After five years in the US, we are excited to launch Job Guarantee programs in Data Science and AI/ML in India

At Springboard our mission is to bridge the world’s skills gap and we do that by enabling every individual to acquire the skills needed to advance their career. 

Today, we are bringing our mission to INDIA!

Early 2018, we started evaluating geographies where we could add the most value through our offering and zeroed in on India primarily because the needs of the customer matched with what we have perfected over the years in the US.

Six months of talking to different target groups in India, we figured out that most people were not taking or dropping out from up-skilling themselves because of two major reasons:

1. No clarity on an outcome that happens to be a job or career transition

2. Lack of accountability and motivation

The Springboard learning model is built and centred around outcome and accountability. In the US, we have been running Data Science Career Track with a job guarantee i.e, we refund the entire tuition fee if graduates don’t get a job within six months of graduation.

The result? For the past two years, we haven’t had a single case of refund and the average increase in salary has been $23K for graduates in the US

A snapshot of our outcome in the US. You can read more here:

We knew we had figured out a model on how to make graduates find their next big job/move without having to work with hundreds of hiring partners, what we didn’t know was whether there was enough demand for Data Scientists/Analysts/AI-ML engineers and other Data Science/AI-ML related roles in India.

The next step?

We looked at all possible studies and most importantly spoke with hiring managers and people at leadership positions who look after Data Science or AI/ML hiring within their company. It is very easy to get swayed by studies that say 50,000 Data Science/Analytics positions are unfilled, India is fastest growing Data Science market in the world etc, but what is more important to know is whether there is an opportunity for learners to make a change without bias taking over.

The result? We came to realize that both for Data Science and AI/ML there is is an obvious big shortage/gap between demand and supply in India. What we also came to realize is that most employers are looking for software engineering background and a propensity to write code for making hires in these roles.

India is a place where we already have probably the largest number of software engineers with a coding background and this coupled with hiring managers looking to close positions in Data Science/AI-ML with this background, we had a hunch we can do something here.

What about accountability?

Accountability is where we believe the biggest value proposition of Springboard comes in. Every learner on the platform has a dedicated 1:1 mentor from the industry. When we say 1:1, we mean it.

The biggest problem with online learning is drop in motivation and the reason why it happens is learners are not accountable to anyone apart from themselves. We figured out a few years back that having a person from the industry you can look upto as well as learn from week after week can go a long way in addressing this issue and this what we have built 1:1 mentoring around.

On Springboard, mentors that are assigned through an algorithm by taking into account learners goals and background, helps mentees with multitudes of things:

  1. Weekly 45 mins call to understand how they are progressing in the curriculum and if they are facing any issues
  2. Help with industry insights and how they should think about entering the job market
  3. Most importantly, mentors help learners decide the capstone project that they should build so that it is relevant when looking for a job. Mentors also rate and review all the projects and learners can’t graduate without a mentor approving all the projects

Over the years, we have seen mentor-mentee relationship developing into lifelong friendships and also mentors hiring their mentees.

India has a tremendous number of fantastic Data Scientists and AI/ML engineers looking to mentor and bring up the next generation of learners. We have on boarded mentors from RedHat, PhonePe, InMobi, Hike and Gramener and will be adding more in the time to come

Some of our mentors in India who will work with you 1:1

What all this means for learners in India?

We have packaged Job Guarantee(or your money back) and 1:1 mentor with our Data Science and AI/ML program and are excited to bring it to software engineers/developers or Analysts in the experience bracket of 2-7 years.

We are taking a bold step forward to empower learners in achieving their desired outcome of getting a job or seeing a career transition.

What else do you get on Springboard India?

Job Guarantee and 1:1 mentoring is one end of what we are offering to learners in India. During our research, we figured out there is a huge gap between what people expect from a learning platform and what they get. We have packaged our delivery to make sure it works for every learner, all the time.

  1. Career Coach: Every learner has a dedicated Career Coach to help with resume review, LinkedIn review, mock interviews, cover letter and much more. The Career Coach works with you during the entire duration of the course and beyond to help you find the perfect job as well as acquire the lifelong skill of acing job interviews
  2. Project-based learning: Learning on Springboard is a project-based experience. When you finish the curriculum you would have built a portfolio of projects to help you stand out in the job market. The world is moving to a place where the value of projects and how you apply your skills to build things is more important than a certification. You will obviously have a certification from Springboard, but will take more pride on the projects that you build during the curriculam
  3. The human touch to learning: Apart from 1:1 mentor and career coach, you will also have access to a dedicated Student Advisor to resolve any and every problem you might face during your learning journey. The learners also get access to a thriving community of peers from around India and can tap into TAs(Teaching Assistants) to resolve technical issues. In short, you will be interacting with actual humans during your entire journey who are ready to do all it takes to help you succeed in your career

Why are we excited?

We believe that coming out with a job guarantee or money back offering is a tough road to take but are ready to put our necks on the line because we believe it is the right thing to do for learners in India.

Today marks a big bold step from our side to enable thousands of people in India who are looking to transition into Data Science or AI/ML.

The boldness makes us excited but more than that, we are excited about changing the lives of learners in India.

As the saying goes in the startup world:

If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. – Jim Rohn

From the entire team at Springboard, we look forward to welcoming you to the first cohort that starts on 4th March, 2019. We can’t wait to make you succeed!