Partnering with Snap Inc. to connect with the undeniable talent of diverse and untapped tech candidates through upskilling, mentorship, and professional development.
The collaboration between Snap and NSL for the Academies has impacted the lives and careers of hundreds of Scholars, grown in size and reach, and become a centerpiece of Snap’s culture and its social impact and leadership. Over the span of six years, we’ve grown from one Snap Academy to four with 15 Scholars each (60 per year) and graduated over 250 scholars.
667 applications from 26 states in 2023
88% of Scholars identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
500+ Snap Volunteers engaged in 2023
700+ hours of Snap team member’s coaching and mentoring to support Snap Academies scholars along their journey in 2023
15 Instructors and Coaches annually from academic and industry backgrounds
The Snap Design Academy was the first of the Academies to launch in 2018. It was created to inspire future visual and user experience designers to boldly take visual expressions where no other designs have been before.
These projects involve building visually stunning graphics, developing expressive designs that tell a persuasive data-driven story, and having fun designing with Snap features, like Geofilters.
The Snap Software Engineering Academy launched in 2020 to help engineers kickstart their professional journey from coders to confident technologists.
The Snap Storytelling Academy launched in 2021 to humanize the people who interact with products daily from their phones.
This academy’s projects enhance marketing, communications and brand experiences through stories that influence people’s way of thinking through customer experience journeys, data-driven insights about ways people act, and how to amplify voices via pitches.
The Snap Lens Academy launched in 2021 as a nine-week bootcamp that takes beginner developers to the intermediate level.
This academy highlights the intersection of art and technology and the limitless possibilities on how AR can be integrated into our daily lives.
Scholars practice creating memorable and complex interactions with the real world through 2D and 3D art they design, leveraging the AR effects and advanced features of Lens Studio.
Discover how Next Shift Learning developed a curriculum for a single Academy to help community college talent showcase their transferable skills and succeed in entry level tech roles at Snap, Inc. This journey demonstrates NSL’s capabilities to distill skills, mindsets, and tools needed for roles, create compelling curriculum to prepare candidates, and leverage real-world expertise and learner feedback to perfect it.
Candidates without a network or four-year degree face challenges in identifying long-term career paths in a rapidly evolving tech industry. They also question how to advance their skills for job readiness. NSL asked: How can we shift from short-term engagements with community college talent to providing more sustained opportunities for growth and development?
Through qualitative research and mock interviews, we found that many candidates had relevant experiences, such as part-time jobs or hobbies, that were not showcased on their resumes. We needed to help candidates identify and translate transferable skills from one context into another context.
As we uncovered the learner context, we conducted interviews to unpack how to succeed in a junior tech role at Snap. We identified the necessary skills, tasks, mindsets, and tech stack tools and workflows needed to showcase talent. We also found that having a growth mindset culture is crucial for successful tech career transitions.
We used a feedback loop to identify and iterate on fundamental skills needed to get hired and succeed in tech pathways. We created a curriculum wireframe outlining the topics, projects, and desired results for the learning experience. Internal and external stakeholders provided feedback taking into account the learners' backgrounds, motivations, and goals.
We piloted the curriculum and used surveys to gauge effectiveness. Through these methods, we identified learning gaps and rapidly refined the curriculum. We used the discovery, iteration, and measurement process for one academy to replicate and scale for three other Academies.
We designed the Snap Academies using learning science, with real-world, project-based learning to create lasting skills that prepare participants for Day One readiness.
Manager, Global Philanthropy
Snap Academies Applicant, 2023
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