Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Udacity seeks to solve our greatest education and employment challenges

It's no secret that higher education as we know it today is not sustainable.  The cost of going to college is only increasing, and the nation now has nearly a trillion dollars in college debt.  And yet, the unemployment rate in the US is around 8%.  People are paying sky high prices for college, only to not find a job.

At the same time, here in the SF Bay Area / Silicon Valley, the demand for talent has never been higher.  Employers like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and countless startups compete for engineering and design talent.  It seems the country's system of higher education is failing employers and prospective employees.

It is because Udacity seeks to help address this problem that I am so excited to be working with them.  The CEO, Sebastian Thrun, who is perhaps best known for his involvement in directing the development of Google's self driving cars and augmented reality glasses, gave up his tenured position at Stanford to found Udacity.  His vision and ideals are directly aligned with mine:  use the internet to democratize education and make it freely accessible to all; offer a teaching environment in which students can explore their passions and learn about the things they love, while taking responsibility for their own learning; and help connect employers with people who have the skills and passion needed for the job.  

There is much work to be done with the site. It wouldn't be a fun endeavor if things were already figured out and perfect!  We're looking to hire a designer to join the team.  If you're passionate about working on these problems, have a great portfolio and would enjoy working in a scrappy startup environment, please contact me.