General Assembly has been in the New York tech scene basically since its modern inception and now it’s planning expansion in a big way, from 15 locations to 25, including one in Kings County.
The company offers classes that help people without a tech background, or with a limited tech background, to be proficient in tech skills that will help them find employment in the tech sector.
— General Assembly (@GA) August 16, 2016
We talked to Sarah Tilton, GA’s senior regional director about the plan to conquer Brooklyn.
If location and date haven’t been finalized is there at least like a month or season?
We kicked off classes in Brooklyn last week with an AdWords workshop at The Yard in Williamsburg. Throughout the fall, we will be offering classes, workshops, and events all over the borough. Our current programming lineup is here, and new offerings are being added every week.
What kind of classes will be taught?
Today, we’re seeing the greatest demand both in the job market and from our community in Data Analytics, Digital Marketing, Product Management, and Front End Web Development. We plan to offer a mix of introductory classes that newcomers to the community gain a basic understanding of a new topic, and accelerated learning options that help students gain mastery in a topic, and cover an entire curriculum over 40+ hours.
Why has GA been the success it has been?
GA works hard to listen to both sides of the marketplace — to understand which skills employers are working hardest to develop in their workforce, and to deliver the highest-quality experience to our students to prepare them for their next challenge. We never lose sight of our mission: to empower a global community to pursue work they love.
Why did they feel Brooklyn was a market worth expansion?
Brooklyn is an innovative borough, and its public, private, and nonprofit organizations are all thinking about how to close skills gaps and support opportunities for its citizens. Over the past five years, we’ve gotten to know the interests and goals of our Brooklyn-based commuter students, our talented Brooklyn-based faculty, and employers based out of Brooklyn. And as we embarked on this latest round of geographic expansion, it felt like a natural fit to make it even easier for Brooklynites to achieve their learning goals with GA.
And then on a deeper level, how does GA fit into the education system in the U.S.? It seems like a response to colleges not offering enough courses that are actually valuable in the labor market. Would you agree with that or is that misunderstanding GA in some way.
General Assembly is a leader in the evolving alternative higher education landscape. We are poised to drive innovation across data, design, tech, and business industries and create even more opportunities for both individuals and employers. We work alongside the traditional higher education system in all of our communities.
The majority of our students today are several years (or even decades) removed from their undergraduate educations. They understand that work and careers look different today than they did 20, 30 years ago. The differentiator in many cases is skill development. General Assembly’s mission is to provide the necessary skills to achieve success at work no matter when a student got his or her original degree, or what they chose to study.