Nigeria’s EdTech startup, Zacrac Learning launches its online learning platform to make data science and analytics accessible to a larger audience. Founded in 2019 to bridge the talent gap in the data profession, Zacrac Learning has graduated over 500 data professionals through its physical cohorts, some of whom have gone ahead to land roles with companies or working as freelance data experts.
According to the CEO & Co-Founder, Adewale Adeyemo, “data is the next big thing, and data will power the next industrial revolution, from Fintech, to advertising, agriculture, manufacturing and even the government and NGOs.”
Interestingly, Adewale adds that, “data professionals are really scarce, with the demand astronomically higher than the supply, data related positions take at least 7 days longer to fill compared with most other roles in tech.”
Despite the impressive traction the company had gained from its physical cohort, the founder claimed that the model is not scalable.
“We got to a point in 2019 and realized that no matter the size of our vision or the quality of our curriculum, people can’t come from Kenya, or even Abuja, that was when we started thinking digital”. The outbreak of Covid-19 in late 2019 further validated their hypothesis that the future of learning is digital, prompting the company to fast-track the development of its learning platform and content creation.
Zacrac Alumni from the Data Incubator, 2021
A review of the platform shows a warm interface where users can learn in three ways; Self-paced recorded courses,Virtual live Instructor-Led Programs, and Incubator Programs. Self-paced courses give learners the flexibility to learn at their own pace, at anywhere, and at any time. Adewale says that “the most exciting thing about self-paced courses is that with a one-time purchase, learners have a life-time access to the content”. For learners that prefer to learn live from instructors and network with other learners, the Virtual live Instructor-Led Programs are designed to suit this audience.
Landing interface on www.zacraclearning.com
From the data collected from its alumni and young people interested in starting a career in tech, the company found out that the biggest challenge, apart from skill acquisition, is getting career opportunities such as internships. This insight formed the basis for Zacrac Learning’s career-focused Incubator programs, a 10-month program where learners acquire data science and analytics for the first 7-month and spend the last 3 months at a partner company for internship. Our goal is “not only to help people acquire data skills, but we also want to help them get started on a career path”. With about 60% of youths in Africa unemployed, Adewale believes that talent is the next oil and talent exportation is probably Africa’s only way to a distributed economic prosperity. But this is only possibly through the acquisition of digital skills like data science and analytics. Learning to use tools like Microsoft Excel might be a differentiating factor in landing a job. Zacrac Learning also has Enterprise solutions for companies that are interested in investing in their employees to acquire data skills.
On the next steps forward, Zacrac Learning is looking to acquire more users to their platform and targeting at least 5000 learners across Africa to participate in the career-focused Incubator programs within the next two years. On funding and investment, Adewale says “we are an entirely bootstrapped company and currently seeking the right investors to back us through the next phase of our journey”. On partnership, “we are seeking partnership with stakeholders and service-enablers like telcos to see if they can provide free or subsidized internet access for learners. We are also open to partnership from financial service providers, perhaps they might be able to provide loans to learners interested in the career-focused Incubator programs.” On the product side Adewale says they are working to onboard more instructors and content creators on the platform, and roll out mobile apps to improve the learning experience.