Pursuit announces the closing of a $10 million fund to launch a self-sustaining job training programme.


More people than ever desire to get out of a low-paying job, yet resigning to pursue a new career is a dangerous prospect. Pursuit has received $10 million for a promising and potentially self-sustaining new model for teaching new IT employees, in which students only pay when they get a job.

The employment market is odd right now. There are a lot of available opportunities, but workers are holding out, demanding fair pay and acceptable working conditions, and many tech jobs won’t even consider an applicant without a relevant degree.

According to Pursuit creator Jukay Hsu, there are job training programmes out there, but they not only cost a lot of money up front, but their support also expires when the lessons are completed. And, while charity in this field is generous in certain respects, it is just insufficient to address the magnitude of the problem.

“Having the expertise is crucial but not sufficient for getting employed,” Hsu added. You can be intelligent, smart, and capable, but structural impediments still exist. You won’t even get an interview if you don’t have a degree. ” (And, he added, the interview isn’t going to be much more fair.)

Managers on the hiring side are keen to fill openings but are afraid to take a chance on an applicant who lacks a degree or relevant work experience. However, as Hsu pointed out, entry-level roles are rarely skill-limited; instead, you’ll need someone who is familiar with the tools and willing to learn on the job.

On both sides of the market, risk management is missing: job searchers don’t want to go into debt for training that may or may not lead to employment, and businesses don’t want to take a chance on someone who doesn’t meet their (not necessarily relevant) qualifications.

Pursuit is developing a job training paradigm that addresses both of these concerns. On the job seeker side, learners with low or no income can receive free training and support until they land a job paying more than $50,000, at which point they can negotiate payment. This takes the form of four years of payments ranging from 5 to 15% of the new job’s earnings.

To be fair, that’s a sizable fee, and there’s something deeply repulsive about the thought of raising someone up and then slicing a piece of their success. However, the idea is that the worker would make far more at the new job to begin with, and would still have more after these payments.

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