I struggled a bit to settle down as a practising CA as well. That’s when I came across Udemy and I was surprised to see that we can teach online and monetise our knowledge.
I started creating educational content for the learners on Udemy and published them as structured courses. Over a period of time, student numbers crossed 1,00,000 and today, 1,90,000+ students take up my Online Financial Courses from different parts of the world. It’s the trust that both students and I have in my teaching skills, Udemy’s robust e-learning platform and day-by-day growth in my course enrollments that gave me enough confidence to shift from being a chartered accountant to a full-time teacher. Now, I enjoy each and every day because I love what I do and I am paid for it. What more can one have?
How did Udemy happen?
I came across Udemy through a Google search. It was some six-seven years ago. At that time, I was surprised to see that we could teach online vis-à-vis monetise our knowledge. I published my first course in Accounting Basics. I had my first student from the US and I noticed some $10 revenue. I literally jumped with joy because I earned for the first time doing what I love to do — teaching!
Some of my courses have even been selected by the corporate training platform, Udemy Business, to be shared with enterprise customers. Executives in top companies are learning from my courses. Such exposure is priceless. I work full-time from home with a focus on achieving financial freedom.
Have you introduced any innovative methods in teaching accounting to students?
I ensure that I explain everything to the point and that I teach concepts followed by examples and case studies. My focus was on having crystal clear clarity of the concept. If we can ensure that, then we have no geographical barriers.
Do you prefer teaching online to physical classes?
I used to teach physical classes. I restricted myself to online classes and courses even before the pandemic as I could create a positive impact on several thousands of students without worrying about geographical boundaries. The best part is that I am relieved from financial uncertainties. Now, my focus is on learning, doing and teaching.
What are some of the memorable exchanges and experiences that you have had as a teacher for Udemy?
Once, a student from South Africa, a lawyer by profession, took my Financial Management Course. He used to be very active with many questions every day. I really enjoyed answering all his doubts. What made this memorable for me was that I was able to create an impact on a student who was in another part of the world and help him achieve that required transformation. One of the students pursuing an MBA in a top B-School in the country reviewed my course, " You teach better than a professor in the top MBA school in this country". That was like an Oscar for me.
The EdTech market in India is currently valued at $700-800 million with around 4530 EdTech start-ups in operation
Do you believe all professionals should stay connected to the academics of a subject in some capacity in order to improve on it?
Yes! I firmly believe that and I could see, with the onset of the pandemic, many have realised that and they are getting back to the basics to strengthen their fundamentals. In my opinion, academics are basically 'learning content' of what is in the outside world. If we can approach it with the right sense, we can embrace it and bring out the needed transformation, all the while being a better version of ourselves.