General Assembly: Education for the 21st Century

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What is deemed to be the conventional education route may not be for everyone, and adults are following a growing number of alternative paths. General Assembly is the latest innovation, bridging the gap for those seeking a convenient yet challenging way to continue their education and thrive in booming industries.

The school, which launched in 2011, specializes in the fields of business, technology and design. Headquartered in New York City, General Assembly has fourteen different campuses spread across four continents, including a Washington, D.C., location at 1133 15th St. NW.

“There’s a major gap when people graduate with really interesting degrees but without the course skillset to enter the professional workforce,” said Paul Gleger, regional director of the D.C. campus.

General Assembly provides several programs to help students at all levels acquire a greater knowledge of the skills necessary to succeed in today’s world. Whether it be through full-time or part-time courses, topic-specific workshop sessions or special events, a General Assembly education creates a modern learning experience around the skills for advancing one’s career.

“It’s 100 percent hands-on,” said Gleger of the teaching method. “The lecture component is very minimal.”

For those without convenient access to a classroom, General Assembly’s online programs offer the same invaluable training, allowing students to take away an understanding of topics such as marketing, financial modeling and computer design.

As for kickstarting a new career, there is a global network of organizations — Apple, Buzzfeed, Google and Spotify to name a few — that have hired alumni and continue to look for graduates. According to General Assembly, 99 percent of graduates from its Immersive programs — 8-to-12-week, full-time programs focusing on web development, user experience design and product management — are hired within six months of graduation.

Beyond classes, the campuses hold information sessions and events that cater to many interests. “Any given night, there could be seven different events going on,” Gleger noted. “There’s a lot of opportunities.”

General Assembly is a 21st-century creation that focuses on just that: the 21st century. With constant technological evolution, General Assembly is prepared to adapt and expand its course offerings to provide the vital skills that the professionals of today and tomorrow require. Summing up the school’s philosophy, Gleger said: “It’s all about understanding and analyzing the demand for certain skills. It’s very market-driven.”

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