How does your resume stand out from the dozens of other applicants with degrees in today's competitive job market?
Be it BBA, BSc or BA, we rarely get the opportunity to explore outside of our respective programs in the years-long race to graduation.
While a business student may want to dig deeper into the world of coding, website development, animation, video editing or even data science - such courses are not offered in the university program.
Be that as it may, a resume with a bachelor's degree with an additional skill-set will surely grab a recruiter's attention, raising the odds for the applicant in getting the appointment letter.
Besides, many other factors influence an employer's decision-making process while recruiting an employee; even a simple aspect like the file name of your resume or curriculum vitae - can turn the table towards or away from you.
To bridge the gap between job seekers and skill-sets, in January 2020, Interactive Cares—a one-stop virtual ed-tech platform dedicated to reducing unemployment by empowering learners with professional skills development courses, masterclasses and career paths—was launched.
Over the past 21 months, 45 courses offered by this ed-tech start-up have been catering to more than 35,000 people.
In a recent interview with The Business Standard, Interactive Cares' CEO and founder, Rare Al Samir talked about his idea behind the platform and the services it offers at the moment.
TBS: What services do Interactive Cares offer and what are the ones particularly high in demand?
Rare Al Samir: We are currently offering courses that fall under various categories, however, our top priority is to help learners develop their technical skills. Besides, we are also focusing on aiding clients with higher studies, recruitment exams and freelancing skills.
Interactive Cares has a pool of 200 instructors, known to be maestros in their respective fields, hand-picked by the platform. Based on the market demand and learners' needs, instructors and experts at Interactive Cares prepare course outlines that best serve the purpose - equipping people with skills deemed necessary.
As of now, full-stack web development, programming language-based courses - Python, higher-study based courses like IELTS and GRE have very high demand.
TBS: What are Interactive Cares' career path courses and how much do they cost?
Samir: The prices of courses being offered on the platform start at Tk500 and go as high as Tk5000 for career paths.
Based on any particular skill, this start-up offers a six-month robust curriculum consisting of 80-100 online classes along with pre-recorded lectures. Participants are given hands-on projects every week to assess their progress.
Learners can use the projects as a part of their portfolios as well. We forward the resumes of learners who perform well to affiliated companies where they may get an internship or full-time employment opportunities.
Interactive Cares is currently offering three career paths - full-stack web development, digital marketing, and higher study abroad for masters or PhD candidates. So far, over 1,000 people have attended this start-up's career path courses.
TBS: While the ed-tech platform has been catering to mainstream demand, it has also created avenues to assist people seeking defence jobs. It is the only virtual platform that is offering an Inter-Services Selection Board (ISSB) preparation course. What is the significance of this course?
Samir: I would say this course is unconventional because most people do not know much about ISSB until they take part in it. Even if you search on YouTube, you will not find any content that can aid in your ISSB training.
Around 100,000 – 200,000 people apply for ISSB every year out of which only 300 – 400 are selected and not all of them can become officers. This course is very rare, however, there are a few coaching centres that offer offline ISSB preparation courses.
This course is priced at Tk800 and consists of 50 lessons including interactive sessions. It is being conducted by a retired army officer who has been training ISSB candidates for the past eight years.
TBS: How are instructors being benefitted, and why should instructors work with Interactive Cares?
Samir: Interactive Cares works on a commission basis with instructors; they get royalties on the courses. The commission varies from one course to the other and from instructor to instructor as well. Besides, in some cases, the platform also settles for a one-time fixed payment based on the instructors' demands.
Compared to the traditional fees being offered by educational institutions, we can definitely say that instructors are generating more revenues here than via offline classes due to passive income. Based on our data and calculations, the lifetime revenue from any course will exceed Tk10 lakh.
TBS: What has been the impact of the pandemic on the platform? What are the future plans for Interactive Cares?
Samir: Since Interactive Cares began its journey in January 2020, the platform has generated around Tk1 crore in revenue, however, it was not until November 2020 when the start-up began scaling rapidly.
The market was not ready before the pandemic; people began accepting e-learning soon after they were stuck at home. The response rate increased by 5-10 times after the pandemic.
So far, this ed-tech start-up has raised funds from private investors. It was also the winner of BYLC Ventures' virtual boot camp - 'Cohort 3' and one of the winners of Entrepreneurship World Cup's Bangladesh chapter. Interactive Cares is currently looking to raise funds by December this year.
The fund will be used to introduce a B2B service model for Bangladesh's education sector. We also want to collaborate with educational institutes and introduce online certification programs and pave a pathway for participants to secure jobs as well.