Trend observation: Flip the Script

The App Academy is a nine-week, 90 hours per week coding boot camp where students don’t have to pay for the training until they find a job. Based in New York and San Francisco, it will take a 15% cut of successful students’ salary for the first six months of their new job. Before starting, students have to sign good-faith agreements to pursue jobs as developers as soon as they graduate.

We don’t want to charge up front because we feel pretty strongly about tying the payment to the outcome….If they can’t find a job, we’ve screwed up somehow.” – Co-founder Kush Patel to Wired

Pay when you can

Recent graduates are facing tough times thanks to a recession-weary economy. Indeed, for some the financial outlay of tuition and fees simply doesn’t match the career prospects at the end. Indeed, according to Mintel’s American Lifestyles US January 2012 report, 30% of US consumers don’t think getting a degree is worth the expense.

As a result, we’ve seen a number of innovations that re-imagine the steps onto the career ladder: from apprenticeships to corporate-sponsored vocational colleges. Similarly, this business model turns the traditional payment model on its head and hopes to act as a financial incentive for young graduates while also offering a reassurance to them.

Because the App Academy is only paid if the graduate then goes on to find gainful employment, these students can be assured that they will receive the best training possible. Will other education systems follow suit? Those that allow students greater flexibility are sure to see greater interest from younger generations with a savvier attitude toward what their initial outlay will result in.

For a deep and complete analysis of the current situation of education and employment in the US, see Mintel’s following market research report Education and Job Training in US

This is an observation from our Inspire trend No Degree No Problem which looks at how consumers are looking for alternatives to traditional education. For the latest trends and observations on Inspire, click here.