As you've read in the first chapter, OpenClassrooms aims to make education accessible by helping people find jobs and remain employable. We're what some people call an EdTech company: we work in education with the help of technology.
OpenClassrooms' "elevator pitch"
You already know why we exist. Let's talk about what we do.
OpenClassrooms offers an education experience that will lead you to a job. It could be a new job if you're looking to change your path, or it could be an evolution of your current job.
On OpenClassrooms, you'll find more than a 1,000 courses. Each course is free of charge. You can become a Premium member if you want to view more videos every week, download offline material (videos, eBooks) and get course certificates.
More than 3 million people come to learn at OpenClassrooms every month. To help them navigate between these courses, we have created paths. They are designed to give you the skills that you'll need for a specific job (for example, "Web Developer"). A path combines:
A dedicated mentor
A community discussion space
You can get a recognized degree 100% online by following a path. This helps you get a job or continue your education in a real life (IRL) school if you want to!
Our paths are designed to be accessible for as many people as possible. We do not require a previous diploma (unless law obliges us to), you can start whenever you want throughout the year, take a break and work your way through the course quickly or slowly depending on the free time you have.
In fact, most people aim to get a degree on OpenClassrooms in just one year, when they'd otherwise be spending around three years! The price they pay is also much lower: ~3,600€, compared to the 20,000 to 30,000€ you'd usually spend to get the same degree.
Education quality is paramount
Seriously. Online education doesn't have to feel "cheap".
We all had great and not-so-great teachers at school. We think that we have a responsibility not to just repeat what is done in the physical world (IRL) but to push it further.
It's not only about creating engaging courses in which we "explain things well". Education is an experience. Think about the:
Projects: they need to prepare you for a real job, and help you develop the necessary skills.
Mentors: they have to do an amazing job to help students throughout their learning experience.
Online platform: it has to be fast and reliable.
Customer service: people should be able to contact us easily and get the answer they need quickly (we also check with them frequently to see if everything is going well).
It's easy to rely on early success and forget that education quality is paramount. We need to challenge ourselves constantly. How can we do better? We need to be proud of what we deliver.
Remember: every time that someone accepts lower quality, thinking it's "not so bad after all", a kitten dies. 🙀
It might not hurt that much immediately, but in the long run it'll hurt everyone including students, companies hiring them, and ultimately ourselves. Only "trying" to do our best is not an option.
We welcome everyone
Because we want to make Education accessible, we welcome everyone at OpenClassrooms.
Whether you want to join the company or just follow a course, we want you to feel at ease. This includes (and is not limited to) ethnic, religious and sexual minorities. We truly believe that having a diverse workforce will help us to achieve our mission more easily.
A team is in charge of diversity at OpenClassrooms. They observe how we behave as a company and what messages are sent through our courses, to make sure we stick to this commitment. If they see or hear something that we could do better, they act to make sure we remain open for everyone.
What it means to be a startup
People say OpenClassrooms is a startup. Why?
Because it's a small company? Well... we're currently more than 100 people and counting.
Because it's a new company? Not really, everything started back in 1999! More on this in the next chapter.
Because there are a lot of young people? Maybe, the average age is 30. Then again, we value diversity - you'll also see several people who are 50+, whilst others are still at school.
Because we use technology a lot? Probably. We have been using technology since we were young. We like technology, not for the sake of it, but for what it enables us to do. We have a very strong tech stack, but that doesn't mean technology is always the solution to a problem. It's just part of the world we live in.
Because we have a foosball table? Yeah, but don't let this kind of detail fool you, that's just the tip of the iceberg. 😝
These are all valid answers, but over time we've come to the conclusion that a startup is more than these things. It's a company working on its own business model. A company that does not settle.
We have a lot of things to discover and understand. As long as we continue to innovate and try to bring more value to the world while having fun, we think it's fair to say that we're a startup. 🙂