Lambda School Graduates its First Class
Lambda School announces partnership with Shift to make careers in tech more accessible to veterans.

Jackee Rohrich came to Lambda School in early 2018.  An Army veteran who had been injured in training, she was looking for a new way to provide for her young children. Both of her children are on the Autism spectrum, and their unique needs became her primary motivation during the  intensive 9 month Lambda School program. Jackee graduated from Lambda School in September 2018, and she now works in software development at Prominent Technology in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Tyler Sanford is another similarly incredible veteran and Lambda School alum. During his time in the military, Tyler sustained a back injury and as a result, needed a new career that didn’t require the type of hard, manual labor he was used to. He worked as a DoorDash delivery person and as an Uber driver while attending Lambda, and he now earns a six-figure salary as a full-stack engineer.

The grit and determination of these students drives me to get up in the morning. Their military service has taught them professionalism, teamwork, and discipline that is tough to find anywhere else. 

And yet, despite what many believe, research shows that Veterans struggle to commercialize the skills and experiences they developed in  the military.  Yes, they are getting jobs – according to the U.S Department of Labor, Veteran unemployment is just 3.2%, but it’s the quality and nature of the jobs that‘s the issue. 

Recent LinkedIn data shows that  on  leaving the military and applying for their first civilian role 70% of veterans take a step back in seniority. Veterans with college educations are at least 30% more likely  to be underemployed, meaning the true impact of their potential is being wasted. 

We need to do better. 

That’s why I’m thrilled to announce a new partnership with Shift, an organization that helps veterans transition from active military service to civilian life through on-the-job training. 

This Veteran’s Day, we’re rolling out an all-new program to help veterans learn in-demand skills like coding, data science, mobile development. Lambda School's education programs are not covered by the GI bill, so Shift has launched a philanthropic fund in partnership with EdAid Foundation that helps reduce the cost of these programs up to $10,000. Through the program, vets get the benefits of an income-share agreement – meaning they pay no upfront tuition, and instead pay a portion of their income to Lambda when they land a job after graduation.

“Every day, we meet veterans who are eager to learn the skills they need to break into tech,” said Mike Slagh, Shift’s CEO and a former Bomb Disposal Officer in the Navy. “Cost should never be a barrier for a veteran who is ready and willing to learn the skills that today’s employers need.” 

I agree with him. I know that the risk involved in coming to Lambda school is great, and for our students exiting the military and transitioning into civilian life, it can be difficult to imagine the next step. We hope that this new partnership will allow veterans to get their foot in the door to the tech world and bring their unique skills and experience to make purpose-driven organizations even stronger. 

Every day, I have the opportunity to learn from our students, to hear their stories, and to innovate new ways to make their experience with us the best it can be. It’s an honor to be able to partner with Shift to offer veterans more affordable access to our programs, because I know they will make powerful and necessary additions to the tech workforce.

Sincerely, 

Austen Allred, CEO and Co-founder of Lambda School

About Shift.org 

Shift prepares military talent to thrive in modern companies. We’re a career change platform that translates military experience into tangible skills that employers need, and readies military veterans to apply their service to a new mission. We leverage technology, military expertise and industry insight to help companies tap into the millions of diverse service members who go overlooked in traditional hiring pipelines. 

A few interesting tidbits about Shift: 

• “Shift has cracked the code on military career transitions,” according to the Veterans Experience Office at the Department of Veterans Affairs 

• Ranked one of FastCompany’s Most Innovative Education Companies in 2019 

• Backed by world-class investors like Andreessen Horowitz and Tim Ferriss 

• CEO Mike Slagh was a Bomb Disposal Officer in the Air Force before founding Shift 

About Lambda School 

Lambda School invests in human potential. We are pioneering a new model of higher education in which the school invests in the students – not the other way around. Our mission is to expand access to better incomes by aligning the incentives of the school and the student. We don’t succeed unless they do. 

A few interesting tidbits about Lambda School: 

• Students pay nothing upfront while attending the school, and then pay a portion of their earnings once they land a job in tech 

• Programs include Data Science, Web Development, UX Design, and iOS Development 

• Backed by Y Combinator, and a host of top investors 

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