Woz U? Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Launches Online School to Teach...

Digital Learning

Woz U? Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Launches Online School to Teach Software Development

By Sydney Johnson     Oct 13, 2017

Woz U? Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Launches Online School to Teach Software Development

He may be best known for co-founding Apple with Steve Jobs, but now, Steve Wozniak is dipping his toes in online education. Today, Wozniak announced his latest project, an online school called Woz U, which aims to provide tech training to aspiring software developers.

The startup venture is part of Southern Careers Institute (SCI), a private for-profit school based in Austin, Texas. The business offers 15 online and in-person programs in fields such as technology, medical services and cosmetology.

“Our goal is to educate and train people in employable digital skills without putting them into years of debt,” Wozniak said in a statement. “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.”

It’s still unclear, however, what role Wozniak will play for the online school beyond its namesake. (The school's website says it's "inspired by Steve Wozniak.") In addition, SCI already offers programs for computer scientists and software development.

Curriculum at Woz U will cover computer science and software development skills, and a news release says the school plans to later offer data science, mobile applications and cybersecurity programs.

Woz U enters a crowded market, competing with a swath of online, in-person and blended programs that claim they’re filling a tech skills gap employers face. Some of the biggest players in that space have recently closed down, however, leaving some critics to question if the skills gaps exists at all—or if the programs are succeeding to get students into jobs they are training for.

The Woz U program could be bracing for that challenge, with plans to work directly with employers as clients, too. The school “will work with tech companies to recruit and train, or even retrain, a workforce through subscription-based curriculum or on-site customized programs. Another will provide school districts with K-12 STEAM programs, exposing digital engineering concepts to students at a younger age to nudge them toward a possible tech-based career,” the release says.

On top of that, Woz U has plans to develop a tech accelerator program in the future.

Headquartered in Arizona, Woz U courses will take place online and will largely be video-based with “live access to instructors and student mentors,” the program’s website reads. The school says it has plans to launch physical campuses at more than 30 other locations.

It will also reach students via mobile, and has rolled out an app to help match learners with careers.

After completing the course, the program claims graduates will receive support and training on interview skills, resume crafting, and a portfolio of projects. In addition, the school is launching Woz U Connect, a networking platform exclusive to its students and partners.

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