As long-time COLLECTIVE clients/pals (we headed up the redesign of their office space)—as well as a critical component of SLC’s robust tech scene—Degreed is a veritable lesson in unique, innovative entrepreneurship. Created to address antiquated conceptions of education, the company holds dear the virtue that given the unprecedented access to information that technological advances have ushered into today’s world, knowledge is as much rooted in Twitter feeds and Time Magazine articles as it is in college lecture halls.
In an effort to address the evolving nature of how we learn, Degreed has built a platform with which individuals and corporations alike can verify and validate any information that is acquired outside of conventional settings, making TED Talk views trackable and time spent listing to podcasts computable. From there, the company offers a certification process that provides users with quantified credentials that reflect any knowledge they might have gained outside the bounds of traditional programs.
Essentially, Degreed has attached a concrete accreditation to the fluid, independent, tech-based approach to education that is becoming increasingly prevalent in contemporary society. Not only is this approach democratizing, it also reflects the dynamism that has been newly injected into the learning process.
We recently sat down with the David Johnson, Degreed’s Creative Director, to chat about the new brand of personalized, pragmatic education that the company is helping to pioneer…
Sum it all up for us, short and sweet-like: what does Degreed do? Our mission is to jailbreak the degree. For the past 5 years, Degreed has been changing the way we all develop our skills and build expertise. Used by millions of learners globally, along with Fortune 500 companies like Airbnb, Mastercard, Tesla, and hundreds more, Degreed’s learning platform lets you build the future you want by gaining the skills you need today. People use Degreed to tap into limitless content, learn the newest in-demand skills, and get their skills certified.
What does the real-life application of that ideology look like for people who use Degreed? People and companies use degreed to develop their expertise, through daily learning, skill development, and skill certification. You can use Degreed to take advantage of everything you’re already learning; by downloading our mobile app you can easily add all the articles, audiobooks, podcasts, and videos you watch to your profile, and Degreed will give you more content along the topics you like to learn about.
Degreed is based in SF, but you’ve decided to make SLC one of your first satellite locations (a sound choice, say we). Tell us a little bit about why you’ve decided to set up shop in this salty city? While San Francisco is where our headquarters are located, Degreed’s largest office is actually Salt Lake City. There’s a lot of unique talent in Salt Lake City, being here makes it easier for us to grow rapidly and hire the best people. We also have investors in Salt Lake and love seeing the startup community grow in Utah.
Break it down for us—what are some of Degreed's key values? What’s the underlying philosophy of who you are as a company? Our principles are as follows: Balance, Moderately Flat, Equality, Empathy, Flexibility, Dedication, Family, Excellence, Candor & Coachability, Transparency, Learning, & if it ends it ends.
Let's chat about the design of the Degreed space (which, as you know, we had a little somethin’ to do with). Are there any particular aspects of the space that still have you all enamored? Were there any unique challenges that you faced in designing the office? We had specific challenges with this space that we had to solve that were beyond our abilities. Because it was formerly a very open warehouse atmosphere it was very loud and open with little private meeting space.Specifically we had to solve for the noise pollution, and the need for additional rooms to hold meetings in. Our favorite feature is probably the custom bleachers that serve us during company-wide meetings once a week.