- Some former students and employees of Woz U, the year-old online tech education program established by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, have complained of significant flaws in the computer coding training platform, CBS News reported.
- Students complained of faulty, missing and out-of-date information in coursework and a lack of instructors for the 33-week program, which costs students $13,200. CBS quoted one former sales employee who said there was excessive pressure to register students, noting he was laid off when his enrollment numbers declined.
- Woz U President Chris Coleman said in a statement that the company was fixing errors in the material and establishing more quality control, but he denied students were pressured to sign up.
Woz U is part of a growing number of independent efforts to offer postsecondary training in fields that lack a strong workforce development pipeline. Some companies are operating their own — or connecting with third-party — training programs, while others such as Apple Google, Facebook and FedEx are partnering colleges and universities.
Challenges faced by the first generation of tech "bootcamps" and other for-profit training companies — some of which led to closures — spurred later entrants to the sector to partner with colleges and universities for their help developing curriculum and due to the strength of their brand.
For-profit tech education providers such as 2U are also working with colleges and leasing space to add a brick-and-mortar element of the education experience.
Programs such as those provided by Woz U and 2U are attracting attention among potential students and policymakers alike for the flexibility they provide nontraditional learners as well as their focus on developing in-demand skills for emerging fields, Inside Higher Ed reported.
But their relatively high cost (thousands of dollars for a few months of coursework) and a prevailing view among the industries they serve that they are supplemental to a bachelor's or associate degree, not a replacement, could limit their reach.