It’s not easy to place Praxis on the existing industry map.

We’re not precisely an educational program.  We’re not precisely a job placement program.  We’re a new category that could only emerge after the information age dropped the cost of info to near zero, and rote jobs became the province of software instead of humans.

For decades the surface level correlation between more formal education and a better job was strong enough that no one realized education is not the same as prep for career success.  90% of education purchasers are buying the wrong product.  They think they’re buying career prep, but they are not.

Not only is the dominant formal ed conveyor belt model not doing anything to help prep people for career success (in many cases it rewards mindsets and habits that make career success harder), but the correlation no longer means you get a strong signal of potential either.  Even those who knew college didn’t teach market relevant skills still saw value in getting the paper because so many jobs seemed to want it.  Seemed is the key word.

Employers want evidence of value-creation potential.  If you have nothing else to show, a degree shows something.  But it signals so little so weakly that almost anything can be a stronger signal.  This is due to the radical drop in information costs.  You can produce more reliable proof of your value today without any trusted third parties than ever before.  A university stamp of approval is not a valuable signal compared to your own provable body of work.

Given these realities, innovations in “education” are not that radical, and not that big of a change.  Online, different courses, etc.  New ideas in an existing category.  And new forms of helping companies recruit talent is not a new category either, just innovations in an established industry.  Lots of businesses sell talent to companies.

Praxis creates a new category.  We are defining the new industry of Career Launch, Professional Apprenticeship, Job-and-Future-Proof Career Starts, or Personal Accelerator.  Those names aren’t catchy or clear, but the category is.  Young people need a way to get from kid to career; from consumer to producer; from student to startup.  We do that.

First, we show them how to take ownership of themselves, create value for people, and build a signal that proves it in the market.  We show them that on the job learning is the only path to career discovery and mastery.

Then, we actually give them an apprenticeship in which to do it.  We don’t sell talent to startups, we present startup apprenticeship opportunities to talented, prepared individuals and help them crush it.  We show them how to leverage that first great experience into an awesome, flexible, dynamic career.

I think it was Ray Kurzweil who said the future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed.  We are distributing the future.  We are helping young people see what’s already true; that they don’t need to wait and wonder and hoop-jump and go into debt searching for some nonexistent job guarantee.  They can prep now, build a signal now, get real experience now, and turn those into a career and life they love.

The category is the bridge between you and a career start.  It’s not education.  It’s not a jobs board.  It’s everything needed to become valuable in the market and signal it, plus a real first chance to make it happen and spin that into the rest of your life.  In one year, for zero net cost.

It’s an exponential leap.  When you add the opportunity + tuition cost of the dominant college model, the Praxis model is easily a $300,000 improvement to the average customer.

One year in the program at zero net cost, 96% of grads get hired immediately at an average salary of $50,000.  College is an average of 5 years with tuition averaging above $20,000 a year (and over 60% of grads get no job or a job that didn’t require a degree anyway).  That means five years earning no pay and $100,000 in direct cost.  An ambitious person choosing Praxis instead (assuming no pay raises) would have earned $200,000 by the end of that five years, and paid zero in tuition instead of $100,000.

That’s a $300,000 head start, not to mention beginning that year with 4.5 years professional experience under their belt vs. a degree holder with none.  Oh, and not having an average of $37,000 in debt hanging over your head which reduces the option to do things like launch a startup.

This is a new category with an exponential improvement over previous categories attempts to solve the problem of starting a career.  That’s why it’s hard, and that’s why it’s world-changing.