Vision

NCLab envisions a world in which everyone who wants to grow in their careers can do so.

Mission

NCLab’s mission is to locate individuals with the right attributes to be successful and to provide them with the Knowledge, Practical Experience, Competency, and Confidence to grow in their careers.

Strategy

NCLab partners with Colleges and Universities, Workforce Development Initiatives, and Employers to make its learn-by-doing career training programs available.

10 Years Of History

In 2010, Dr. Pavel Solin, UNR (University of Nevada, Reno) Professor of Computational and Applied Math, reached out to K-12 schools in rural Nevada to help them prepare students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). When visiting these schools, he noticed that most of them lacked qualified STEM instructors. Therefore he built a learn-by-doing training platform and overlaid introductory visual Computer Programming and 3D Modeling courses on top of the platform as his first products.

These courses worked differently than the usual video-based online courses (Khan Academy, Coursera, Lynda.com, …) which Dr. Solin found to be ineffective. In contrast to that, NClab students actively engaged 100% of the time, learning through short tutorials and examples, and then immediately putting what they had learned to practical use, solving problems, and receiving instant feedback from the platform.

In summary:

  • Students learned advanced STEM skills without the need for the instructors to be subject-matter experts;
  • Students learned at their own pace, actively, by doing rather than by watching videos, and the platform instantly checked their work and provided feedback and help as needed;
  • Students had to demonstrate mastery of each concept before moving to the next one (we call this “verified learning”);
  • The instructors’ dashboard was updated in real time with each student’s progress, so that they could be efficiently guided and supported.

Schools and libraries across Nevada implemented NCLab’s STEM training. Schools in other states and countries followed.

In 2017, NCLab Data Analytics and Python Development career training programs were commissioned by the Nevada Governor’s office to address the staffing needs of employers in Nevada. The resulting programs are now offered at all Nevada community colleges, at the University of Nevada, and at colleges outside of Nevada.

NCLab’s Learn-By-Doing career training programs are unique in the way they provide trainees with the Practical Experience that they need to qualify for Data Analyst and Python Developer jobs. After all, well over 95% of all those job openings require Practical Experience.

In NCLab programs, short bite-sized lessons are followed by immediate self-assessment exercises, which ensure that trainees gain experience and confidence with each new concept before moving on. NCLab courses can only accomplish these tasks because they have taken thousands of hours to build and because they are presented through a powerful learn-by-doing platform.

Instructional personnel oversee and assist trainees through their learning process, and when trainees complete their training, they have in hand an official College Career Certificate and a professional portfolio to demonstrate their qualifications to potential employers.

Our surveys show conclusively that trainees love this way of learning. Success is assured if trainees are willing to put in the effort to do the required work.

The career training programs have been constantly developed and improved since 2017, based on the feedback provided by the trainees and institutions NCLab works with.

We are not aware of any other Data Analyst or Python Developer career training program that offers this kind of learn-by-doing approach.