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Compiled/Written by Murali Kamma Email Compiled/Written by Murali Kamma
May 2014

In this era of disappearing jobs and rising college tuition, only the highly educated— and skilled—can hope to succeed. The knowledge economy is great if you have the right qualifications; if you don’t, it can be brutal.

Enter Enstitute, a nonprofit that seeks to address youth unemployment by reducing the cost of education, but without compromising on quality or relevance. How do they do it? By providing a full-time, paid apprenticeship for one to two years at a company, where you’ll learn on the job and give the employer a chance to evaluate your progress. While such programs have been around, Enstitute also gives an up-to-date emphasis on supplemental online learning and in-person networking. Founded in 2012 by Shaila Ittycheria and Kane Sarhan, New York-based Enstitute had just 11 students initially. Its success attracted more than 700 student applications last year, and almost 1000 firms showed an interest in participation.

Enstitute is expanding geographically, too. After New York and D.C., a new hub is opening in St. Louis soon—and later this year, Boston and Los Angeles will also have hubs. Ittycheria has said that 90 percent of their apprentices end up getting full-time positions, while the rest go back to college for further education. Her experience seems similar to that of the 10 percent, because she did go to college and even got her MBA from Harvard. Sarhan, on the other hand, seems to have preferred entrepreneurship over college from an early age. Ittycheria and Sarhan pooled their savings to start Enstitute, and they managed to raise $300,000 from one investor.

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