If you are making a list of sites to watch for upcoming players in the education field, I would suggest adding TechCrunch to it. The blog talks about new web startup companies and over the last year I have noticed a lot of education startups. It make sense to me because the market is so large and the cost to enter it is so low. I imagine the vast majority of these startups will fail but it only takes a few to make a disruptive change in the education market.
I saw a new site recently on TechCrunch called StudentFreelance. The idea is very simple. If a company needs a small job done and it can be done online, they can hire students via the website.
From the article:
Students are the world’s untapped resource. They’re often easy-going, diligent, and they’re excited to learn. Plus they’re inexpensive and mostly responsible. StudentFreelance founder, Michael Talei, see himself as “helping fix America’s unemployment problem.”
“Students graduating today have never been faced with a tougher job market, with StudentFreelance.com students can gain experience and earn an income,” he said. “Businesses love us because they can scale their workforce and hire quality talent.”
It seems like a win for everyone. Students get money and experience. Businesses get a very low cost way to get extra labor but without the cost of hiring someone full time. This goes back to several things I have been talking about over the last few years.
1. Soon people will learn their whole lives. You will never “graduate” because things change so fast. Perhaps we will start working at an early age to match it?
2. Businesses are very wary of hiring more full time workers. Instead they just want to hire people to do specific tasks. This is a fractional labor model and it seems to be a trend.
Oh and the quote above from Mr. Taleo who says he is fixing Americas unemployment problem is completely wrong. By encouraging a fractional work solution like this he is actually destroying the jobs that would have been created to do this work. I’m not passing judgement, as I see this as inevitable. I’m just saying that if he really believe this then he’s hopelessly naive. :)