BOSTON — March 19, 2021 — Penn Foster today announced its acquisition of Sokanu (“So Can You”), creator of the popular CareerExplorer platform used by more than 10 million people annually to match to and evaluate career paths. This unique pairing will further Penn Foster’s mission of putting middle-skill workers on a path to economic mobility by combining actionable labor market intelligence with high-quality, workforce-relevant courses and programs.
“Too often, workers lack access to the information that can help them make informed judgments about the ways in which their existing skills and interests align with the needs of employers and the demands of a rapidly shifting labor market,” said Frank Britt, Chief Executive Officer of Penn Foster. “This partnership is not only about empowering individuals with data that can help them make better-informed decisions — it’s also about using data to tune our education and training offerings to meet the diverse needs of working learners.”
According to the National Skills Coalition, while middle-skill jobs make up the majority of the U.S. labor market, just 43% of workers are currently trained to the middle-skill level. This acquisition, Penn Foster’s first since securing an investment led by BayPine and Two Sigma Impact earlier this year, reflects the company’s ongoing commitment to the application of data science to workforce impact. Using cutting-edge data science, machine learning and real-time updating content about 1000+ careers and degrees, CareerExplorer blends sophisticated assessment tools, matching algorithms and the world’s most comprehensive career encyclopedia to help people find their paths to career fulfillment and success.
“Career and education decisions are some of the most consequential decisions people make, and data has a critical role to play in guiding people of all backgrounds through these crucial life decisions,” said Spencer Thompson, founder of Sokanu. “This work is about applying labor market insights, personal assessment, and data drawn from millions of workers’ own experiences to design education and training programs that reflect people’s complex selves and the needs of a dynamic economy.”
Penn Foster helps more than 300,000 working learners each year pursue the skills that can help them thrive in middle-skill careers. In addition to offering accredited programs and certificates in fields ranging from healthcare to skilled trades, Penn Foster partners with major employers, public workforce agencies, and community-based organizations, including Lowe’s and Walmart, to provide high school diploma and career training courses that are often on-ramps to higher-wage roles.
Founded in 2012, Sokanu is the world’s most comprehensive source of career data and information. In addition to its assessment and matching tools, the platform includes more than 1,000 occupation and degree profiles, up-to-date labor market data, how-to guides, and expert interviews focused on helping millions find, work toward, and achieve their ideal careers.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
About Penn Foster
Penn Foster is bridging the gap between education and economic opportunity to build tomorrow’s workforce. We partner with employers, education and workforce organizations, and local community groups to design and deliver digital and blended learning programs that attract, upskill, and retain workers in America’s fastest-growing fields and professions. With more than 40,000 graduates each year, Penn Foster helps individuals discover pathways to opportunity through accredited diploma, certificate and degree programs that matter in the world of work. For more information, visit https://www.pennfoster.edu.
About CareerExplorer by Sokanu
Sokanu is the Internet’s largest career advancement platform. Through its suite of career-focused products and services, Sokanu provides complete career support to over 10 million people per year. CareerExplorer by Sokanu is the world’s most widely-used career assessment, blending psychometrics and machine learning to help millions of people understand how their personal traits, talents, interests, and values align with nearly 1,000 different careers. It also offers the most comprehensive source of career information and data on the market. The CareerExplorer membership program provides additional services and benefits designed to help career seekers and changers advance toward their career goals.