While working on his MBA at Wharton, Jake Schwartz came to the conclusion that business school sucks time, money, and prime working years out of its students. So in 2011, Schwartz and his three cofounders took a new approach to higher education. They opened a learning center in New York City to teach the skills that businesses need at that very moment, like digital marketing, mobile development, and data science. "We wanted something with a value proposition of grad school, but with a much higher return on investment and more relevant to the 21st-century economy," says Schwartz. Since launch, General Assembly has helped 50,000 people retool their skill set. General Assembly also partnered with Per Scholas—a program that trains job seekers for specific tech positions—in 2017, thereby expanding its reach beyond college-educated students. In 2018, it introduced an income share program, Catalyst, which allows students to take three of General Assembly’s immersive courses and pay back their tuition after getting a job that pays at least $40,000.