A New Initiative: The GA Credentialing Network

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Since General Assembly’s founding, we’ve seen that both students and employers need a clear, unbiased way to gauge candidates’ skill sets. For years now, our talented curriculum team has worked at building more and more effective internal assessments to help our students and instructors understand and learn from the progress made and skills achieved in our programs. Today we are announcing our intention to make that work more public and useful beyond our own walls. After building a network of more than 150,000 instructors, students, alumni, and employers around the world, and several years of truly global and hands-on experience delivering world-class education in practical skills, this is the next logical step for our community, and for the ecosystem at large.

We’re excited to launch an important new long-term initiative – The GA Credentialing Network – designed to provide better visibility and understanding into the pathways to jobs in the 21st century economy. In partnership with a consortium of more than twenty companies, including GE, PayPal, and Elance-oDesk, we are developing a series of competency-based credentials for high-skilled positions in technology, design, and business. Our first credential, for web development skills, will be publicly available in early 2015. This initial program —and those that follow—will be available to job-seekers beyond the limits of the General Assembly student community, and will be free of charge for both job-seekers and employers.

Building this program presents a complex and challenging task requiring significant investments of time and capital from GA, and it is something we will create along with our unique community of students, expert instructor-practitioners, product designers, and employer partners. These employer partners represent an open consortium, designed to welcome collaborators on an ongoing basis. I want to take a moment to celebrate our forward-thinking partners who have already joined: 2U; Big Spaceship; Card.com; CoinBase; Contactually; Elance-oDesk; YouNoodle; FCB; General Electric; Glassbreakers; Hired; iStrategy; Joyride Coffee; MDC Partners; Medium; The Muse; NewsCred; Optoro; PayPal; Relate IQ, A Salesforce Company; Social Tables; WeddingWire and YouNoodle.

I’m thankful to these companies, and to the many more that are joining by the week. Together, I believe we are working to increase the transparency and openness of the new economy, making more entry points for the diverse base of potential tech workers around the world. I’m thrilled about this project and the opportunity it holds to reduce the friction felt by beginners, job-seekers, and employers everywhere, and I hope you are, too. Credentials are the next step in building the 21st century workforce, and I look forward to what they’ll bring to the future of learning.

-Jake

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About Jake Schwartz

Jake Schwartz is the co-founder and chief executive officer of General Assembly. As a specialized educational institution for 21st century skills in data, design, business and technology, General Assembly (GA) is empowering a global community to pursue work they love through best-in-class instruction and access to opportunities. GA works with students online and in person across 25 campuses around the world and hundreds of companies as partners in course development and graduate placement as well as through GA’s corporate training and development business. General Assembly was named as the number one most innovative company in education by Fast Company in 2015. Schwartz was named E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014, and was recently named one of Crain’s “40 under 40." He earned a B.A. in American Studies from Yale in 2000 and a M.B.A. in Entrepreneurial Management from Wharton in 2008.