The issues with higher education in America have been well-documented. The $1.75 trillion of outstanding total student loan debt is just one of many symptoms. Traditional degrees function as a ladder for students who come from privilege, and a liability for those who don’t. Simply put, the college degree as a one-size-fits-all solution has failed us.
Fortunately, the world is changing.
Today, the average person entering the workforce will have more than a dozen jobs throughout their career, many of which haven’t even been invented yet. Alternative credentials have a price and flexibility that levels that playing field, ensuring the skills and training needed for a non-linear career path are accessible to all, not just some.
We founded Springboard in 2013 with a humble aim: connect learners to an innovative online learning model so they could avoid the constraints and inequalities of a broken educational model. We saw an opportunity to create meaningful change — and we took it.
Nearly ten years on, Springboard has changed the lives of tens of thousands of students. We’ve had countless successes, from launching two new business lines — a university partnerships arm and a B2B arm — to helping our students earn over $1bn in post-graduation salaries. We’ve helped bridge the gap between the 40% of US employers struggling to find qualified hires for entry-level jobs and the 43% of US college graduates who are underemployed.
But as our company has grown, so too has our ambition. We’ve spent the last decade focused on career and job advancement, and we’ve come to realize what we’re doing is bigger than that. We’re not just in the business of changing careers — we’re in the business of changing lives.
From Geraldo Gomes, the oil-rig-worker-turned-software engineer who wanted to spend more time at home with his pregnant wife, to Teliah Jackson, the medical-massage-therapist-turned-UX-designer who wanted a better-paying career so she could look after her disabled mom, our students have taught us an important lesson:
You are a better you when you are fulfilled by what you do.
We’ve long held a quiet ambition to change the lives of 1 million people by 2030, but seeing the transformations of our students first-hand, we hit upon one extraordinarily simple truth: what we help students build goes well beyond just skills. We help our students build momentum.
Momentum is powerful: it propels us forward, unlocks opportunity, and provides access. It helps us turn fear into confidence, difficulty into certainty, and progress into reality. It helps us lead better lives. Momentum is what our human-guided career advancement platform can create at scale. This is our purpose.
Today, we’re revealing a new look for Springboard. You’ll see changes to our website, our branding, and our logo, which brings our purpose to life.
The concept was inspired by the connection between physical form and shadow: a shadow is ever present, only growing smaller when you move away from it but continuing to exist, ready to grow large again when you return. We, too, are a constant for our students, accompanying them throughout their journey, and always ready to welcome them back when they need us.
Even though we may look different, our core product, mission, and values remain as steadfast as ever:
- We believe anyone can learn the skills required to work in tech roles — more often than not, it’s fear of failure that holds people back
- We believe even the most determined, sharp learners can face pressure when working in isolation
- We believe while our students are driven and smart, and capable, they are first and foremost human — which means they need a human-centered approach if they’re going to change their lives
- And finally, we believe unlocking access is the key to consistent progress — which is why we focus on getting students unblocked, whatever their starting point
I often think of my three-year-old son and what his education choices will be like. I hope that by the time he’s weighing up his options post-high school, the educational culture shift we’re seeing now will be in full swing. Instead of getting a student loan and enrolling in a college, he may choose to pursue alternative educational paths, not just once but two or three, or four times throughout his career: whether it’s starting his career with an alternative credential or an apprenticeship; or reinventing himself via a mentor-guided bootcamp as technologies advance and his skills become obsolete, or leaning into expert career coaching when he loses his job in a recession and realizes he hasn’t interviewed for a decade.
When my co-founder Parul and I founded Springboard in 2013, our goal was simple: to help people get ahead and land better careers. As the world evolved, so too has our vision. Our new goal is our most ambitious yet: to give people the momentum to stay ahead as they transform their lives and the lives of those around them.
Let’s do it together.