Hyderabad: The lack of practical experience is one of the major issues facing most young professionals on the one hand and industry on the other. This is highly true for technology-specific roles wherein the number of graduates is high but the quality of learning is not on par with the industry standards. To bridge this gap between industry and academia and provide project-based learning courses for students, School of Accelerated Learning (SOAL) was founded by Pratik Agarwal, Raj Desai & Varsha Bhambhani-Kanwal in 2017.
Formerly associated with T-Hub, the four-year-old startup offers two courses currently – product engineering and product design. These courses are offered to individual interested students and are taught by experts from the industry so that students get not only theoretical knowledge but even gain practical experience.
“The focus of our platform is self-learning wherein mostly the first year and second-year engineering students apply for the course during the internship period and gain knowledge on product engineering and/or product design. These students are also provided with on-job training during their course period and post-completion we also offer placement assistance. Not just college students, we have also had a few school students take up our courses and almost 30-40 per cent of our learners are working professionals who want to switch their job profile,” said Varsha Bhambhani, co-founder, SOAL.
The students wishing to apply for these courses have to go through a rigorous selection process and according to Varsha, only 10 per cent of applicants are accepted. The selection process involves different kinds of tests wherein learners are tested for their cognition ability. In terms of certification, the startup seeks to go beyond just certification and provides a mean score on different skills that the learner has gained so that companies can recruit them according to the score achieved.
With a presence in Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Delhi, the startup has over 500 learners out of which 350 are from Hyderabad. Going ahead, it plans to offer courses in Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Internet of Things, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and a few UX and visual design courses. With over $1 million investment so far, the startup is looking to raise another $5-10 million which will be used to launch new courses.
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