Good afternoon. It’s my pleasure to welcome you to the Provost’s Conversation Online Learning. First session of the spring semester. As you know, the Provost’s Conversation Online Learning or PCoOL, feature talks by leading experts, entrepreneurs, and peers on the future of education, specifically online education. We are really excited to have with us today, our PCoOL’s speaker Pierre Dubuc, who co-founded OpenClassrooms in 2013 and currently serves as CEO of the company. OpenClassrooms is an online education and an employment platform, whose mission is to make quality education and career advancement more accessible and more affordable. OpenClassrooms, refunds, learners tuition, if they don’t find a job within six months of completion. So please join me in welcoming Pierre with a round of applause to Columbia. Thank you. (audience clapping) Thank you so much. Hi, pleasure to be here. Thanks so much for your attendance. So we’re gonna have discussion for about an hour and we’ll have the opportunity to exchange a bit more and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions towards the end. So my name is Pierre, I’m one of the two co-founders of OpenClassrooms. I’m the CEO of the startup company, as you probably already heard. I’m French, we started in Paris, France, six years ago. OpenClassrooms as a mission-driven company. But actually 20 years ago, as a personal project with my friend back in 1999. So as you probably can guess I was fairly young at this time. And my friend and I basically started to be interested in web development. We wanted to create websites, but in 1999, it was not so easy to find resources to learn how to create a website, especially in French, and especially when we were like 13 and 11. So, basically, we started building a first course, to help some friends to build their own websites, the course which we would have found basically at this time. So my friend Mathieu wrote this first course on HTML. Web Development published it online in 1999 for free, shared it to some friends. And then friends liked it, basically share it to other friends and then it started like that, and then published it to middle schools. So we’re in around like fifth grade, published it to Middle School, we started to create more courses, publish them online for free. And from there, publish a few studies, in middle school, in high school, in college, for over 10 years, we did so as a hobby, pure hobby. We publish more and more courses, we build this online learning community for many, many years. And it became the reference platform to learn how to code in French speaking countries. So if you ever come to France or any other French speaking countries and ask a developer where they learn coding, it’s very, very likely that one way or the other, they learned through OpenClassrooms. So this is how we got started, basically, and then, years later, we graduated eventually. And we decided to move into a more fast-growing entrepreneurial journey, which is OpenClassrooms as it is today. A mission-driven company. And our mission is very simple, is to make education accessible. And especially professional education. So education leading to jobs, leading to employability, leading to tomorrow’s competencies. That this is what we are trying to achieve. And you’ll understand along this presentation that we’re kind of at the crossroad of higher education, vocational training, what we would call apprenticeship, we call it also education to employment programs, something like that. So it’s really a mix of higher education, and something more career-oriented. But let’s pause for a bit on the OpenClassrooms’ history, to tell you a bit more about a huge transformation that is going on right now in the job markets, which is technology, which is AI, which is all about automation, and the job displacement. So I’m sure you’ve heard that already. But basically 30% of the workforce will be in needs to be re-skilled and up-skilled and use their skills in the next 10 years. That’s actually at the pre low range. Some studies show more than 50%. But like let’s say one third of the global workforce, it’s already 1 billion people to be reskilled. So this is the challenge our world has to face right now within the next 10 years. Is reskill 1 billion people on new skills that didn’t even exist 10 years ago, more or less. It’s pretty hard because we’re not talking about only one day of vocational training in the classroom, we’re talking about sometimes months of retraining and re-skilling. So I could encourage you to have a look at some studies, some recently published by the World Economic Forum. And you can have kind of a breakdown of those numbers, like the big 1 billion, 1.5 billion, sometimes you will see people to reskill. And the breakdown, by duration of training they need is that less than one month, one, two, three months, six months, 12 months. And you’ll see that actually, the intensity of the retraining is massive. So most of the people were talking about, will need several months of reskilling. Full time I mean, to really catch up with this transformation of skills and jobs. So massive initiative that we need to take upon in the next couple of years. Today, OpenClassrooms, train 3 million people a month in 140 different countries. So we went from teaching coding and French into many different fields and French and English basically. So now we teach not only coding but pretty much everything around technology, but also on new jobs impacted by technology. Everything around technology. Code, data, Ai, cyber, digital marketing, draw, UX design, all that kind of things. Then more traditional jobs or transistor jobs impacted by technology would be HR, managements, leadership, sales, communication, project management, IT, accounting, finance. So we cover around 50 different jobs. Actually when we turn the hobby into a mission-driven company, at the same time we became a college. So that’s fairly unique. We actually managed to be the first, the very first fully online college in France, where we started. It was actually pretty hard because seven years ago, it was illegal to grant degrees and fully hand them out in France, okay. By law you needed to teach in-person to be awarded a degree. So we participated to this challenge with policy makers and lobbying they’ll also be all the 30 strong products, so everybody could feel confident enough in a high-quality education that is fully online. So today we have 50 different paths, 50 different degree programs, from the associate to bachelor’s and master’s level. 14 in English, the rest in French. And our long-term vision is basically to place students in the workforce. So in 2025, we’ll like to reach a volume of 1 million job placements a year. So meaning, we’re gonna train millions of people, but we will account for these people from A to Z, meaning we do the last mile of the carrier-oriented program, which is carrier coaching, job placement, matching with an employer and a job opportunity. So this is what we already do today and all that this count starts to be fairly big. But this is our vision, to place 1 million people in the workforce. So interestingly, as a mission-driven company which is basically the US subsidiary over the classrooms is about public-benefit corporation. It would be the equivalent in US of our mission-driven company. We also measure and track all social impacts, in terms of the number of students we place in the workforce. A students for us is defined as a lifelong learner. We have three categories of students. Young folks from like 18 to 25, let’s say. There also employees 25 to 40, 50 plus. And job seekers willing to switch carriers and find a job as fast that they can. And roughly is one third, one third, one third. So students could be also 50 years old. And they might be switching carriers. So for us placing a student in the workforce, could be the first job, could be a new job or could be also promotion within the same company. Our force is basically our product is how we got started by building high-quality contents. Highly pedagogy. I’m gonna run you through how our product is designed basically. What is the learning and the student experience? So it says 30 unique combination. It starts with a platform that is fully-designed by OpenClassrooms. So we’re fully-integrated company in the sense that we create the software to run the platform but also the content and we own the degree accreditation. So from A to Z we’re a fully-fledged college. So we own the platform, we create content, in-house content production with maintenance, we usually repurpose and maintain 20 to 25% of all content every year. It’s fairly significant but on technology, I mean, you need that. We build a project-driven, competency-based pedagogy. So, competency-based is interesting. So CBE, competency-based education. So if you get your degree, which is aligned to your job, you need to demonstrate a certain set of skills of competencies. So, you want a master’s degree in data science and AI, you wanna become a data scientist. A data scientist… To be good data scientist, you need to demonstrate a sense of competences, knowledge, attributes, qualifications. To demonstrate those competencies, you have to complete projects. Projects are real-life case studies, they’re professional projects. You are a data scientist in that company, here’s the data set of your clients, you need to clean the data, format the data, explore it and run some ML to find a nice way to optimize your gross margin. This is an actual project for example. And you need to present your project in front of your manager. To demonstrate your competencies. So, that is usually around 12 months long. And you have a dozen projects to achieve. At first, simple individual and it get larger and larger and you have to work as a team, as a group of students online, to complete those projects. And you have to defend your projects. Everything is done via video conference, in a fully online manner. So the defense sessions of your projects are actually via video conference in front of necessarily validator. In this defense sessions regarded in video as a proof of your competences towards the jury towards the degree. The core of the pedagogy, is what we call mentorship. So mentorship is a human-based pedagogy. It’s basically taking an industry practitioner or professional in the field, coaching you, mentoring you, tutoring you every week on a one-on-one basis via videoconference. So is really high-tech, highly-personalized ’cause for the next 12 months, you’re gonna meet your mentor every week, meaning 50 times. He or she is an expert in the field, a data scientists, at I don’t know, big tech company or a bank or wherever. We hire, and train those mentors. They’re what we would call the equivalent of a TA, basically, for OpenClassrooms. And we’ve got many of them, obviously, because the more students the more mentors. And you’re gonna have your mentorship session via video conference every every week. Next step is the social experience. Learning is a social experience. It has to be social. So you have kind of this social network with all students and mentors and teachers and you can share your questions and share knowledge and work on your projects. So it’s basically social network off your campus, so, kind of a virtual campus basically. Then you’ve got recognized degrees, diplomas, degree with fully accreditation. We are actually working on US degree accreditation, which is not easy in every country, I would say. But US especially. It wasn’t easy in France to be fair. And it takes somewhere from four to nine years in every country to get full degree accreditation. And there’s no such thing as an international degree accreditation, it’s country by country. So when you operate online, you have to pick your battle, let’s say. We offer what we call a job guarantee. A job guarantee means that if you don’t find a job within six months of your graduation date, we’re gonna refund your tuition fees. So it’s a very strong commitment towards the employability of our graduates and students. It means two things. The first is that we need to build programs that are fully aligned to the employers needs, on the right jobs, with the right competences, with the right contents. And we need also to offer career coaching to some students. I mean, obviously, many students with a master’s degree in data science, from OpenClassrooms or from somewhere else, will find a job even before they finish the studies to be honest. But some might not. And especially when you don’t have, let’s say, the social network. If you come from an under-privileged area, and you don’t have the network of your parents, your family, your friends, employers, you need to work on your CV, you need to work on the methodology to reach out to employers, to get in the field. We provide that. So we provide again carrier coaching via videoconference on one-on-one basis. So it kinda the same principle as for mentorship, highly-personalized. And we coach them, ensure they get a job, or the money back. And the last piece is what we started two or three years ago, is what we call apprenticeship. Apprenticeship, meaning European style apprenticeship. I’m gonna explain that further on. Apprenticeship is basically a working study program, in which you have a job, when you stop your studies. An employer is willing to hire a data scientist, but it’s very hard to hire a data scientists those days. So maybe at some point you need to invest in a new talent pipeline, into building your next talent pipeline. So you’re gonna find a student, you’re gonna interview her, and you’re gonna hire this student from day one of the training program, and she will work for you four days a week and be trained on a degree program for one day a week. That’s gonna be ran for one or two years, and the work experience and the academic experience are highly intertwined. It means that the projects you normally have to complete my example being work on this data set, instead of doing kind of the academic project, you will do your company’s projects, the real projects. Here is the real data set. Here’s the real need. And this is the real manager you need to defend your project to. And your work during the four days a weak, will be recognize them, will grant you academic credits. So at the end you will get their degree, and on top of that, the employer covers and sponsors your tuition fees. So it means from day one you have a job, you have a work contract, you have the salary, which is roughly around minimum wage usually. And your tuition fees are fully covered by the company. And we’re talking about what we will call degree apprenticeship programs. So it means you have an academic degree, college degree at the end. Not just like some random qualification or no qualification at all. So this is our products. It’s quite interesting because it’s like Lego blocks. We started first to create a platform and then we added content and then we added projects and then we added mentorship. And some folks just come for the content, the great courses that are for free since 1999, and then some of them will take like a few projects and some of them are here to get the full degree experience, and some of them are there even to get a job through apprenticeship. So, it’s kind of there are different tiers of this offering. And basically our business model is a freemium model meaning courses are free, and degree programs with like mentorship, career coaching, job guarantee is paid for. Either you paid yourself or somebody well, paid for you. Meaning it could be your employer through apprenticeship, or through scholarships funded by governments in certain countries or charities and foundations. Most of our students actually don’t pay a dime. Meaning they’re sponsored or founded by some other entity. So, let’s take a step back on this apprenticeship thing because we think it’s really interesting, especially in the US with this huge talent shortage, fairly-low unemployment rates. And a huge shortage on tech jobs. Roughly 1 million jobs in tech, right now, open positions and really, really hard to find somebody. But yeah, today, how things work today. Universities teach students… You have a degree, and then you try and get a job. So obviously when you have the chance to study here, you try to get a job or it’s very lucky to get an amazing job. Truth is, this is our only, really the tip of the iceberg meaning like the one person, the rest of higher education is not that lucky. Meaning, in some community colleges, the job placement rates aren’t that great. The completion rates are sometimes disastrous. And in many countries, the completion rates of a bachelor’s degrees is between 20 to 40%. So it means that most of the students in the classroom will basically end up with no degree, maybe no job, clearly, and also a student loan. So it’s pretty tough. And basically, we try to fit that model on its head. And say, “Okay, what if we take a new model “and we ask the employers what they need, “so that they find that at our knees?” And students are pre-hired and trained accordingly. And still based on an academic framework, an academic degree. And then they get a job before their degree, and not after. So it’s really the other way around. It’s really interesting because it’s a way to fix two problems at the same time. The talent shortage is on the employer side, but also access to education on the student side. So we’re a two-sided platform. We work with students, we work with employers, so sorry about the 3 million students we train every month. We work with 500 employers right now. Small companies to very large companies like PWC, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Salesforce, Microsoft, JP Morgan. And on one hand, we transform students into drop rate down and we provide job rate down to employers. So that’s the model. And the interesting piece is here. We call that the matching component, which is okay. You have on one hand, job opportunities, and on the other hand, students, profiles, candidates, people seeking opportunities, and yet you have to match that and it’s actually pretty hard. Usually, you could say it’s just kind of a matching algorithm program you can throw some AI and ML and fix the whole issue. The thing is, is not just problem of connecting those opportunities to those people, but it’s also a problem of geography, problem of skills, problem of time, problem of access, technical access problems. Like there are many problems around that. It’s not because you have like 1 million open jobs and 1 million job seekers that you’re gonna have none of those problems a year later, ’cause usually, the skills are actually missing. So you need to make sure you speak the same language when you define the needs and when you define the profiles, in terms of competences. And then you can upskill students and profiles and then match them. But it’s very tricky to be honest, and it’s still working progress. There is no such a thing as international stand-out when it comes to describing competencies. Which is honestly a mess. It means that degrees are not certainly not always described as competency-based. In US clearly, and in many countries, most companies don’t even hire based on the competencies. Meaning, they require a Bachelor’s in computer science. So, in US 60% of the job positions in software engineering require a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mostly from Ivy League type universities. So, when you do that, you also send a clear message to the folks who were unable to access those universities that they can do the job. So, we need we need to also change that the way employers hire. Kind of a shortcut. So let me introduce that kind of a shortcut to the employer side, which is really interesting and fun. So we started as a B2C company, working solely on the student side, then couple of years ago, we started getting into a B2B business model. Because of the huge transformation of every organization in the world right now. Transformation of jobs, transformation of competencies. Employers, companies, face three main issues. Some jobs are being wiped out, completely displaced. They won’t be there in just a few years. Some jobs are changing, they aren’t gonna to be there in a few years, but the content of the job will change dramatically. And then some jobs are completely new. They didn’t exist five years ago. And you need to hire some folks and you don’t really know which you hire because nobody’s trained on them. So, old jobs, I mean debarring jobs, jobs changing in the content and new jobs. Those are massive issues across the spectrum in every organization right now. So there are a couple of things coming on onto the vocational training space and the cooperate learning space which is a huge markets. Huge market is hundreds of billions dollars in the world. So huge market is growing fairly quickly. The first one is upskilling. Upskilling is fairly simple to address your changing… The content of your job changing. Okay you need to learn new skills, you need to upskill, right? So you’re a marketing director, you work there for 10 years, your next spurt in line, print marketing but you need to move online. You need use those skills you need to upskill. Reskilling. Reskilling is interesting. Reskilling, we started to talk about it a few years ago but actually not so many employers really reskilled their employees. What they did is just lay them off basically. Reskilling is interesting is retraining any work force. So is a much longer and deeper training program. Usually around six to 12 months, full time. So, it’s taking somebody from a frontline job to becoming a data analyst, this is reskilling, okay? It takes time. It’s not done overnight. This is reskilling. On-ramps, basically what I described with apprenticeship is getting into a job and work and study, internship, apprenticeship, things like that, are considered to be on-ramps. Education as benefits. Those programs are massive trend right now in cooperative learning. Is really basically saying, “Come in work at my company “and I will pay for your education. “I will pay for your upskilling, “your reskilling, your college education, “this is an employee benefits. “I cover your health insurance, “I’m gonna cover your education too.” It’s quite massive. We’ve got companies now like Starbucks, Walmart, Disney, She Bali, and many others, running massive education as benefit or tuition assistance, as tuition reimbursement programs. It’s a massive, massive thing. And outskilling which is a mix of reskilling and outplacement. It’s basically reskilling somebody into a new job and moving them out of the company, helping them to find a job at some other company instead of just laying them off, physically. So quite interesting. We work with many companies on those several issues. And those are the trends we see in the corporate learning space. So let’s dig in a bit and let me finish with some examples. Capgemini. Capgemini is a huge global IT services company with hundreds of thousands of employees. They’ve got massive recruitment needs in many countries, including in the US. In the US, I think they hire somewhere around three to 4000 employees a year. In India is 60,000 a year. 60,000 (giggles) which is fairly massive. They don’t know how to find those people. They’re mostly developers and project managers, data scientists, AI experts, cyber experts. It’s really hard ’cause there are not enough graduates trained on those skills and competencies. So they use on-ramps, they use fully online apprenticeship programs with us, to train 50 data scientists, in the next 18 months or 12 months for example. Another example is McDonald’s. McDonald’s is facing automation right now. Their restaurants are getting more and more automated. I mean, now you in getting in a restaurant and you can order on a screen and not talking to an actual human being. And more and more they know that long-term, the food might be even processed and your burger might be prepared basically by a robot. More robots, less workers, less frontline workers at least. So, there is that, plus, there is a massive need of our digital skills. Our restaurants need to run local digital marketing campaigns to attract clients. They can work with Uber Eats to deliver your food and they need to understand more and more the digital space. So McDonald’s offers are now upscaling and reskilling opportunities to their restaurant workers so they can move up the ladder and move into a better qualified job within McDonald’s, and I shriek often outside of McDonald’s, which is fine. And it’s actually quite new where, I would say five, 10 years ago, I mean, almost no company wouldn’t have sponsored your degree education, so you can leave the company. It’s kind of weird for an employer to do so. But their bet is that they’re gonna improve them for us brand. They can attract more talent. Is gonna be your best first job. Which is their tagline. So that’s it. What I wanted to give you as an introduction and leave some space to a discussion, to your comments to your questions, to your requests or anything like that, I would enjoy starting the discussions. Thank you. (audience clapping) So, Pierre, thank you very much for this presentation. My pleasure. Just for the audience, we’re not sure, whether Friday afternoon would work. So this was an experiment. And it turns out that it’s actually either Friday afternoon, is a great time, or you actually (laughs) or both. Thanks for being here. So let me start with asking you a couple of questions. One is, how would you differentiate OpenClassrooms from the other online platforms such as edX, Coursera University? So if you take Coursera and edX, which would be considered, like direct competitors in the sense that they’re very similar in the offerings. They’re a distribution platform. They don’t create their own content, they don’t own the IP, the degree accreditation, and whatnot. We do that. So it’s actually a big difference in the sense that on Coursera you will be able to access probably 20 plus data science master’s degree programs, or data science programs in general from many different university partners. You’ll find only one, one of the encasement which is the one we build, okay? And it means that we can get a more homogeneous contents and build modular blocks and use them from one program to the other. They are compatible across the spectrum. And then we can bring more innovation, ’cause we can control the complete product, and that’s how we invented mentorship, carrier coaching, the job guarantee and apprenticeship, all of the above are something that don’t really exist on Coursera, for example. So that’s one of the differences. My second question before I open up the question to the audience. How do you build and foster community within the platform? It’s a good question. So mentorship is definitely a key component. It’s also great way to achieve high completion rate, which are something that is usually highly debated across the MOOC world. On apprenticeship programs, we’ve got a completion rate of 93% over a year. And it’s a fully online education to be clear. But, you have a work contract, you have a salary, you have the degree and the end, you have a mentorship every week, so you’ve very strong incentives to get to them. And then it’s all about kind of a social network, which is based on Facebook, they’ve got this like, private environment, group, work-based, sorry. And you can basically share messages and then there is a kind of a private messenger to work on projects, talk to your mentor, talk to other mentors or so other teachers and so on and so forth. It’s really active and the amount of support you can find On this platform, like saying, “I got a job, or get interviewed, it went well, and I actually had just graduated, I went through the final defense session and all of that great stories and it keeps the community really engaged and enthusiastic to get further wrong within their education. Thank you. So I’ll open it up at this point to questions. I will leave two questions at the end for myself. If you can first introduce yourself and then ask the question. Sure, so my name is Miguel, I’m a PhD student in statistics here at Columbia. So I have two, three really short questions. So how long do people usually spend in the platform? How many years or how many months are they usually there? What percentage approximately do they already have like a traditional college degree from an in-person University? And finally, is the platform already implemented in Africa? And if the answer is yes, what proportion of the students within the whole platform are coming from that continent? Thank you. Good. Thanks for that. European degree programs is about 12 months. 12 months long. It goes from six to 18 months depending if you’re like full time, part time and depending on the program. Those are degree programs, obviously, you can access free courses. And free courses, I mean, you could spend just like an hour and just leave. So I think your question was more regarding to our programs. Secondly, so the third was on Africa and secondly reminded me just quick, key world. Yeah, right. So 40% on the platform of our students don’t have a high school diploma, okay? Then you have a high school diploma and then you have a bachelor’s and a masters. So a very large proportion of all folks and of all audience is not highly educated, I would say. But it varies obviously from one program to the other because we have from a very entry level kind of associate level on web development up to an executive master’s program at Stanford on digital transformation. Obviously, we’ve got many masters and PhDs on this one, and many more school dropouts, (mumbles), folks on the first one. In Africa, yes, we’re very active actually in Africa, it represents 25% of audience. So we’ve got hundreds of thousands of people there. In French and English speaking Africa. Is very interesting the eagerness to learn is amazing. And you’d be surprised also that for example, we compared deliver of expertise in let’s say qualification and competences of Moroccans students or North African students compared to France and both of our French-speaking countries. In Africa, there are more experts than in France. So there is a huge eagerness, usually they don’t really have access to traditional education nearby or quality education. I mean, it’s harder, the infrastructure is not there for everybody. And they wanna learn. And they wanna get a job or create their own job. Then the challenge is to find a job at the end ’cause there are less formal jobs. So usually the on-ramp is actually building your own venture or creating your own freelancing job. Thanks for the great presentation, my name is Azar Khosravani, and I’m a lecturer at Columbia College. I was wondering if you have any kind of challenges in acquiring mentors and instructors. And if you have any full time instructors, mentors in your company? Yeah. Thanks for that. So OpenClassrooms is a company haven’t even coming in on that. But we’re a company of 200 staff based in Paris, London and New York. We’ve got on top of that, 200 teachers, and on top of that, 1500 mentors and coaches. So those are the different layers. And it’s somewhat challenging to find mentors, but especially on the very specific fields, AI is one of them. Will never be able to pay as much as Google and Facebook on AI. So they come to us to share their knowledge to teach and many of us actually want to teach. How do you get involved with the university and you need to go there every Thursday from three to five and the logistics are not super easy for everybody for personal reasons and professional reasons. Whereas for mentorship, you can just choose how many students you’re gonna mentor. You’re gonna choose the slots, you’re gonna be mentoring in and so on and so forth. So it’s much more flexible. It’s a way to help students get through. But also, I think the experience, so I don’t in school but also I mentor on OpenClassrooms and the mentorship experience is really truly amazing because you take somebody from A to Z, you build a strong human relationship, you know person, her problems, doubts and all of that. And after a couple of months, she gets a degree, she gets a job, like she calls you and tell like you changed my life. And that’s something that is harder to get when you teach to 100 folks in a lecture hall, I would say, And you get it almost every time with the mentor. So can I follow up on a question about the instruction, I’m Fiona Hollins, from teachers college, the school of education across the street. And I’m a researcher there. So I also was interested in who you have doing the instructions. So you say you employ 200 people, what qualifications are you looking for? And what training do you provide for them? And in particular, I’m interested in whether there’s anything you do to prepare the teachers to deal with those students who don’t have a degree already. So you talked about how many community college students don’t even make it through community college. It sounds like some of them are using your platform. So do you do something different pedagogically for those students than those who have a bachelor’s or master’s already? So we have our instructional designers, and then teachers, faculty, mentors, and coaches. And those are different jobs. Mostly we hire industry practitioners or faculty and teachers in the field, within our staff as contractors, depending on which role. Usually creating the content and mentioning it would be on a contraction basis. Then what we would call like the head of tracks, can be equated of a dean, in their staff. We actually because we have so much need internally to train all the pedagogical staff widely. We actually build degree programs on instructional design and in mentorship. So we train mentors through the same product I described. So that’s for the training and the qualifications. And then when it comes to let’s say underserved populations, we have a dedicated initiative within OpenClassrooms, which we call social programs. Are dedicated on school dropouts, job seekers, refugees, veterans, people with disabilities, prisoners and so on and so forth. And then we try to get some more pedagogy to those special needs. And also to work closely with associations, institutions, governments, charities, NGOs, depending on the targets. But, for example, if you think about school dropouts in really underserved areas. We have what we will call pre-apprenticeship programs. It means orientation. It means coaching soft skills, talking to, how do you talk to an employer, we doubled our mentorship sessions or the coaching sessions, so you can get twice a week, and things like that. So you can adapt the product to those needs. But, I think when it comes to social programs, you need to stay really humble, because every situation is unique. And you have so many challenges that are not about the quality of the education and the pedagogy, but need social services. Its personal issues is health issues, family issues. Sometimes we have students saying, “Sorry, I didn’t done the mentorship session “because I don’t have a home anymore.” Which seems like a very good reason not to enter a mentorship session. And this is not something we can fix alone as OpenClassrooms and online platform. Mike, do you have a question to ask? We have some questions there. Hi, thank you. My name is Carrie Ashkenazi, and I’m an administrator in the Faculty Development Center at the business school. And I had a question. You had mentioned that the tech industry is constantly changing, therefore, you’re constantly recycling your course content. Now I was wondering how you produce the content in your courses so that you can minimize what needs to be redone every year. Good question. There are some tricks, but obviously it’s at some points you need to just throw it kinda away and redo it. But some tricks are, you can identify the paths that are very likely to change in the future. So a good example would be mobile development, software engineering on your iPhone. Every 18 to 24 months, Apple comes up with a new iOS version. Even the programming language sometimes just changes like completely. You kinda identify that. So, like very easy to understand examples could be, okay, you have kind of a step-by-step approach to set up your software, then those screenshots are very likely to evolve over time because with the new version, like the look and feel will be different. If you put them in a video, it’s gonna be hard to maintain, ’cause you’re gonna have to re-shoot your video, post-production, editing blah blah blah and it’s costly. Maybe you wanna talk in the video and explain a bit the setup process and then in the text and with screenshots and images below, explain the paths that are very likely to change. So you can easily maintain that part. So, a few tricks like that. Then we fully automated also was studios and the editing process. So basically all like the lighting effects and cameras and the editing, like somewhat automated. I’m not an expert in the field to be honest, but basically they just push on a button and she sure is there. They know the time codes and then they ask the software to edit it and then it’s done. (laughs gently) We went from like a couple of years ago, we needed roughly one to two days off video shootings to shoot one course like with the equivalent of one, one course and several weeks of editing. Now we need half a day for our course, and then one day for editing. So that’s automation, we displace to own people into new jobs. I am Matthea Marquart, from the school social works online campus. When I hear accessibility, I automatically think of people with different abilities or recruiting diversity amongst your students. And I wonder as you go to skill, do you have any challenges recruiting various types of the population or addressing special needs? Yeah, there are obviously many angles to the accessory axis. It makes it a bit hard to say, you’re fully accessible because it’s nearly impossible to be fully accessible. But one key for example is towards people with disabilities. You have some standoffs for your website for your platform. WCAG standoffs, you can have like, no compliance, like, A, compliance, double A compliance tripple A compliance. Where a double A level for example, which is already very high, like less than 0.1% websites are compliant at that level and it means you can be blind or deaf or whatever and use special tools and still browse through the website. So that’s fine. But there are many other types of disabilities like autism, for example. We’re building a project to adapt the pedagogy for people on the spectrum of autism. And, it’s many, many different, again, like every case is unique. Then this whole thing like finding diverse audiences, obviously comes with the customization of your platform. And so I would say, school dropouts, we tend to be fairly good because OpenClassrooms is a college but yet not ready. It’s like you don’t have the same relationship and many of the people who study on OpenClassrooms did have a fairly bad experience when it comes to dealing with school and studies, I would say. So that is fine. I would say it’s a bit harder when it comes to older folks. So if you’re like 55, 60 and your job is being kind of replaced by robot, it’s really hard if you work in this job for 30 years to start saying, okay, I was a truck driver for 30 years and I’m gonna stop coding on an online platform. It’s a huge gap. And it’s not just about the hard skills or the digital skills, a lot of it can be dealt through like coaching and it’s more in the growth mindset and like psychologically basically, but now is really hard work to address to be honest that at upskill. It has to be done on a interval basis. So, this is one example, I think, we will still need to find ways to deal with upskill. Deal with it, let’s go on. We have a question in the back? My name is Kate Dunham, and I teach in the architecture program. First I just wanted to say how pleased I am to learn about an apprenticeship system for learning. And that comes from two things from raising my own sons, one who left home at 16 to start his own tech company, but I can see in them how eager they are to just start working and to learn from working in this country. With all my research, I could never find any opportunities for people that young to just have their education from apprenticeship. And then building on that I volunteer at an organization for high school kids that stays with the kids through high school, tutoring them, guaranteeing that they’ll get into college and these are students that usually wouldn’t. And then they stay with them through college to guarantee that they’ll get a job after college. And I’m very curious if your program is something that they should know about? But I guess what would be key is how does a young or a teenager… Like they wouldn’t be able to pay any tuition to be in a program like that. But I think it would be wonderful for them to have an option other than the usual College track. And they’re bright and they’re young and eager and all those things. So that. Yeah, it’s a good point. I think the key is to apply for scholarship and entrepreneurship program in which they could have access to everything you just described. But the tuition fees will be covered by their future employer or a charity or government. Right, yeah. So my name is (mumbles) And I just finished my PhD at Columbia at the French department. I had a question concerning the the business models you’ve been using. So you said that you started doing B2C and then adding B2B to your business model. And I would like to know how these addition change maybe your vision of the B2C model. Are you thinking above all, because there’s a difference between I think, I don’t know if you mentioned it, but in OpenClassrooms there’s a difference between the paths and the courses. And I think that’s interesting because you define the path you create, in some ways, a certain definition of what a drug is. And I think it’s interesting to kind of see how you can change the definition of for instance, what is a data scientist today versus what it’s gonna be in three years, maybe, with these difference between like the skills you offer and the paths you, yeah. So, basically we start always from the impersonates, meaning we analyze the market, we analyze strip postings, we describe the job in terms of competencies and in a very structured way and we update that constantly because jobs are changing. And then we designed a curriculum based on this set of competencies and projects out there to assess those competencies. And courses are there. So you can gain the competencies to complete your projects. So this is the way we design things. And for us, we need both B2C and B2B. B2C is fairly obvious because of the mission, to make education accessible, it’s all about the student. But then after, when we’re talking about job placements and jobs, to get a job, you need an employer, somehow. So we need both sides. And it’s interesting that actually all revenue streams are well balanced across the two different sides and they feed each other. So B2C means that we have actually employees from a company and they’re all on OpenClassrooms, as students and at some point when there are many of them, some way it finds its way through HR. And at some point they’re gonna buy vocational training programs to OpenClassrooms. So the usage helps driving more contracts in B2B. And then the other way around, when you have Capgemini running apprenticeship programs, they wanna hire folks. And to hire folks you need folks. So you need actual students on the platform and the way to reach out to students so they can apply to this job opportunity. So you need both. Another example is also on education as a benefit to make it very compelling, very attractive, it has to be a B2C brand that speaks to your employees. It’s more compelling to say, “I’m gonna pay for your Columbia degree, “than for your XYZ University.” So the brand has some way, all right? When it comes to B2B. So maybe we can actually come to close to the end of this conversation. I’ll finish with two questions. First one is, what are your immediate plans to expand in the US and other countries? And the last question being, where do you see the online education and teaching learning the next five to 10 years? Broad question. Wow (laughs gently) You said it would be easy questions. (laughs gently) So in terms of the US expansion, so we started in US like two years ago, more from the B2B angle, especially working closely with tech companies. So we work like I mentioned, with like Google and Amazon and Salesforce and Microsoft and so on and so forth. We’re getting into financial services, banks and insurance companies, and especially as they are facing huge organizational challenges right now, with their jobs and competencies and jobs, I mean displays and so on and so forth. We’re also working on the accreditation, which is big piece of work (laughs) I would say. But we’re, let’s say, well advanced, but still it’s a lot of work. We also create University partnerships to design in a journey matter, new programs. So I mentioned one with Stanford for example earlier. So this is all strategy. I think B2C is a bit tricky in US, because you need licensure in pretty much every state you have students in, almost, then you need to do accreditation, takes four to nine years, like I said. And roughly five years, if you’re trying to get regional accreditation. So we’re here for the long term, and it’s a bit long (laughs). And for the future of education, it’s a tough one. And by the way, regarding the US, and it’s probably to the last question as well. We focused a lot on re-skilling and apprenticeship because we think those two angles are actually fairly innovative in the space and really bubbling up in the US. We’re part of a creation of employers in the US called CTA. With employers kind of paving the way for others, on apprenticeship. And apprenticeship becoming not only about trade jobs and blue-collar workers, but really about bachelor’s and master’s degrees in tech jobs. So IBM, for example, is one of those employers and they’re really leading the way when it comes to those on-ramps programs that were actually working on this in the US. And yeah, it’s a nice transition to the last question. I do think that, especially in the US, I hope and I believe that apprenticeship and on-ramps and kind of blending higher education with more career oriented programs will be a way to solve the time shortage and like the huge $1.5 trillion students debt, which I mean, is going to blow one day or the other. So I think I’m very helpful. And just to give you some numbers, in US there are half a million apprentices in the country right now. In every European country there are between half a million to 1 million apprentices at the same time. And the population of Europe and US to simplify would be equivalent. US is even bigger. So you can feel that the number of apprentices could be way out. So we think it would be actually something I would hope for, for the country in in five to 10 years. Thank you so much for being with us this afternoon. Thank you for a insightful conversation. And hopefully we’ll be following you and maybe have you come back again in a few years to tell us about about the journey. Please join me in and thank you. (audience clapping) Thank you. Thank you.