About 12 million youths are released into the African job market every year. However, only 3 million jobs are created annually, creating a high level of competitiveness for the few available jobs. It also depicts the need for more young people to acquire skills that can help them to build solutions and create jobs.
Software development is one of the skills with the highest volume of demand in Africa, especially with the steady growth of the tech space over the years. To reduce the rate of unemployment, young people need to get more relevant skills, hands-on experience with companies in these fields as well as timely access to job openings when they come up.
One edtech startup in Nigeria that combines all three of these essential needs into a tech-enabled solution is Stutern. The idea for the startup came to Taiwo and Kehinde Adelana during the mandatory 21-day orientation exercise at the NYSC camp in Ogun State, Nigeria. The startup was launched in 2015 and started by helping students get internship placements in places where they would get the necessary experience.
Stutern helps youths learn online
The edtech company’s solution is accessible on its web app. The 3-tiered service is offered in stages with the first one being the onboarding of students. To help people acquire skills in tech, Stutern has courses on areas such as data science, UI/UX design and web and mobile app development.
Once students register for and take the courses, they are mentored by other people currently working in the tech sector so as to get a better grasp of how the industry works. Internship positions with companies are put up on the web app so that trainees can apply for them. For those who take the courses on the site, employers can specifically ask for Stutern graduates to take up positions based on their training.
The startup’s model is similar to that of Udacity in terms of the high-end pricing, mentors, and selection of skills that are taught to the students.
Like on Jobberman, companies also put vacancies on Stutern and ask people who have gone through the startup’s program to apply for it. The courses are taught in a seasonal approach with certain courses open at certain periods.
Stutern allows people to pay in full as well as instalmentally
For any course applied for on the site, payment can be made in 3 ways. The student can pay once and get it over with. The payment can be spread across a number of months that is agreed upon by the startup’s team and the student.
The last option is the income sharing agreement option. With this option, the student learns and begins a career in his/her chosen field while the payment for the training is removed from the person’s income after they begin earning. The payment will be removed based on an agreed percentage for a specific number of months.
The prices for the courses vary based on the content. The web development training costs N350,000. However, if the payment is made instalmentally, the cost will increase to N396,000. To complete payment, the student will pay N99,000 for 4 months. If the income sharing option is selected, the student pays N86,000 as enrollment fee and takes the course. Afterwards, when the student gets hired, they pay 15% of their gross salary over 24 months.
Stutern might come across as pricy
The android app development course costs N540,000 on Stutern. This can be paid all at once or increased to N584,000 which is then spread over 4 months at the rate of N146,000. Alternatively, the student can also pay N86,000 upfront, take the course, and then give back 15% of his/her gross salary for 24 months after getting hired.
Compared to other startups that offer similar training, Stutern’s courses are costlier. For instance, a Kotlin android developer course costs $339 (N128,820 at N380 to $1) while iOS developer courses cost around $509 (N193,420 at N380 to $1). Similar courses on Udemy cost far less at $12 or just a little more.
The courses on Udacity however are only accessible for a number of months while those on Udemy do not come with the industry-mentoring and connections that marks Stutern in the African tech sector. Also, the current rates on Udacity are heavily discounted at the moment and cost more than Stutern’s at their full price.
The Udacity iOS developer course, for instance, costs $2,034 (N772,920 at N380 to $1) while the Kotlin course costs $1,356 ( N515,280 at N380 to $1). Recall that the Udacity courses are only accessible for a limited number of months while Stutern does not indicate that it restricts access after some time.
While the courses on Stutern are pricier than others, the industry players who mentor the students help to make the training experience more robust and tailored to the needs of the tech sector. This, in turn, increases the productivity of each student, helps them get and retain better-paying jobs and be a part of the creative process of solutions in the industry.
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