Today Tom Ryan continues his interview with an incredible entrepreneur, Isaac Morehouse. Isaac has created a business named Praxis that provides intelligent and talented individuals with apprenticeship positions at startup companies. Praxis is an alternative to a traditional university experience, which is a welcome option for many who are daunted by expensive tuition and an ever-growing, post-graduation unemployment outlook.
With reference to entrepreneurship, every startup has two phases: Pre-product market fit and post-product market fit. And once you get to phase two everything goes from push to pull. For the first two years with Praxis, it was so much work to get rolling. Then a crucial pivot gave them real momentum.
What did they do? They shifted the structure of the model to include a three-month-long bootcamp when students come into the program, before the six-month-long apprenticeship. They also added a guarantee that the participants would get hired upon graduation. He knew that the students would perform better if they had that confidence going in.
Generation X watched their parents graduate from college and achieve more than their grandparents were able to achieve. Millennials seem to have had a different experience. They have watched as people around them have graduated from college and then had to move back into their parents’ basement. So, Millennials aren’t as married to the idea of going to college.
Praxis has a net zero cost. What you earn at your apprenticeship covers your tuition. More and more people are starting to realize that the traditional educational paradigm is broken. It is 100 years old and it was designed for more of a manufacturing scenario. There has been no real substantial innovation.
He compares this to his experience working in government and how seeing what goes on behind the scenes is less than great. Politics is not the leading edge of change but rather, the lagging indicator. He wants to make a real improvement in education.
With Praxis, Isaac didn’t want it to be a not-for-profit model because he wants his apprentices to be able to tell them what they want and need to get out of the program. Look at healthcare. The person paying is not the person receiving the service, so there is no accountability.
Tom and Isaac discuss the cultural conditioning surrounding a college degree and the inherent failures of that construct. They analyze the pros and cons of a standard college education and a Praxis apprenticeship.
The truth is employers want to hire people with initiative and practical experience and in many fields a typical Bachelors degree simply does not mean that graduates are prepared for the workplace. Isaac has been able to see past our present expectations of a normal education and has partnered with many great startups to provide paid apprenticeships to students and give them a concentrated, powerhouse of an education!
Learn more about Praxis by clicking here.
To listen to Isaac Morehouse’s Podcast visit IsaacMorehouse.com
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