Digital Skills Programmes with Universities and Industry
London (UK), February 2022 - Online education company FourthRev has announced the successful close of its Series A fundraise of $8 million. The lead investor is Educapital, Europe's first education technology impact fund, with follow-on funding from Reach Capital, Emerge Education, and Danner Capital, as well as a number of edtech entrepreneurs and executives.
Building on previous university partnerships and success in delivering digital skills courses, FourthRev has created a new category of education called Career Accelerators to tackle digital skills gaps globally. These programmes lead the way in employer-university collaboration by combining the robustness and recognition of a world-leading university education with the best job-focused technical education. FourthRev brings together globally recognised universities, such as the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and now King's College London, leading technology companies such as Tableau and Github, and industry employers such as Thoughtworks and Robert Walters to design unique, highly cost effective, globally relevant programmes.
The first FourthRev Career Accelerator in Data Analytics, which is currently underway, is a six-month programme that will train students from a range of different backgrounds and disciplines to develop holistic data analysis skills. It has been designed and developed by LSE's Departments of Statistics and Department of Methodology in collaboration with leading industry partners to ensure outcomes align with current industry demand. The programme will introduce core concepts of data handling and analysis and will incorporate real-world projects to allow students to apply and challenge their knowledge in authentic business scenarios.
The investment will be used to develop and promote more Career Accelerators focused on key areas experiencing the most acute digital skills shortages, such as cybersecurity, AI, analytics, UI, and project management skills. As a remote first, global company FourthRev will be doubling headcount worldwide, expanding operations in the UK, Australia, South Africa, and North America.
Jack Hylands, Co-Founder of FourthRev said, "The digitisation of the global economy, driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, has been dramatically accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with digital transformation plans having been significantly increased over the last two years. This rapid digitisation of the economy means that 85 million jobs are forecast to be lost through the emergence of new AI and automation technologies, but 97 million jobs are set to be created.
"If the workforce is to succeed in this new economy, it will require a specific and different set of technological, emotional, and higher cognitive skills. Our mission is to support the workforce and learners through these changes, which is why we built and launched Career Accelerators last year. By combining the very best of career-focused, high ROI education with the value of the world's best universities, technology partners, and a direct pathway to employment, this unique proposition allows learners from across the globe to unlock high-growth digital careers."
A key element of Career Accelerator programmes is the balance of developing both technical and human skills. As artificial intelligence redefines the division of labour between machines and humans, employees will have to double down on human skills such as problem solving and emotional intelligence. Career Accelerators ensure the personalised development of these human skills through access to career coaching that helps build personal and professional growth, as well as facilitating data-driven matching between students and employer partners.
Litzie Maarek, Co-Founder and Managing Partner from Educapital said, "It is clear that there is a desperate need for more effective and relevant education in the digital skill education space. We believe the way FourthRev builds the foundation of its courses on industry needs, works with academia to deliver higher order thinking and intellectual resilience, and delivers confidence to graduates through industry partnerships is unique. Our mission at Educapital is to identify and support edtech companies that are going to have a tangible impact for current and future generations. FourthRev is doing just that, as they are building a new educational pathway to addressing one of the biggest educational challenges of our time."
Shauntel Garvey, Co-Founder and General Partner at Reach Capital commented, "The strong demand for FourthRev's first Career Accelerator and a growing pipeline of academic and industry partners shows that now, more than ever, learners are seeking experiences that combine practical technical skills with the rigour of renowned universities. Furthermore, by incorporating the development of human skills into the curriculum, FourthRev will better equip its graduates to thrive in the digital economy. Human connections are crucial to all successful learning experiences - and core to our impact thesis at Reach."