Adjacent Academies

Adjacent Academies Raises $2.1M to Launch Study Away for Tech Industry Careers

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Liberal arts students can earn college credit through hands-on learning from experts in Silicon Valley

“It is important that students wrestle with the fact that technical tools aren’t neutral; they inevitably reflect the assumptions and values of their makers and cultural context.” Adjacent Academies, which enables liberal arts students to earn college credit while building in-demand tech skills, announced the close of $2.1 million seed round led by Rethink Education with additional participation by New Ground Ventures and Entangled Group. The program was built after the success of a 2019 pilot, which enrolled students from the top-ranked liberal arts college, Davidson College along with four other colleges.

AACU research shows that employers place a high value on skills closely associated with the liberal arts: a recent analysis found that out of 36 million job postings in 2018. The most seen after skills from employers included leadership, innovation, and problem-solving. While the graduates of traditional liberal arts programs observe significant economic returns over the long term, they risk underemployment early in their careers without certain added skills. These graduates have the potential to close the gap with their STEM peers by adding new skills and experiences that position them for the most in-demand tech fields.

“The liberal arts emphasis on exploring topics from multiple perspectives allows students in this program to learn technical skills while they explore ethical complexities within technology today.” – Shireen Campbell, Professor, and Chair of Davidson’s English department

Learning from experts in Silicon Valley

New students who want to enroll in Adjacent’s programs have the opportunity to participate in immersive, credit-bearing courses. The opportunity will let students gain not just the technical competency in skills such as JavaScript, but actively integrate and refine other valuable skills such as communication and teamwork and the crucial ability to consider ethics and values while designing technologies.

Adjacent Academies, launched in 2019 under the leadership of former Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation staffer Anh Nguyen, with program’s uniqueness presence in Silicon Valley enables the incorporation of regular visits to tech start-ups and other established companies across an array of industries.

We have to move beyond this false choice between the vast potential of the liberal arts, and the skills and know-how that the labor market is asking for today,” said Anh Nguyen, CEO of Adjacent Academies. “This is not about replacing traditional higher education, but instead enhancing it. It’s about providing students with a springboard into their careers, and the tools to navigate, — and adapt — during periods of unprecedented change.”



The Educational landscape is changing dynamically. The new generation of students thus faces the daunting task to choose an institution that would guide them towards a lucrative career.

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