Steve Wozniak's 'Woz U' Institute Faces Blowback, Former Student Calls it a '$13,000 E-Book'

by

One year ago Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak backed a new online learning institute that is aimed at educating users in coding and other digital skills. Called "Woz U," the subscription-based platform is now facing blowback from participants who cite a lack of quality in the courses and experience offered.

woz u
CBS News spoke to one student, Bill Duerr, who said that he expected quality from the $13,200 program (which lasts 33 weeks), but faced ongoing issues. Duerr said the system was full of problems, like live lectures coming pre-recorded and out of date, unqualified mentors, frustrations with typos while coding, and sometimes completely missing instructors for certain courses.

Duerr compared Woz U to a "$13,000 e-book."

"I feel like this is a $13,000 e-book," Duerr said. While it was supposed to be a program written by one of the greatest tech minds of all time, "it's broken, it's not working in places, lots of times there's just hyperlinks to Microsoft documents, to Wikipedia," he said.

"When you're doing code and you're following along, and there's a typo, and you get an error, you don't have any idea why you got the error," Duerr said. "And you're like how can – did somebody not proofread this? Did somebody not make sure it worked?"

Besides Duerr, CBS News interviewed more than two dozen current and former Woz U students and employees, all referencing similar complaints. One employee was Tim Mionske, an "enrollment counselor" who sold Woz U to prospective students. Even when he began to have second thoughts about Woz U and its validity, the company was focused intently on driving as many sales as possible.

CBS News asked Mionske if he regrets his time with Woz U, and if he felt like he had to do something that wasn't right.

"I regret in the aspect to where they're spending this money for, it's like rolling the dice. ... But on the reverse side, I have to support my family."

"In this case, do you feel like you had to do something that wasn't right?" Dokoupil asked.

"At times I did," Mionske responded.

Wozniak responded to Business Insider in an email, claiming he had not seen the CBS News report and that he is "not involved in any operations aspects" of Woz U, and as such could not answer any questions. Woz U president Chris Coleman said in a statement that the company is aware of certain errors in course content and that it has implemented a quality control system to catch them. He denied students being pressured to enroll and claimed that Wozniak reviews all of Woz U's curriculum.

In Woz U's original announcement, the platform was billed as a way to get people into the workforce quickly and affordably. At launch and shortly after, programs trained users in computer support, software development, data science, mobile application development, and cybersecurity. Woz U is an online learning course with an app and website, but the institute said last year it plans to open physical campuses in more than 30 cities across the United States and around the world.

Top Rated Comments

OldSchoolMacGuy Avatar
28 months ago
Woz hasn't been relevant for years now. It's amazing people still keep giving this guy money or paying attention to what he has to say.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GrumpyMom Avatar
28 months ago
I’m surprised he doesn’t value his name enough to be aware of what is taking place under his name and reputation. Claiming he is not involved in any operations aspect is quite a brushoff. I would imagine he is not involved in operations but again, I just think it’s a matter of honor and integrity that if you’re going to take a monetary cut from something, especially if it bears your name, you will also take some personal responsibility to ensure it’s implemented correctly.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Amazing Iceman Avatar
28 months ago
You could most likely get better education in Udemy. Just got to pick the right instructors, and wait for their $10 sale.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
timber Avatar
28 months ago
Reading this I remember the movie Ratatouille when that slizzy guy starts selling frozen crap on the name of the deceased great chef Gusteau.

Wozniak thankfully is not literally deceased but from a technology point of view it is the same thing as he hasn't done anything for decades.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
adamjackson Avatar
28 months ago
It sounds like Steve Wozniak just took some cash to put his name and face on someone else's product that wasn't going to be successful without a celebrity linked to it. Unfortunately, when the program sucks, Woz's credibility is tarnished. Really a shame because he probably had very little to do with the actual execution of the program.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thisisnotmyname Avatar
28 months ago

So many cheap places to learn to code and people spent all this money on a name?

You could say that about a lot of universities too.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Watc black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Watch Deals [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 4:01 pm PST by
Black Friday sales have begun on a variety of products, including the Apple Watch. There are quite a few deals across the Apple Watch lineup this year, including one of the lowest price we've ever seen the Apple Watch Series 3. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the...
AirPods Pro black friday 20 sale feature 2

Black Friday 2020: AirPods Pro Reach Lowest Price Ever [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 3:22 pm PST by
Black Friday has kicked off this week, and one of the first major sales for the AirPods Pro is available right now on Walmart. You can find this deal below, along with a few other solid discounts on the regular AirPods. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site...
windows 10

Developer Successfully Virtualizes Windows for Arm on M1 Mac

Friday November 27, 2020 7:16 am PST by
Developer Alexander Graf has successfully virtualized the Arm version of Windows on an M1 Mac, proving that the M1 chip is capable of running Microsoft's operating system (via The 8-Bit). Currently, Macs with the M1 chip do not support Windows and there is no Boot Camp feature as there is on Intel Macs, but support for Windows is a feature that many users would like to see. Using the...
General black friday 20 sale feature

Thanksgiving Day Deals Still Available on AirPods, M1 Macs, Apple Watch Series 6, iPads

Thursday November 26, 2020 10:21 am PST by
Black Friday deals seem to start earlier and earlier every year, so there were already a wide variety of discounts available for Apple products on Thanksgiving Day. Many of the deals remain available even after Thanksgiving, but act fast, as inventory quickly fluctuates. Thanksgiving Day Deals on Apple Products — Still Available:AirPods with a wireless charging case remain available for...
iPhone black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPhone Deals

Friday November 27, 2020 12:56 pm PST by
Black Friday is halfway done, but there are still a few deals to shop for on iPhones at carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile/Sprint. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. AT&T Starting with AT&T, you'll find up to $700 off any iPhone 12 when...
13 16 inch macbook pro air trio

Reliable Leaker Suggests Redesigned MacBooks in 2021 Will Include Both Apple Silicon and Intel Models

Wednesday November 25, 2020 9:15 am PST by
Reliable leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today suggested on Twitter that redesigned MacBooks coming in the second half of 2021 will include models with both Apple Silicon chips and Intel processors. The brief Tweet came in response to a MacRumors article from earlier today, which outlined a report from Ming-Chi Kuo claiming that Apple plans to release redesigned MacBook models with Apple ...
iphone trade in store

UK Environmental Committee Says Apple Contributing to 'Throwaway Culture' of 'Short-Lived Products'

Thursday November 26, 2020 7:07 am PST by
Technology companies like Apple are contributing to e-waste by making their products difficult to repair, and charging expensive repair fees, according to a lengthy report published today by the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee. "We were told that Apple glues and solders parts together on their laptops, which makes repairing them very difficult," the Committee wrote in a summary ...
m1 chip macbook air pro

Kuo: Redesigned MacBooks With Apple Silicon to Launch in Second Half of 2021

Tuesday November 24, 2020 7:53 pm PST by
Apple plans to release additional MacBook models with Apple Silicon in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as part of the company's two-year transition away from Intel processors across its Mac lineup. In a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that these MacBook models will feature a new design. Kuo did not specify which models these will be, but he...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
iPad Pro 5G and Mini LED feature

Rumored 2021 High-End iPad Pro May Feature 5G With mmWave Support

Thursday November 26, 2020 2:14 am PST by
Apple's rumored high-end iPad Pro models to be released next year will be 5G-enabled with mmWave support, according to sources cited by industry publication DigiTimes. Multiple rumors have suggested Apple is planning to release a high-end 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a mini-LED display next year, with the possibility that there will be an 11-inch mini-LED model too, but details beyond that have...