SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Knod today announced that enrollment for its online experience-based employment and learning program is now open in the U.S. for its summer cohort of classes, allowing students to build a professional portfolio with real projects completed for real companies while earning a bachelor’s degree.
In addition, Knod announced it has raised $6.2 million to date from investors including Epic Ventures and Impact Investment Leaders to help bring Knod’s unique model to students worldwide. Knod was designed to transform the global employment landscape by shaping the next generation of competent and capable employees, closing the education-to-employment gap and tailoring educational outcomes to better fit the needs of today’s employers. This gap is especially prevalent in highly skilled industries, with a recent CareerBuilder survey saying approximately 52 percent of employers have open business and financial operations positions for which they cannot find qualified candidates.
Knod collaborates with employers to give students the opportunity to work on real projects for a more comprehensive and relevant learning experience that integrates real-world applications. By the end of the program, students will have built a professional portfolio qualifying them for positions requiring about two years worth of work experience, positioning them to be truly hire-ready when they make the transition to their first job.
Knod’s employer partners also benefit from this model as they are able to work closely with the up-and-coming pipeline of potential hires and play a role in shaping their skill acquisition. This gives employers a greater opportunity to assess if a permanent position is a good fit while significantly reducing the need for expensive on-the-job training.
For $13,000 or less, Knod students can earn a bachelor’s degree in general business or in business management and leadership through concurrent enrollment at New Charter University, known for its competency-based approach to education. The team-based virtual learning ecosystem gives Knod students the skills to work both independently as well as collaboratively with other students from across the globe using technology that mirrors what is used in today’s professional work environment.
“From an employment perspective, it’s clear that the traditional education system is failing to adequately prepare students to enter the workforce,” said Graham Doxey, founder and CEO of Knod. “For too long, education has operated in a vacuum. Instead of evolving to better arm students with the skills and knowledge that meet the needs of today’s employers, convention and outdated methods continue to prevail. With Knod, we are connecting employers and students in a meaningful way that will ultimately produce more effective employees.”
As one of the co-founders of Neumont University, Doxey has substantial experience in education innovation and the role it plays in employment. Neumont was also built using a real-world, project-based curriculum in a more traditional classroom setting, and 97 percent of graduates are employed within six months of graduation. Doxey also served as CEO of Laureate Malaysia, the world’s largest community of private education institutions, which shaped his perspective on the current state of global education. By seeing the shortfalls in traditional education around the world and recognizing how it negatively affects employment, Doxey took the same fundamental principles that made Neumont successful and has designed Knod to apply them in a remote engaged learning environment, making the program globally accessible and more affordable.
To best ensure continued disruptive innovation, Knod also works with a team of revered advisors across business and education, including Nick Donofrio, a 44-year veteran of IBM and current chairman of the Board of Regents for Connecticut; Michael Horn, co-founder and executive director at Clayton Christensen Institute; Henry Eyring, co-author of The Innovative University; and others.
“It’s clear that many of today’s universities aren’t adequately preparing students with the skills they need to enter the modern workforce, creating a severe gap for employers who can’t find qualified employees to fill open positions,” said Kent Madsen, managing director at Epic Ventures. “The Knod team has a deep background as it relates to innovating the higher education landscape, and we’ve been impressed with how they have recognized the serious issue this disconnect poses for both the students and the employers. Knod’s education-to-employment model is a clear and effective solution to this growing problem that shapes students into the employees employers need.”
For more information on Knod, or to enroll in the summer cohort of classes, visit www.Knod.net.
Knod (pronounced “node”) was founded on the principle that all people should have the opportunity to take charge of their careers. Knod is committed to closing the education-to-employment gap through experience-based learning. The Knod model focuses on outcomes and prepares students around the globe to be world ready. By tackling real projects with real employers, Knod students gain the hands-on experience needed to seamlessly transition into the workforce and jumpstart their careers after graduation.