Startup Raises $12M to Bridge the Gap Between College Graduates and the Most In-Demand Tech Jobs

Pathstream, a startup launched by venture studio Entangled Group that creates educational programs for colleges in partnership with Silicon Valley’s top tech firms, today announced a $12 million Series A investment by investors including TDM Partners, Hereditas Capital Management, Bisk Ventures, New Ground Ventures and social impact investor Rethink Education.

“The talent is there. The aspiration is there. But colleges and universities often struggle to keep pace with the rapid evolution of tech skills that are required for the fastest growing first jobs,” said Sissi Rodriguez, Assistant to the College President for Special Projects at Miami Dade College. “This work is about creating stronger connections between colleges and the developers of the technology that is transforming the labor market. It’s about unlocking the potential of students who can help employers to close not just skill – but equity gaps.”

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 U.S colleges and universities. According to recent research, nearly half of recent college graduates are underemployed in their first job; with underemployed graduates now five times as likely to be underemployed five years later.

Pathstream’s unique emphasis on software-specific skills (such as Tableau, Salesforce, Facebook Ad Manager) reflects the reality that the most in-demand skills gaps are about much more than coding. According to Burning Glass, jobs that require experience with Salesforce software have, for example, quadrupled in the past five years. In 2017, more than 300,000 job postings called for Salesforce skills. The number of Tableau-related job postings grew 2,500% from 2011 and 2015. Oracle related postings grew 444% during the same period.

“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.”

Last year, Pathstream announced a groundbreaking partnership with 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 firm is also working with Unity, the leading real-time 3D platform, to create a Certificate in Immersive Design using Virtual and Augmented Reality. Unlike some careers which require place-based instruction, Pathstream’s unique online platform enables students to practice the same skills they will need on the job, making it easier than ever before to upskill into high-demand careers while pursuing their degree.

“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,” said Entangled Group founder and CEO Paul Freedman “This is about helping students to avoid the underemployment trap by bridging the gap between college and their first job.”

About Pathstream Every individual should have access to the digital skills needed to succeed in the modern economy. Pathstream partners with leading tech companies to deliver branded digital-skills career programs through community college and university partnerships.


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