Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs, is launching a new online tech education platform he’s calling Woz U, which is designed to promote technology jobs and the skills required to enter the industry. Over time, Wozniak hopes to expand the initiative to include as many as 30 physical locations around the world and courses on everything from software engineering and information technology to mobile app development and cybersecurity, among others. It’s unclear whether courses will be offered for free, or whether Woz U plans on charging for any element of the online education platform. The website does not say.
Woz U also offers access to tech companies interested in using the tools and resources provided to recruit and train employees. The platform will be available to students K-12 through partnerships with school districts too. Down the line, Woz U wants to offer one-on-one instruction to students and, later on, to offer its own accelerator program for prospective startup founders. The overall goal is to increase interest in what Woz U calls STEAM careers, or science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, with the addition of arts presumably a nod to Wozniak’s role at Apple and fellow co-founder Steve Jobs’ lifelong mission to blend technology with the humanities.
“Our goal is to educate and train people in employable digital skills without putting them into years of debt,” Wozniak said in a statement. “People often are afraid to choose a technology-based career because they think they can’t do it. I know they can, and I want to show them how. My entire life I have worked to build, develop, and create a better world through technology and I have always respected education. Now is the time for Woz U, and we are only getting started.”
There are no pricing details on any of the existing or planned features. There is, however, already a mobile app out with some introductory courses, and you can also “enroll” in Woz U starting today, though it’s unclear what exactly that entails beyond submitting a few bits of personal contact information. The whole enterprise seems polished enough, although it should be noted though that Woz U’s initial partner is the for-profit Southern Careers Institute, based out of Austin, Texas. So don’t expect everything in Woz U to be free.