San Francisco-based startup Pathstream that prepares students for high-demand digital skill careers in partnership with leading technology companies has raised a $12 million Series A funding to bridge the gap between college graduates and the most in-demand tech jobs.
The investment round was participated by TDM Partners, Hereditas Capital Management, Bisk Ventures, New Ground Ventures and social impact investor Rethink Education.
Launched by higer education consulting firm and venture studio Entangled Group, Pathstream partners with leading tech companies to build branded digital skills career programs delivered through community colleges and university partnerships. The startup helps top tech firms such as Facebook and Unity develop untapped talent at colleges nationwide, at the same time helping students earn college credit while building most in-demand tech skills.
Pathstream believes every individual should have access to the digital skills needed to succeed in the modern economy.
The startup focuses on software-specific skills (such as Tableau, Salesforce, Facebook ad manager) learned via an online platform that enables students to practice the same skills they will need on the job.
“Most people don’t realize the extent to which tech skills are now required in almost every career area from business to healthcare to design. The vast majority of tech jobs that are being created exist well beyond the tech sector,” said Eleanor Cooper, Pathstream Co-founder and CEO. “By working directly with the developers of the software that is fueling demand for new skills, we’re able to help colleges equip students with not just generalizable tech skills but the sort of career-specific software skills that employers are looking for”, she added.
Unlike college alternatives or boot camps, Pathstream partners with employers to create courses that can be offered for credit through a network of more than twenty US colleges and universities. Interestingly, a recent research by Burning Glass revealed that nearly half of recent college graduates are underemployed in their first job. This is in fact an alarming number.
Speaking about the company, Entangled Group Founder and CEO Paul Freedman said,
“Pathstream is partnering with colleges to smash the false dichotomy between the undisputed, long-term value of a degree and the tech skills that employers are asking for today. This is about helping students to avoid the underemployment trap by bridging the gap between college and their first job.”
Pathstream has last year signed a partnership with tech giant Facebook, centered on the design of a certificate program that prepares students to use Facebook’s digital marketing software. The courses are now being offered by more than twenty colleges across the country. The startup is also working with leading real-time 3D platform Unity to create a certificate in Immersive Design using Virtual and Augmented Reality.