The year 2018 may very well become a pivotal point in explaining how new technologies rapidly reshaped the labor market. Early data from Burning Glass Labor Insights shows that the number of open roles requiring coding skills jumped more than 30% nationally this past year, compared to just 6% growth the year prior. In some cities like St. Louis, Charlotte, and Houston, demand for programmers skyrocketed by over 50%. These sharp accelerations in demand are just the latest signs that cities—and the institutions that both support and rely on them—need to get smarter about creating stronger local workforces that can both withstand the shocks and capture the gains of the 21st-century economy.
As we get ready to close the chapter on the year, I’ve found myself reflecting on Trilogy’s early days as a company and our belief that collaborative partnerships could begin to chip away at these rapidly growing skills gaps. None of us could have predicted the incredible ecosystem of partners, employers, and alumni that would emerge from those early efforts. In 2018, we grew the Trilogy network to 41 universities globally, marked 900 classes, 500 community tech events, and 2 million data points, and celebrated thousands of new graduates of our partner programs. The reason why is simple. To paraphrase the great Steve Van Zandt, we’re stronger together than we ever could be apart.
From UC Berkeley to UCF, our university partners operate in vastly different cities, with different student bodies, different histories, different strengths and different challenges. But one thing unites them: their commitment to look beyond the walls of their institutions and embrace their unique role as accelerators for their local communities and economies. Trilogy’s purpose is to give these institutions the platform, technology, and network to turn that desire into impact for the thousands of working adults looking for a pathway to a meaningful tech career.
When we talk about both the responsibility of universities to their communities and the multiplier effect of public-private partnerships, one trailblazing figure in particular comes to mind: Dr. Judith Rodin. That is why I am both excited and humbled to announce that Judith is joining Trilogy Education as the newest member of our board of directors. As the president of the University of Pennsylvania and The Rockefeller Foundation for over 23 years, Judith set a powerful example for the academic and philanthropic community about how to break down silos to accomplish an outsized impact and achieve unprecedented growth. Her work revitalizing West Philadelphia during her tenure at Penn is an inspiring lesson for any of us working to create stronger cities through the power of education. Moreover, she has served as a board member for leading corporations including Aetna, Citigroup, Laureate Education, Inc. and Comcast NBCUniversal, and has deservedly been named one of Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women.
Judith is someone who cares deeply about increasing access to opportunity. She has an unrivaled depth of experience, has tackled some of the most pressing global issues, and believes that what is good for the world is good for business. Judith’s guidance will be vital in our ability to architect programs that leverage the full infrastructure and capabilities of universities to offer even more to non-traditional students. I speak for the entire board when I say that we are tremendously excited to have her join us as Trilogy Education enters its next phase of growth.