Introducing Rapid Training Programs (RTPs) and Our New Direction
team skillbankBy: Date: 7/25/22
Today, we announce SkillBank making the jump from being an online boot camp to being a media company. No more live classes or group sessions. New SkillBank fellows can start our program immediately upon getting accepted, and be on their way to landing an entry-level marketing job in 12 weeks.
Here is why we made this pivot.
When I started SkillBank in 2019, I had one goal: to bring opportunity to anyone that is willing to work hard. At SkillBank, we believe that success should not be defined by your race, professional background, or zip code.
As a solo founder with no college degree, I realized that if there was anyone that could reimagine the professional training process, it is me. For the last 3 years, we’ve built a boot camp doing things the same way as other boot camps. Our program was made up of daily live Zoom classes, where a cohort of fellows would listen to an instructor walk them through the lesson’s content. Every week, fellows would have a project that is due to show that they had mastered the curriculum.
While this format might work for highly technical training programs (coding, data science, etc.), we realized that we have a lot more liberty to give our fellows the space to learn the content on their own time.
90% of SkillBank fellows are working a full-time service industry job. They are baristas, cashiers, waiters, etc., and they are working 1-2 minimum wage jobs to make ends meet. Many of our fellows were rushing home at 9 pm to make it in time for class.
This schedule is not sustainable. Switching careers is already hard. We tried to remedy this problem by holding classes in the early mornings before work starts at 7 am or after work at 9 pm but, we had a lot of drop-offs because fellows couldn’t keep up with class time, getting their projects in on time, and their daily job. Falling behind in class is demotivating, and we were struggling to show our fellows the light at the end of the tunnel when they could barely make time to put food on the table.
So, we had to go back to the drawing board, and figure out a new model that would work best for our core demographic. After many months of experimenting and testing out different ideas, we decided to create our own category.
A category that we are calling rapid training programs or “RTPs” for short.
What is an RTP?
A rapid training program is SkillBank’s answer to the flipped classroom model. The model is a mix between video content, projects, and 1-1 mentorship with an industry professional.
Instead of spending time listening to an instructor in a live online class, fellows review the curriculum on their own time.
The program has four main elements:
Your personal SkillBank team members
We hired an incredible video production team to bring our lectures to life, and turn every single lesson into a small 3-5 minute easily digestible video. A group of video lessons along with a project make up a unit. We filmed these videos in a style similar to MasterClass.
Read more about our curriculum here.
Your SkillBank Team
Upon enrolling in SkillBank, you will be connected with 3 SkillBank team members on your first day, to help you make your way through the program.
These team members are your:
SkillBank Representative: Your friend in SkillBank. They help you stick the course.
Marketing Mentor: Your instructor and cheerleader as you go through the program. You meet with them bi-weekly to ask questions and receive feedback on your projects.
Career Coach: Your support through the job process. They will help you with mock interviews, resume preparation, and they will also connect you to SkillBank hiring partners when they find a good fit.
Learn more about the SkillBank team process here.
Your projects are how you show mastery of the curriculum you are learning. Each unit project builds on the last unit project so you get many hours of practice before you enter the professional world.
To move forward into the next unit of videos, you must complete the current unit’s project in a satisfactory way. Your marketing mentor will review these projects in a 48 hour window and give you feedback when necessary.
This is the final section of the SkillBank curriculum, and it happens tangentially with the marketing curriculum. Fellows meet with their career coach bi-weekly to make sure they are prepared for the job process by the end of the program.
Along with this new curriculum, we’re announcing a new pricing model. SkillBank is moving away from income share agreements, and into what we believe is a more affordable model for our core demographic of fellows.
Each pricing model includes an upfront fee, but the fixed amount you pay in monthly installments depends on the amount that you paid upfront to start the program.
Here are our 3 core pricing models:
Upfront Payment: $4999 total
Month-to-Month Payment: $5999 total
$511 registration fee
$499/mo for 11 months
Deferred Tuition Model: $7199 total
$322 registration fee
$299/mo for 23 months
Monthly payments start 12 weeks after you have started the program.
We are so excited to start this new model. We soft-launched the product in the beginning of July with a select group of new fellows, and the reception has been great so far. Fellows love that they have the 1-1 mentorship at Skillbank that they’ve always loved, but now, the program is on their terms and timeline.
We’ve paced the program out to take 12 weeks, but we’ve seen some fellows get through 3 units in a week while others take a little bit longer to get through a unit. We want every fellow to work at their own pace, instead of feeling rushed or like they are being held back by the rest of the cohort they are in.
If you are interested in learning more about SkillBank and starting your professional journey in marketing today, sign up here to speak to a SkillBank representative: https://www.joinskillbank.com/start
Cheers, Mehak Vohra Founder and CEO of SkillBank