Numair Ahmmed, a sophomore majoring in Economics at the University of Dhaka, was having quite an issue with his third semester macroeconomics. The online classes on this subject ended in the month of November last year and he had a hard time remembering some of the core concepts with exams looming.
Luckily for Numair, he stumbled on some YouTube videos by Indian YouTubers whose specialisation was explaining various topics of macroeconomics and microeconomics. He did not have to look back afterwards.
"Explainer videos are a blessing. It would have been quite hard to have a deeper conceptual understanding on different subjects without these videos," remarked Numair.
Like Numair, a lot of other students ranging from university to primary level are getting benefits from these videos. The academic topics, which were quite incomprehensive in the past without the guidance of tutors or course teachers, have become quite easy for students due to independent YouTube content creators.
Nowadays, explainer videos are available not only on the topics related to academia, but also on almost any pertinent field. Many YouTubers have dedicated themselves to making videos on various issues. Although taking this as a profession has not become mainstream yet, slowly but steadily, it is coming into the picture.
Mashahed Hassan Simanta, a graduate from Jahangirnagar University, now working for the Institute of Training and Management-- a renowned consulting and event agency-- is well known for creating YouTube content on self development and decision making in personal life along with writing books on the very issue. When asked if he saw YouTube content creation as a career option for the next generation, he said that knowledge dissemination is the only answer.
"With the widespread availability of Internet, there has been an increased demand for quality content on various subjects. Knowledge dissemination through YouTube is more popular than ever; surely it can emerge as a legitimate career choice for a lot of people."
But he is also aware of the fact that due to the persistent social stigma, this will take some time. "People still have a hard time grasping that YouTube content creation can be a career option. But this situation is changing and hopefully in the future this will be well accepted in society," he remarked.
When asked about his personal ambitions regarding YouTubing, he said, "I want to take this as a side occupation. This is something I like doing a lot and am quite passionate about. Hence I would like to keep creating YouTube content no matter whichever profession I join in the future."
Many YouTube channels focusing on explanation and interpretation of various subject matters have achieved widespread popularity. For example, The School of Life, a channel dedicated to trying to educate people on various issues by using philosophies and theories of different eras, has received critical acclaim for utilising such an abstract subject attractively to render knowledge.
The founder of this channel, Alain De Botton-- a Cambridge educated historian and philosopher, has maintained this as one of his principal occupations along with being an author. This channel along with channels like Kurzgesagt, The Infographics Show, Crash Course, and many others have inspired a lot of young and talented people to consider content creation as a realistic occupation.
A lot of people having venerated jobs in the perspective of Bangladeshi society are also getting engaged in creating these types of videos as their secondary occupations. Mohammad Enayet Chowdhury, a lecturer at the Institute of Water and Flood Management (IWFM), Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), has been making videos on various topics encompassing a lot of fields for quite some time now. He believes in a harmonious co-existence of education and entertainment.
"As an individual content creator, I will try to make educational content for the rest of my life. I will also try to hybridise my content with other elements of other genres, and establish a new wave in educational content making. This edutainment genre will be able to attract more people if the content creators can show enough creativity by breaking the traditional stereotype of storytelling.”
There is a generation of people looking up to YouTube in order to get a better understanding of anything and everything related to their day to day lives. A lot of YouTubers have also been producing quality videos on these very topics. Many make videos on their hobbies as we can easily understand by the growing number of explainer videos on books, movies, and different genres.
A popular saying goes among the netizens, “If you don’t find the solution of something on YouTube, the solution doesn’t exist!” Hence, this can be considered the golden era of YouTube content creation. Despite the stigma involved, an increasing number of people are actually considering this as their sole profession. From here, this number can only go up.
Rassiq Aziz Kabir is a student of Economics at the University of Dhaka.