The workforce skills gap has turned into a skills shortage. No one, including traditional educational institutions, can keep up with the pace of business transformation and technological disruption that has resulted in an increasingly competitive job market, but one where employers are seemingly competing over fewer candidates. This has led to innovations in recruiting and recruiting technology, education and edtech. These previously distinct worlds are now colliding, and it seems like a smart approach to addressing the skills shortage.
For several quarters now we’ve been seeing more ventures springing up that offer targeted education to students, driven by employer requirements, that deliver not just graduates but groomed job candidates. They normally offer purposeful internships or project work as a part of the curriculum, which gives students experience and participating employers a “test drive.” These ventures have a variety of models for tuition – most looking for some percentage of earnings after students join the workforce. This latest venture, Make School, states that most students have paid for their tuition via its “Income Share Agreement” that only kicks in when they earn over $60,000 per year. Make School reportedly developed its degree programs with leading tech firms like LinkedIn and Lyft. Their programs are said to have been approved by accreditors shared by Stanford and Berkeley. They’re scaling operations in San Francisco, and plan to open a campus in New York City.
Given the challenging job market, we’re expecting more approaches like this one in the 2019 venture funding queue.
Make School, a San Francisco, CA-based college offering degree programs developed in partnership with leading tech companies, raised $15m in Series B funding.The round, which brought total funding to $30m, was led by Venrock.The company intends to use the funds to scale to serve thousands of students in San Francisco and prepare for the launch of a New York City campus. The college also plans to add new degree programs in computing-influenced STEM fields that are in increasing demand from high-growth employers, such as computational biology.Founded in 2014, Make School offers a pay-for-performance model that only requires students to make tuition payments if their income exceeds $60,000 after graduation. Because it can be completed in as little as two years, the degree program is designed to create a more direct connection between education and employment for high school graduates.Its bachelor’s degree program, which was developed in partnership with Silicon Valley employers, including Lyft and LinkedIn, was approved by the same accreditors as Stanford and Berkeley. Its graduates have launched careers in tech at leading employers including Google, Apple, and Tesla.