Online college alternative CEO: Traditional college is being ‘exposed’ by coronavirus
Campus Reform interviewed Praxis CEO Cameron Sorsby on the company’s online alternative to college, and how their business is being affected by the coronavirus.
Sorsby said traditional colleges and universities are being "exposed" after the virus has forced learning online.
As colleges and universities across the country have moved to online learning because of the coronavirus pandemic, one CEO is offering an alternative.
In an interview with Campus Reform, Praxis CEO Cameron Sorsby said that traditional college “is being exposed” by the virus, and predicted the virus is pushing Americans to find a replacement that he says Praxis provides.
“[Traditional college] is being exposed a little bit,” Sorsby explained. “Your college experience is reduced to ‘hey, I'm just sitting in this online class now, and you know, my teacher, my professors are probably not accustomed to running classes online.’”
“Praxis is a six-month startup career bootcamp,” Sorsby said. “So we help our participants launch their careers by gaining real-world skills during the bootcamp and then ultimately they get placed at a growing startup all across the country in entry-level positions to get their career started.”
Sorsby said participants pay $12,000 for the six month bootcamp and learn general skills that will prepare them for job placement upon completion. He added that the company has been able to add even more value to its participants during the pandemic since the program is already remote.
“The type of person who’s a good fit is...if you’re a little bit entrepreneurial, you have a strong work ethic, probably have stronger personal and communication skills,” Sorsby said. “We’re taking that type of person and helping them identify like, what are ideal career paths and then what are like the core foundational skills that you need to have to be ready to go into those career paths.”
“It really is positioned as a college alternative,” he added. “So most of our participants are either doing Praxis either right after high school or a year after high school.”
Participants can pay upfront, or on various different payment plans. Sorsby said ultimately, the goal is to make Praxis “financially accessible to everyone.”
“The goal is, obviously, make the program as financially accessible to everyone,” Sorsby said. “And our biggest advantage there is we’re producing real job outcomes within six months. Our participants average $50,000 with their first year salary.”
Sorsby noted that Praxis participants end up in better financial positions in comparison to those who take out tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. He said 80 percent of Praxis participants never went to college and therefore do not have such debt.
“They’re earning much more than what they’re paying for the program in that first six months on the job,” Sorsby said. “And compared to college where you’re going to be shackled with student debt long-term and...you're not sure if they're going to produce the professional outcomes that you’re looking for.”
“Student debt...it really limits your flexibility with how you approach your career,” Sorsby argued. “So when you're coming out of college with that debt, now you're kind of forced to prioritize: okay how can I maximize my income as soon as possible because I have all this debt to pay off.”