SV Academy is an institution created to empower underrepresented jobseekers to forge their path to tech sales. Specifically, it provides a framework to develop the necessary skills and right connections to land a job on the tech industry via tech sales. It was founded by Rahim Fazal and Joel Scott who both never expected themselves to be a prominent figure in tech like they are today. Who would have thought that a guy like Rahim who was fired from his first job in McDonald’s 10 years ago will be a creator of several reputable software companies and a tech CEO today? Even Rahim himself was surprised on his success. Meanwhile, Joel expresses this surprise by saying “if you told me when I was growing up that I’d end up a tech executive in Silicon Valley, I never would have believed you, but here I am.” Joel also shared that the path was not easy and straightforward but in the end “it all led me to co-founding SV Academy, the incarnation of my life’s mission.”
SV Academy is an educational institution that provides training and professional connections necessary to have a career in tech sales. Tech sales, according to their site, is always on demand and a very rewarding career that is crisis-proof. Also, the site mentioned that there is a lot of career path to choose from in tech sales and all of them pay 5-figures salary on the average. Specifically, the site claims that the average starting full-time offer is $79k with an average of $20k bonus at your first tech sales job.
Upon signing up, you will receive a four weeks’ worth of instructor-led live classes and mentorship that you can work at your own pace plus a year of on-the-job coaching. There will be also an access to a “community for life” network composed of diverse, up-and-coming tech professionals. The institution also guarantees to help you ace your job search by connecting you to their tech partners.
There are upfront requirements needed to be met before you can apply to SV Academy. The most important one is you are a U.S. citizen who can legally work in the U.S. and lives within an hour commute of the acceptable metropolitan areas. These areas are as follows: Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Los Angeles, CA; New York City, NY; Phoenix, AZ; San Francisco Bay Area, CA; and Washington, DC. You also need to have a bachelor’s degree from any accredited educational institution, and proficient in spoken and written English. Lastly, you must be able to pass the employer’s background check.
If you met the said requirements, you will be introduced to what they call a “risk free way to pay for your training.” Specifically, the payment options would either be an upfront onetime payment of $10,000 or a 0% interest deferred tuition payment of $100 commitment fee and 18 monthly payment of $555. It is risk free, according to the Academy at least, because you will pay nothing if you are an eligible academy graduate and do not land a job in 6 months (in the upfront payment option, you are then eligible for a refund). Sounds good, right?
Unfortunately, the said payment is far from being risk-free since you need to meet their on-going program requirements. These are very stringent rules you need to follow in accordance with SV Academy standards. If you fail a rule, then you will not be considered an eligible academy graduate and in turn not eligible for the risk-free guarantee. Worst, there are also a lot of events that can void this tuition refund guarantee even if you are an eligible academy graduate. To avoid these events, you also limit your career choices to “SV Academy” approved and not “you” approved. Without the refund guarantee, the course is just an expensive high-risk training.
In summary, this program is not suited for a beginner without prior knowledge about tech sales (worst, even a dedicated individual with tech sales background can easily fail this course). Their risk-free payment is not risk free at all and just a marketing strategy to encourage you to sign up right away without thinking if you can benefit from the program and graduate. You will likely lose your 10 grand since it is very likely that you will fail one of their rules on their lengthy list of in-program requirements or trigger an event that will void a refund. Thus, it is better to find other opportunities that is not tied to a certain place or standard like SV’s. After all, why choose a career path or a business that you lack control?