Education Industries Interview

The EdTech Influencer Series Part 2: Ryan Barba

The EdTech Influencer Series Part 2: Ryan Barba April 13, 2018 3:30 pm
The EdTech Influencer Series Part 2: Ryan Barba

This post is part of our new EdTech Influencer series where we interview the world's leading education experts to get their take on the state of the education industry, the top trends to watch for, and what the future holds.

The following is an interview we recently had with Ryan Barba, Director of Admissions Consulting for Ready4.

1. What’s the history of Ready4? Where and how did you begin?

RB:

  • Born out of the founder Elad Shoushan's own GMAT experience when applying to top US-based business schools from Israel.
  • While prepping for the GMAT exam five times, Elad, a former professional basketball player in Israel with a software engineering degree from the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, created a systematic approach to study for standardized tests based on delivery of bite-sized learning modules (short bursts of study sessions) throughout the day.
  • Early on, Elad recognized that, like him, students are busy juggling a lot of activities and need to study wherever they are, whenever they have the opportunity, preferably on their mobile devices (online or offline) which they use frequently throughout the day. Thus, he decided to go with a mobile-first strategy, which fits well with the bite-sized learning study methodology.
  • With this in mind, after graduating from MIT Sloan, Elad started Ready4 (fka LTG Exam Prep Platform), in Boston, with the support of MIT Sloan professors, with the goal to mobilize learning and ultimately connect students to universities, and universities with students.

2. What specific problem does Ready4 solve? How do you solve it?

RB:

1. Test prep and admissions services have remained primarily the same for over 70 years (one solution fits all; still using books; still sitting in classrooms). These services have not been properly adjusted to the world we live in today (mobile-first / mobile only).

2. The issue of limited access to high-quality education given by the best instructors in the world, while this limited education remains expensive.

3. Learning is often not personalized through content modules based on individual strengths and weaknesses.

4. College admissions does not leverage test prep data to make data-driven admissions recommendations and empower college advisors.

How we solve these problems

  • An integrated, mobile-first test prep and admissions ecosystem.

Ready4 solves these problems by offering a connected, mobile-first ecosystem for every prospective student –  undergraduate and graduate, domestic and international – for live prep and personalized data-driven admissions consulting.

3. What’s the future of Education?

Prediction #1:  Universities are going to be used for credentialization, networking, research, and soft skills learning. Hard skills are going to be taught only online.

Prediction #2: Skills-based, personalized learning is the future to enabling  many short careers instead of a single long one.

Prediction #3: People will have to continuously learn, adapt, and master new skills to be relevant in the job space.

4. What are the top 3 technological trends you’re seeing in Education?

Trend #1: AI will continue to enable personalized learning to focus on the individual's progress, strengths, and weaknesses.

Trend #2: The content will mainly be delivered in an interactive (or live) video form, yet still in short, bite-size bursts.

Trend #3: Consolidation of learning history (courses, education, etc.) into one learner's profile/timeline will become more prevalent.

5. Why is the Education (prep/tech) industry ripe for disruption?

RB:  The majority of K-12 learning is still done the same old way; with a teacher in a classroom. That has to change.

About Ryan Barba

Ryan Barba, the Director of Admissions Consulting at Ready4, has been an MBA Admissions consultant for more than 4 years – for several of the top Admission Consulting firms in the world – and has helped more than 550 candidates earn acceptance into top-15 MBA programs. More than 60 students currently enrolled at Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB, and UPenn-Wharton are Ryan's past clients, and more than 94% of his former clients earned at least one acceptance from a top-10 program.  Ryan has been quoted for his MBA Admissions expertise multiple times in reputable sources such as US News and World Report and Wall Street Oasis. Prior to working as an Admissions Consultant, Ryan worked as an MBA Admissions Officer for more than 5 years at two top MBA programs: Cornell (Johnson) and UNC (Kenan-Flagler), during which time he reviewed more than 5,000 MBA applications and conducted over 2,000 admissions interviews.

Ryan earned his MBA from the Johnson School (Cornell), where he received a full-tuition scholarship. Outside of his work in MBA Admissions, he worked for more than eight years as a strategy and marketing consultant, where he provided strategic and branding guidance to multiple Fortune 500 companies including Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Exxon-Mobil, the Mayo Clinic, NY Trust, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Mastercard.

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