One-year, debt-free, college alternative

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David Spinks
Founder of CMX
Interesting new education program launched by Pencils of Promise founder, Adam Braun. Partnered with companies like Spotify, Facebook, Uber, Lyft and Warby Parker. Looks like classes are digital, but they require that you live within 50 miles of their program cities. "That way, you can easily meet up with your peers, work closely with the world’s top companies, and interview for high-paying jobs in rapidly growing industries. We've identified initial target cities, but student demand will
 ultimately determine where we expand to next, and we are
 accepting applications nationally." No upfront tuition and no loans. Instead, you’ll contribute 15% of your income for just 3 years after the program ends, and only if you’re making $50,000 per year or more. First program is focused on Data Analytics + Business Intelligence. Exciting to see more innovative approaches to higher ed!
Upvote (11)
RebeccaAnalytics Manager, Prime Video
Love this, especially the pricing model and their Analytics focus. I wonder about it being a college alternative, but there's a sizeable market for marketing professionals who would massively benefit from this kind of training in analytics. Over the next decade, we're going to see a huge rise in demand for marketeers who understand analytics and can make analytical decisions, quickly. If you're in marketing and don't know SQL yet, now's the time!
Upvote (1)
Ryan Hoover
Founder, Product Hunt
Curious why you're starting with Data Analytics and BI, @AdamBraun. What other trades are you considering?
Upvote (9)
Adam Braun
Founder, Pencils of Promise
@rrhoover Great question Ryan, our first major is Data Analytics + Business Intelligence because it's the functional area we heard most from employers across every single industry that was a tremendous need. McKinsey did a study and projected a shortage of 1.5M analysts and managers by 2018 will lack those needed skills, and after hearing that reinforced by so many of our employer partners (Lyft, Warby, Uber, Harry's, Casper, etc) it was the clear choice as a first major. Eventually we'll add other majors, I'm personally interested in some of the emerging roles in the health field but we'll be open to the demands of industry.
Upvote (2)
Tom Bielecki
Cofounder, PrintToPeer
I want to love this and it's super relevant for me as I just went into BI/analytics. But with all the free online courses and material for data analytics/BI I feel like you could get the same experience without sacrificing 15% of your quality of life. I know this because I recently self-taught myself this skillset recently and have been providing a lot of value in this role. In fact you aren't targeting my geography so I wouldn't even qualify. And why would I want to start until September? I would rather be self taught and proven through experience than risk a startup brand ("MissionU") whose reputation and longevity is so-far unknown. Do I want to be associated with a failed college Trump U or something like DeVry? So my biggest question as your target market is this: what sets you apart from the breadth of training available for free online? Because it seems like I would be ahead of your students through self-training at my own pace (today, 'remote', online) making >$55k. There needs to be a clear advantage, and I'm not seeing it unfortunately.
Upvote (5)
@tombielecki Curious to see someone answer this. I'm in the same boat as you (in terms of areas served) and you articulated my concerns to the T. I want to love it... but...
BrianDillinghamFull Stack Developer
Minimum $22,500 for online courses, no degree and a possible interview. Sounds different without the marketing none sense. And debt free is simply false advertising, you are in debt 15 percent for 3 years. That is a debt. The only thing slightly interesting about this is the backend deal aspect. But for all aforementioned points, it's a rip off.
Upvote (1)
NaweGConsultant, Ewan Grantham & Associates
Interesting concept, but having an issue finding which city/cities are considered "Program Cities".