Why Independent Workers?
"According to a recent SAP and Oxford Economics report, 83% of executives say their companies are increasing their use of contingent workers. Intuit reported that by 2020 40% of American Workers will be freelancers. Another recent report from MBO Partners found that today there are approximately 30 million independent workers and that by 2019 this number will grow to 40 million." (1)
The University of Independent Workers will allow students to prepare for independent work while funding their education through a mandatory work and school co-op program.
The Application Process:
Crash course on independent work
An online introductory course on independent work and the types of careers available to an independent contractor will be available to any prospective students. This free course will be one month in length and will primarily be advertised to students in the last two years of high school.
Application for Submission
Prospective students will complete a project plan for the University as part of their application. The University will have a variety of small projects posted and each prospective student will choose a project in their field and complete a project plan.
Stage 1: General Admission + Project Proposal
Stage 1 will include the submission of their general admission with grades and other material as well as a proposal for a specific project.
Stage 2: Interview
Students with the best applications and project proposals will be selected for interviews.
Stage 3: Project Planning
Those who make it through the interview process will be invited to the project planning stage where they will be provided feedback and enter a re-iterative process to create their plans. Those with well-designed plans will be admitted to the program.
Professional Development Courses
Students will complete professional development courses during which they will learn how to create a compelling application for a project while building a portfolio of their work experience. The core professional development courses will be completed in the first year of university prior to any work terms. Advanced professional development classes will be offered throughout the degree, relating students' experiences in the workforce with the class content.
Classes will be filmed and released online to keep costs low and to allow professionals within the fields to take part in the teaching processes. Experts in their fields will be invited to speak on various topics for the classes. Class videos will be updated as necessary when information becomes outdated or to improve on lecture content.
All classes will have small seminars facilitated by teaching assistants. Students will be encouraged to discuss class content and take on small projects as part of class work. Paid projects will be offered to classes when available.
A pool of prospective employers will be cultivated by the University. Employers will be able to post part time projects on the job board at any time, and will also be able to employ students for 4-month work projects. Employers may also be able to hire students for up to 8 months for special projects. Employers will be offered online courses on mentoring and guiding new workers.
Students will have access to a meet-up group for fellow students and alumni. Through this platform students can create local and online groups to explore their interests with fellow students.
We would work with different levels of government to try to offer employers incentives to hire students. This can include tax breaks and potentially fully funding students for smaller start-ups and non-for-profits.