Innovators worth watching: 2017 Review

In June of 2017, we began profiling innovative players in the higher education space and analyzing their business models through the lens of Disruption Theory. Using our six questions for identifying disruption, we made predictions about the disruptive potential of these companies.

We would be remiss not to revisit those predictions as these companies evolve, in particular the five companies we profiled in 2017. While an understanding of Disruption Theory will not make a fortune teller out of anyone, it can productively inform policy and business strategy.

The textbook examples of disruptive innovations start with a company serving the needs of non-consumers and overserved customers with a simpler and cheaper version of an existing technology. Cell-Ed enables low-literate adults to acquire basic literacy, language, and workforce skills through “micro-lessons,” using technology designed to work on all cell phones, without requiring internet access.…Read More

Innovators worth watching: Lambda School

The software development industry is in a bit of a bind. The number of software developer jobs is expected to grow 24% between 2016 and 2026, and there are currently over a half million job openings. Traditional colleges and universities aren’t pumping out enough computer science graduates to keep up, and even if they were, employers complain that too many of them struggle to actually code.

Coding bootcamps have grown in popularity as a result, aiming to train software developers more pragmatically and prepare them for the hiring process, all in three or four months. However, many employers complain that while bootcamp graduates can code, their theoretical foundation is found wanting.

Lambda School aims to address those concerns. Founded last year, Lambda School has worked with employers to generate a curriculum that is both a deep-dive crash course in software engineering and a practical, streamlined computer science degree program. Complementing this curriculum is an apprenticeship structure that simulates a professional environment.…Read More