Launched in 2003LinkedIn quickly became the first global professional social media network by offering an easy way to make and keep track of professional connections. Around the same time, Y Combinator (YC) and other accelerators emerged as a largely representative vehicle for entrepreneurs willing to commit three months of time and approximately 6% of their company to receive Much Training and networking with mentors, peers and funders.
While LinkedIn and Y Combinator are still going strong, a new batch of companies are looking to bridge the gap between these two approaches with structured online experiences that provide a mix of training and communications to help people achieve their career goals.
The ease with which like-minded professionals can receive training and participate in communities, thanks in large part to improved and scalable digital offerings, is an essential part of the deconstruction we are seeing.
The emergence of these companies is part of a broader trend to democratize professional development, which has arisen in part by raising awareness and acknowledgment of the mismatch between what traditional education offers young people and what employers demand. In fact, the The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates In 2019, there were at least 80 million workers in Europe mismatched in terms of their qualifications and what is required in the workforce across a wide range of industries.
It is positive, then, that the deconstruction process improves access to high-quality education and professional development. Low prices, short courses, and more career-related content make it easy for people to retrain and upgrade when necessary.
Gone are the days when the only way to get a great business education, for example, was to earn a $50,000-250,000 MBA, and where the only path to highly skilled careers was through an undergraduate course ranging Between $20,000 and $300,000. Likewise, under this increasingly democratic system, access to training and guidance is improved both at the individual and group level.
New styles are varied from companies like PowerMBA, which offers an alternative MBA for $800 – $1,000, to on deck, which offers professional development and community courses for around $3,000, and sedative, which sells mentorship and networking support to entrepreneurs for $150 per month.
What is the common denominator between these methods? They are usually digital, not accredited by traditional academic institutions, and are shorter, intensive, focused, and more closely related to functionality and outcomes than traditional educational courses. Many service providers connect and market themselves on the basis of “exclusivity” and the focus of their communities. Furthermore, there will usually be some content related to the courses – the amount will depend largely on the purposes of the course and presentation (eg content is shared, but not central offerings for most accelerators, incubators and mentoring providers).
The main ways to differentiate this new wave of companies are price (depending on the amount of customization available and pricing model), duration (short, intense, rookie bootcamp style or recurring annual subscription), and delivery method (asynchronous and on-demand or simultaneous and direct). ), focus on content (content-driven or focused on relationships and mentorship), degree of accreditation (degree of formality around accreditation and accreditation), and of course whether service providers focus on specific roles or general themes. It is important to note that most of these methods are spectra that service providers can position themselves.
With this in mind, Bright Ventures created Market Map for Group of Organizations Supporting individuals to advance their professional learning, with a special focus on business education and entrepreneurship. It is not intended to be exhaustive but highlights a wide range of groups working in the space. We have, for indicative purposes, included total financing (including initial public offering) for companies in each of the categories where appropriate and available (via PitchBook).