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Low Employment Rates & Skyrocketing Debt -- Are Millennials Set Up to Fail? – New Higher Education Model Touts Apprenticeships As The Solution

Young adults are facing drastically low levels of full-time employment while student loans are poised to hit record highs. A new education model, E[nstitute], has sprung up to challenge the status quo and redefine higher ed through apprenticeships.


NEW YORK - Young adults are facing drastically low levels of full-time employment. Bureau of Labor data states that only 48 percent of 18 to 24 year olds in the workforce holds a full time job. A rate that has dropped three times faster over the last five years than that of their older counterparts. This, while student loans are poised to hit record highs, crossing over the $1 trillion mark for the first time in history.
With unemployment levels three to four times higher than the national average, and historic levels of student debt, Millennials are facing an unprecedented uphill battle.
Entrepreneurs Kane Sarhan and Shaila Ittycheria may have the answer — E[nstitute], a new apprenticeship based, higher education model where students learn by doing. Participants graduate, not with mountains of debt, but with a resume that any job seeker would envy.
“We saw a real need to start teaching young adults tangible business skills to maximize their expected value” says Sarhan. “The E[nstitute] fellows will leave the program with no debt, and more skills than peers graduating from traditional four-year universities.”
A two-year program, E[nstitute] pairs students with fast-growing, notable startups where they work side-by-side with the company founders, under a “learn by doing” philosophy.  Startups include notable companies such as Thrillist, Warby Parker, Clickable and to name a few.
“We strongly believe in creating a long-lasting, entrepreneurial economy, so we’re really excited to pass on some of our learnings,” says Reece Pacheco, CEO of, one of the startups participating in the program. “We’re excited to have an apprentice who will literally be by our side, riding the startup roller coaster with us.”
The first class of apprentices will be placed with startups beginning in fall, and applications are due by April 30, 2012. Already the pool of apprentice hopefuls is over 300.
“It will be tough to chose,” says Ittycheria. “We’re shocked and thrilled by all the talent we’re seeing.”
E[nstitute] is working with large corporations as well as smaller companies and startups to ensure that graduates can compete for entry-level positions without the pre-requisite of attending a four-year accredited school and the accompanying debt burden that is attached to attaining that degree.

E[nstitute] is a two-year apprenticeship program, empowering 15 young adults to learn from and work with the top NYC entrepreneurs. E[nstitute] is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation founded by Shaila Ittycheria and Kane Sarhan. More information can be found at


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