Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak launches Woz U institute to train people for tech jobs
Steve Wozniak, one of Apple’s three original founders, has launched a new training initiative designed to get people “high-paying technology” jobs in the tech industry.
“Our goal is to educate and train people in employable digital skills without putting them into years of debt,” explained Wozniak in a press release . “People often are afraid to choose a technology-based career because they think they can’t do it. I know they can, and I want to show them how.”
Woz U may be confined to the online world for now, but plans are afoot to open brick-and-mortar campuses in more than 30 cities across the U.S. and globally.
Online education and recruitment platforms have emerged as big business in recent times , with an anticipated “global workforce crisis” looming. According to research from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which looked at “workforce supply-and-demand dynamics” across 25 major economies through the year 2030, there will be major labor shortages in some regions, and surpluses in others. This imbalance has opened the doors to a number of initiatives that looks to plug shortages in the domestic U.S. market by looking overseas.
Mark Zuckerberg-backed Andela, for example, announced a $40 million raise earlier this week to connect tech firms with Africa’s best software developers.
Woz U is ultimately designed to train people and get them working as quickly as possible, joining the dots between a company’s hiring efforts and people willing to put in the effort to train — or retrain — for tech roles. For now, the platform constitutes a mobile app that sports an aptitude test, and matches people with a technology career “best suited for them,” according to Woz U.
The business will include multiple platforms over time, including Woz U Enterprise for technology companies to recruit and train directly though a subscription-based curriculum or on-site programs. Then there will be a K-12 Woz U Education facet aimed at school districts that encourages young people to pursue a career in the tech industry.
Later, there will be the Woz U Academy that promises one-on-one instruction, while the Woz U Accelerator program scheduled for 2019 will help hone students’ skills.
Though Wozniak is no longer actively involved with Apple directly, and hasn’t been for some time, he has emerged as a talking head of sorts for all-things Apple , while he recently made a rare public investment in a robotic digitization startup called Ripcord. But education, it seems, will be one of his core focuses moving forward.
“My entire life I have worked to build, develop and create a better world through technology and I have always respected education,” added Wozniak. “Now is the time for Woz U, and we are only getting started.”