Atlassian staff also serve as tutors for scholarship recipients, building on the company’s culture of giving back and improving society. This has become an important consideration for major employers, with over 60% of workers saying they expect their organization to take action on social issues like equality, poverty and climate change.
HEX’s legitimacy with universities is also increasing. Over 30 universities in Australia and overseas, including Sydney University of Technology and Wollongong University, grant full or partial credit to students undertaking HEX programs.
This might seem counterintuitive when HEX openly advocates the desire to “break” the traditional linear path of high school, college, work.
Ms. Cheah founded HEX in 2017, promising students the chance to get full credit for spending two weeks in Silicon Valley with the fledgling ed-tech.
“Over the past few years, we’ve been able to hack that system further and get full credit for a student in five and a half days, in some cases,” he said.
So, for what job title does HEX Ed train people? None, says Cheah. This is the point.
“We don’t believe in job title courses. We believe our role increases the overall capacity of the workforce, “she said.
“We want to prevent students from wasting time and money on graduation by offering them a gap year for innovation, to expose them to other opportunities and career paths that may not have been on their radar.”
HEX worked with 3,800 students last year. About 900 alumni followed its most intensive programs. Many continue to raise capital for start-ups. Cheah says the college credit for HEX Ed is more of an insurance policy in case they decide to go back to graduate.
He calls innovation “the great equalizer”. A first-rate education does not guarantee this. Likewise, someone with zero experience could have it in spades. Of one thing, however, Cheah is sure: Employers who hire for innovative skills rather than a specific qualification are rewarded with a better overall workforce.
HEX reflects a seismic shift taking place in executive education, including the massive demand for beautiful online experiences equivalent to what people expect when playing their favorite games or watching Netflix.
According to a joint Deloitte / EduGrowth report, digital spending on education is expected to double over the next five years to $ 342 billion in the wake of this trend.
This is accompanied by a growing desire to curate more personalized and shorter courses.
HEX is also part of an international movement to slash the costs of higher education, led by the likes of US social impact ed-tech Outlier.
This movement has attracted its fair share of critics. “There’s a battle right now for ed-techs to prove they’re the graduate or alumni producers they say they’ll do,” says Cheah.
New market entrants have bought a flood of new loans with them. Global venture capital investment in ed-tech skyrocketed to $ 8.5 billion in 2018, up from $ 500 million in 2010, with investments heavily concentrated in China and the United States.
HEX will close a capital increase within weeks, which will finance its expansion in the US, India and Malaysia. It comes in the wake of a $ 250,000 injection from Tractor Ventures last October.