“Even the best universities in India have not changed their teaching curriculum in the last 10 years. Whereas, the technologies on which most companies operate have continuously changed. This has left university courses out of sync from what is expected by the tech industry,” — Prateek Shukla, CEO Masai College.
It’s the founding precept behind Masai College. The profitable wage packages and excessive progress curves in software program improvement have impressed many Indians to pursue pc science training. However this has not made India a talented nation. Most engineering faculties have failed at making graduates job-ready, giving rise to many various training corporations on this area.
The choice platform being constructed by Unitus Ventures-backed Masai College provides six to seven-month-long programs in full stack net improvement, Android improvement and software program improvement to anybody who has handed class 12. Like many different tech skilling platforms, Masai College operates on an earnings sharing settlement (ISA) mannequin, which implies college students shouldn’t have to pay any upfront payment for these programs.
Beneath the ISA settlement, college students need to pay 15% of their wage once they begin incomes INR 5 Lakh every year (in case of the ‘i-program’) and INR Eight Lakh every year (for ‘r-program’ graduates). In keeping with Shukla, the payable quantity is determined on the premise of the primary supply letter that the coed will get and continues to be the identical even when the candidates get a pay hike afterward.
In different circumstances, the place college students don’t get wage packages that meet this threshold, the settlement turns into null and void. The settlement is alleged to be solely relevant when the coed is working in a expertise function and is incomes the edge wage or increased. In some circumstances, graduates are positioned as apprentices initially and later transformed into full-time workers. Right here, the ISA settlement is just legitimate once they acquire full-time employment with packages above the edge.
Masai College claims to have 175 hiring companions together with names equivalent to Samsung, Sharechat, UrbanClap, Instamojo, Propelld, Vyapar, RevvSales, Lendingkart, Nobroker, Smallcase and Paytm Cash.
Oher edtech startups Scaler Academy and Pesto Tech additionally supply ISA choices to learners, however whereas Pesto Tech is just focusing on college students with some work expertise, Masai College and Scaler Academy have programs for college students which can be ranging from scratch or are utterly new to coding.
Additional, Masai College is primarily focusing on college students which can be unemployed, those that come from Tier 2 and three engineering faculties and don’t have a profession path. “These could be people who were engineers but don’t have the skillset so ended up becoming delivery executives, or cab drivers,” stated Shukla.
Based by Shukla, Nrupul Dev and Yogesh Bhat, Masai College started operations in June 2019. The corporate not too long ago raised a $2.5 Mn Pre-Collection A funding spherical led by edtech-focussed VC fund Unitus Ventures together with India Quotient and AngelList India.
Until date, Masai College has educated over 100 college students throughout 4 batches, of which greater than half come from non-computer science background and outdoors metros. Additional, round 65% of those college students are stated to be from the economically-weaker part of society.
Onerous Development Creates Grasp Programmers
One other differentiating issue for Masai College is its instructing pedagogy. It follows a mastery-based development, the place the curriculum is split into seven modules and on completion of every module, there may be an analysis. Provided that the coed demonstrates sufficient abilities to point out that they’ve mastered the module are they allowed to progress to the subsequent module. Or, it’s again to the beginning and relearning the ideas.
“Mastery-based progression technique recognises that every student has their own career path and removes the pressure on students to learn at the pace of the curriculum,” stated Shukla.
The corporate has additionally constructed an in depth assist system for college students to depend upon and study all through the course. Usually there are 60-70 college students in a batch and one teacher who takes lessons and is paid per session. Then there may be an inside TA (instructing assistant) assigned to 20 college students, one sherpa for each 5 college students and college students work in pairs each day.
Inside TAs are Masai College workers engaged on a payroll and are the core guides for each group. Sherpas are college students from an earlier batch who’re maybe two months forward of the present batch. Toppers from the sooner batches are normally was sherpas and given a stipend. Additional, when a scholar completes 20 weeks of the course, they’re assigned exterior coaches which can be usually software program builders from corporations like Amazon, Google and many others.
The exterior coaches are paid on a per-session foundation and provides college students one-on-one mentoring, information them on mock interviews, and in addition resolve their queries round ideas. These periods with an exterior coach are carried out as soon as every week. Along with these layers of mentoring and steerage, learners additionally exterior TAs to assist with ideas which can be more durable for learners — there’s one exterior TA for each eight college students.
“So in that way, there is a huge support system which has been created, that’s why it is an expensive learning technique. Which is why most colleges and even schools do not follow this technique,” stated Shukla.
It’s positively a profitable proposition for anybody to study job-ready abilities in a matter of six months and be employed at a aggressive wage with a few of the famend tech corporations. However can anybody enroll into Masai College?
Setting Excessive Benchmarks For Choice
A brand new batch is began each two months, and round 600-700 college students used to use to Masai College earlier than the pandemic. This has now touched 1200 purposes per thirty days. But the whole variety of graduates throughout its 4 graduating batches is capped at about 100 college students.
The easy reply to the low variety of graduates is that not everybody will get into Masai College. Similar to premium engineering faculties, Masai College has a variety price of two%-3%. The corporate organises a check for candidates adopted by an interview to gauge their motivation to study and earn.
Not too long ago, the corporate has launched entrance assessments the place college students are given a pre-course to organize for the check. The thought is to degree the enjoying discipline for many who don’t have the publicity of high quality training in life. College students can take their very own time to finish this course, however the course is designed to be completed in about 8-9 days.
“With this pre-course option, we see a lot of people putting in much more effort towards learning in pre-course and we feel that the selection rate is going to be improved,” Shukla stated. The corporate additionally plans to extend the variety of offline centres, including extra crew members and programs.
Additional, even when college students are in a position to get via the stringent choice standards, enduring the intensive curriculum is a problem in itself. The ‘r-program’ at Masai College requires college students to attend 12-hour lessons, six days every week. That is additionally the rationale why the corporate has a excessive 20% dropout price.
“We have a simple policy to tackle dropouts, in the first four weeks, it’s free for anyone to basically try the course. First few weeks, students get a flavour of 9-9-6 completely and then they can decide whether this kind of learning environment is not for them, or that programming is not for them,” stated Shukla. He added that the corporate has an enormous churn within the preliminary 4 weeks however after that, there are not any dropouts via the course journey.
How Covid-19 Has Modified Masai College’s Mannequin
Masai College has three offline centres (one in Patna and two in Bengaluru) purely to assist college students from economically-weaker backgrounds with infrastructure assist. However, after the Covid outbreak these college students misplaced entry to the campus and needed to transfer again to their native houses.
“There were some challenges because students moved back to their villages, or to small cities. We have provided them with a laptop and we also have a contingency fund through which they can request money to buy power adapters or charger replacements.” However from the curriculum facet, the corporate claims to haven’t seen any change as a result of from day one every thing used to occur on-line.
From the coed perspective, the challenges embrace energy cuts and lack of area to do the teachings. Earlier than Covid, as much as 70% of the scholars opted for the campus facility, which signifies the impression going utterly on-line may need had. Having gone 100% on-line since April, Masai plans to return to the offline centres as a result of they’re clearly wanted by college students who don’t have the required infrastructural assist at dwelling.
“There are so many stories of our students being absorbed in top tech companies based on their undeniable skill sets. I think these students will go on to become changemakers, eventually driving the realisation that skills are more important than degrees,” stated Shukla.