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Thursday, August 01, 2019

Coding Academies And the Future of Higher Education | Education - Forbes

Coding academies like Thinkful can meet vocational needs cheaply and effectively, using such innovations as Income Share Agreements and forgoing the vast non-instructional spending of traditional universities, says Richard Vedder, Distinguished Professor of Economics Emeritus. 

Photo: Getty
I recently had an extraordinarily interesting conversation with Darrell Silver, the co-founder and CEO of Thinkful, a coding academy that currently has about 1,600 students. It is doing lots of innovative things, explaining why much of traditional higher education is struggling. It and other coding academies provide hope that our nation's future human capital needs can be fulfilled more efficiently and effectively than currently.  The coding academy model reeks with incentives and innovation, keys to educational reform. Thinkful is an on-line institution, so it avoids enormous capital costs (expensive buildings empty for much of the year); it uses as its faculty part-time professionals who do this in addition to a regular job; it offers students a zero tuition option using an Income Share Agreement model that motivates both student and Thinkful to perform well. It is for-profit, adding incentives to deliver students services cheaply while providing them very marketable skills.  It has only one job: train individuals to be more productive in the work force in a relatively short period of time.  There are no sustainability coordinators or diversity and inclusion specialists --it is all about learning.

In short, it  may be the future of higher learning in America...

Will traditional universities learn from this model?  

Source: Forbes