Student Journey of Change

August 22nd, 2017

Awarenes. Knowledge. Preference. Conviction. Action.  These words have been ingrained in my head since my MBA days.  They’ve been the guiding principle as I worked in a variety of roles, across diverse industries, to bring new products to market with the ultimate goal of getting as many people as possible to buy our products.

The theory behind these words are quite simple.  Before someone will take action and actually execute a purchase, they have to go through a marketing funnel. First, they need to be aware of your product.  Second, they need to develop a baseline knowledge of what the product does.  Third, they need to form a preference for your product.  The tipping factor could be anything from price to perceived value to a specific capability.  Finally, the individual gets out the checkbook and makes the final purchase.

At Nextech, we apply these same principles as we think about how to increase the number of high school graduates that pursue a postsecondary path in technology.  Students don’t wake up their senior year in high school or the day after graduation and think to themselves “I’m gonna study computer programming…or QA or product management or any of the other growing universe of tech jobs.”

Working collaboratively with strategically minded employers from the tech industry, K-12 and postsecondary educators, and community organizations, Nextech has developed the Student Journey, a framework for a sequential set of experiences that 1) introduces students to the world of technology, 2) develops a baseline of technical skills in the traditional classroom and 3) provides opportunities for those students with a demonstrated attitude and aptitude for technology to cultivate their passion into a viable post secondary career plan.

As with all systems of change, only time will tell if our efforts are achieving the desired outcomes.  However, based on short-term indicators – both qualitative and quantitative – we feel confident we are laying the foundation to realize broad and lasting impact that will benefit not only today’s students but our entire community for years to come.

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